Lean Six Sigma Delivers Results

Why do companies implement Lean Six Sigma?

Because it delivers results. Period.


Larry Bossidy, Source: Wikipedia.com

Larry Bossidy, Source: Wikipedia.com

Larry Bossidy, Chairman and CEO of AlliedSignal Corporation from 1991 to 1999, saved the then-$14.5 billion industrial conglomerate from bankruptcy by implementing Six Sigma and changing the culture of the organization.

The initial goal of AlliedSignal’s Six Sigma program was to increase productivity by 6 percent per year.

Instead, AlliedSignal grew operating margin 2.1 percent in the first quarter of 1999, as compared to a year earlier, and cumulatively saved the business (and shareholders) more than $2 billion in direct costs.1

General Electric

Jack Welch, Source: Wikipedia.com

Jack Welch, Source: Wikipedia.com

Jack Welch, Chairman and CEO of General Electric (GE) Corporation from 1981 to 2001, was named Fortune’s “Manager of the Century” for a reason.

Welch focused his GE leadership career on creating a culture of change, removing inefficiency, dismantling bureaucracy, and striving to be the best in every business sector.

As a result, GE adopted the Six Sigma quality program in late 1995 because it accomplished all of these needs (e.g., culture change, removing inefficiency, dismantling bureaucracy, best in class).

In 1980, the year before Welch became CEO, GE recorded revenues of roughly $26.8 billion. By 1999 he was named “Manager of the Century” by Fortune magazine.2

In 2000, the year before Welch retired from GE, the revenues increased to nearly $130 billion. The company had gone from a market value of $14 billion to one of more than $410 billion at the end of 2004, making it the most valuable company in the world.

McKesson Corporation

McKesson Lean Six Sigma


With sales of $112 billion in 2011, McKesson may be the largest company you’ve never heard of.

McKesson distributes pharmaceuticals at a wholesale level and provide health information technology, medical supplies, and care management tools.

In the process improvement community, McKesson is establishing a name as a model Six Sigma company. When McKesson deployed Lean Six Sigma in 1998, it was sitting at a distant third in the healthcare services industry in terms of market share and customer satisfaction.

Today, McKesson is at the top of the healthcare services industry, in part because of it’s Lean Six Sigma program.

As profiled in iSixSigma magazine, McKesson has completed more than 3,000 Lean Six Sigma improvement projects and has trained more than 12,000 employees at all levels, including Lean Six Sigma awareness through deployment champion.3

As for Lean Six Sigma’s return on McKesson’s investment? the first year of the deployment delivered a 190% ROI, with 600% anticipated in 2009. “The profit McKesson has recorded because of the program also has been significant.”

U.S. Army

U.S. Army Lean Six Sigma

U.S. Army

By implementing Lean and Six Sigma, the United States Army has reaped a financial benefit of more than $2 billion.4

Beginning their process improvement initiative in 2005, the U.S. Army have trained more than 1,240 Green Belts, 446 Black Belts and 15 Master Black Belts, and completed 1,069 projects (with another 1,681 active projects).

List of Lean Six Sigma Companies Reaping Financial and Cultural Benefits

  • 3M
  • Acme Markets
  • Advanced Micro Devices
  • Agilent Technologies
  • Air Canada
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Alcan
  • Amazon.com
  • Apogee Enterprises
  • AXA
  • Avery Dennison
  • BAE Systems
  • Bank of America
  • Bank of Montreal
  • BD Medical
  • Bechtel Corporation
  • Boeing
  • Cabot Microelectronics Ltd
  • CAE Inc
  • Canada Post
  • Caterpillar Inc.
  • Chartered Quality Institute
  • Chevron
  • Cigna
  • Cintas Uniforms
  • City of Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Cognizant Technology Solutions
  • Computer Sciences Corporation
  • Convergys
  • Cookson Group
  • Corning
  • CoorsTek
  • Credit Suisse
  • Cummins Inc.
  • Deere & Company
  • Dell
  • Delphi Corporation
  • Denso
  • DHL
  • Deutsche Telekom
  • Depository Trust & Clearning Corp.
  • Dominion Resources
  • Dow Chemical Company
  • DSB Bank
  • DsignStudio
  • DuPont
  • Eastman Kodak Company
  • Ekati Diamond Mine
  • EMC
  • EMD Millipore
  • Evonik Industries
  • Finning
  • Flextronics
  • Ford Motor Company
  • General Electric
  • General Dynamics
  • Genpact
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • HCL Technologies
  • Heinz Co.
  • Honeywell
  • Hertel
  • HSBC Group
  • Hunter Industries
  • Idearc Media
  • Ingram Micro
  • Inventec
  • ITC Welcomgroup Hotels, Palaces and Resorts
  • ITT Corporation
  • JEA
  • Korea Telecom
  • Kohlberg & Company
  • KTF
  • LG Group
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Lonmin
  • Mando Corporation
  • Maple Leaf Foods
  • Mayo Clinic
  • McKesson Corporation
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Merck
  • Microflex Inc.
  • Motorola
  • Network Rail
  • NewPage Corporation
  • NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
  • Nielsen Company
  • Nortel Networks
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Owens-Illinois
  • Patheon
  • Penske Truck Leasing
  • PepsiCo
  • PointRoll
  • PolyOne Corporation
  • Precision Castparts Corp.
  • Procise gmbh
  • Quest Diagnostics
  • RaggedCom
  • Raytheon
  • ResMed
  • Samsung Group
  • Sears
  • Seyfarth Shaw LLP
  • SGL Group
  • Shaw Industries
  • Shinhan Bank
  • Shinhan Card
  • Shop Direct Group
  • SimplexGrinnell
  • Siemens AG
  • SKF
  • Skyworks Solutions, Inc.
  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
  • Staples Inc.
  • Sterlite Optical Technologies
  • Target Corporation
  • Teradyne
  • Teraeon Consulting Corporation
  • Trane
  • Textron
  • The Hertz Corporation
  • The Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • The McGraw-Hill Companies
  • The Vanguard Group
  • TomoTherapy, Inc.
  • Toshiba
  • TRW
  • TSYS (Total System Services)
  • Tyco International
  • UMS Universal Management Services GMBH
  • Unipart
  • United Biscuits
  • UnitedHealthcare Services Inc.
  • United States Air Force
  • United States Army
  • United States Department of Defense
  • United States Marine Corps
  • United States Navy
  • UnitedHealth Group
  • Vodafone
  • Whirlpool
  • Wipro
  • Xchanging
  • Xerox

References for Lean Six Sigma Delivers Results

1 Harry, M. & Schroeder, R. (2000). Six Sigma. New York, NY: Doubleday.
2 “FORTUNE – GE’s Jack Welch Named Manager of the Century – November 01, 1999”. Timewarner.com. 1999-04-26.
3 “A Healthy Approach to Business: McKesson’s improvement program makes for satisfied customers and employees”. iSixSigma.com. 2009-03-01.
4 “Call to Duty: Lean Si xSigma in the Army Now”. iSixSigma.com. 2007-09-01.

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