Case Study

Food manufacturer achieves cost savings and skill development with Green Belt program

BPI was asked to develop and conduct a Six Sigma Green Belt training program for a well-known food manufacturer. There were 26 students in the online course, but some people dropped out or left the company. This resulted in about 15 Green Belt projects launched.

The course was completed virtually over 16 sessions from November thru January (working around holiday breaks). They learned about the core Six Sigma concepts, and we covered some soft tools (Project Charter, Inputs and Outputs, Prioritization Matrix, FMEA, and Control Plan), but we jumped quickly into using Minitab statistical software with some data sets from their company, and it was focused on hands-on application of the tools, with less time spent on the theory and details about the specific tools (t Test, ANOVA, Regression, DOE, etc).

The cost of the training was approximately $10,000, which included slide preparation and customization (custom data sets and rearranging of content), teaching the course online and providing coaching calls after the training. No travel costs were needed, as everything was done online.

We’re still trying to quantify all the project savings, but here are the results from just one of the dozen projects launched.

  • Reduced rework costs 50%, saving $74,000 a year by reducing downgraded material by over 50% for the top reasons, while also reducing the risk of food safety issues, and increased the % of finished goods shippable from 93% to 97%.

The impact of the Green Belt program using only one project is about 2 months payback period ($10,000 investment, $74,000 in annual savings), or over 600% ROI! When we add the rest of the projects (another 5-10 likely to complete), it will make the payback less than a month or even just a few weeks!

Other benefits from the projects include reduction in water going down the drain, increase in worker skills and confidence for future projects, preparation to be able to take the ASQ BB exam (about 5 students actively preparing for it), and engagement increase for showing an investment in developing the skills of the workers.

What I personally liked about this program is that I can see a tangible shift in language around statistical terms, and excellent proficiency in using Minitab software. The feedback I’ve received is that they now know how to apply statistics to their work much more than when they took that class in school.

If you’d like to have us help you with a similar program, please review our options for effective training page, then fill out the quote form and we can create a custom quote for your company, and help you achieve a similar return on investment.


Want to learn more about Lean and Six Sigma tools, and apply them to an improvement projects? Check out these low-cost online courses and certification programs



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