In this post, we go over some sample green belt project ideas to help you figure out what you can do within your own company. To get certified as a Sigma Sigma Green Belt, go to our store here. Have any great Six Sigma Green Belt project ideas of your own? Comment down below and let us know!
I’m Denton Bramwell, and I’m Estelle Greenwalt. We’re with Promontory Management Group. We’re going to briefly summarize a few of the over 2,000 Six Sigma projects that we’ve coached to completion. If you’re looking for ideas for projects, or perspective on what can be done with the Green Belt tools, this video is for you. If you find this information useful, please take a second to click the like button.
One of my favorite two projects was a large electronics manufacturer that installed oracle and left a major gap in the system. Their system did not allow for easy matching of invoices with credits due back to customers. So customers would simply deduct what they were owed from the next invoice they paid, unable to easily connect invoices with credits. The company chose to create a huge reserve account. That effectively put tens of millions of dollars of the company’s money in jail. A green belt solved the problem and restored 90% of the money to productive use. No doubt, the company was very happy to have that money back.
One of my favorite Green Belt projects involved a marketing department that made promises that the company’s product couldn’t meet. Twice, this resulted in settlements and government fines in the neighborhood of a million dollars each. A Green Belt project in the legal department, created a new system within the company, that dramatically reduced the company’s exposure without hampering beneficial marketing activities. The company had no more such fines. At a million dollars each, I’m sure the company was glad to see the end of that loss.
Speaking of loss, we had a mining client that we organized some of their production people to save money. Unfortunately, the people who had taken on the new duties did not see them as being as important as their old duties and neglected some of them. Equipment for breaking ore into powder was neglected, and the percent of ore converted to useful product declined slowly by fractions of a percent. A green belt discovered this and took corrective action and that ended an undetected loss of over $750,000 per year.
We also had a company that makes electrical equipment for the mining industry. They were having problems with collecting their accounts receivable. About 10%
2:32of their invoices did not exactly match the purchase orders and customers would use that as an excuse to withhold payment until the problem was 1resolved, moving payment out to the next check writing cycle. Fixing that problem greatly improved the company’s cashed cash cycle. Then there was the case the medical products company that did not have a coherent system for issuing quotes. Customers have learned that they could call three or four different people in the company and get three or four different quotes. Then they choose the lowest of the quotes and enter in an order. A green belt reorganized the system, so the quotes were consistent and stopped the losses from customers gaming the system.
We had a food products company that was shipping more product than their label advertised. The plant manager had discovered that he only got in trouble if the packages were short. So his strategy for staying out of trouble was to ship a little extra in each package. The problem with that was that his decision cost the company $4.5 million a year. Application of basic quality tools brought this actual weight in line with the label weight, and ended the loss. Sounds like a great assignment.
Another common problem area is supervisors granting relatively unproductive overtime to people in the department who need extra cash. We’ve had projects with a couple of different clients to fix that. We’ve also had projects to increase the percentage of products on retail shelves, while simultaneously reducing required supplier inventory. Every dollar freed from inventory is a dollar that the company can use without borrowing. We also had a series of projects that save millions of dollars by reducing the number of life service technician telephone calls a company had to handle by better organizing the support information on the company’s web page. In fact, we’ve had projects in all departments of companies: finance, legal, HR, marketing, engineering, and production.