BPI offers a range of services to meet your needs. In some cases, we have dedicated entire websites and pages to support the industries we have worked in.

Improvement Program Strategy

Step 1: Review financial and sustainability status

The first thing we will want to discuss with you is your “case for change”. We work with you to figure out where the focus of your improvement efforts should be directed, if that is not already well defined in your company. We also incorporate sustainability and social responsibility into this discussion. We also require that all organizations make an announcement that no layoffs will occur as a result of your improvement efforts. It is highly recommended that the leadership team take a tour of a mature lean organization.
Artifact: Organization Sustainability Assessment (template coming soon), Lean Six Sigma Strategy
Training: Lean Thinking and Tools for Top Leadership and Board of Directors (Lean concepts, Value Stream Mapping, Problem Solving, 8 Forms of Waste, 5 Principles of Lean, Kaizen, Lean and the Environment)

Step 2: Review Future State of Business

After looking at the financial information, the next step is to focus on the future of the company, to see where the business is headed. We don’t want to focus on an area of the business that is being outsourced, being obsoleted, or not aligned with the company vision and strategy. This is an area where your customers and stakeholders want you to go. We will help you define long term goals for these focus areas, which will be shared with the improvement teams.
Artifact: Future State Value Stream Map
Training: Lean Concepts and Tools for Employees (5S, Value Stream Mapping, Problem Solving, 8 Forms of Waste, 5 Principles of Lean, Visual Controls, Mistake Proofing)

Step 3: Determine critical projects

The next step is to combine the future state with the financial and sustainability assessment to develop a list of activities and projects needed to meet your goals and future state of your business. This is the top down approach. For everyone else, we will help develop a bottoms-up approach for all employees, using the daily huddle structure.
Artifact: Project Deployment Strategy
Training: Six Sigma for Leaders (Theory of Constraints, DMAIC, Variation, Capability Analysis, Basic Statistics, FMEA Training and Template, SPC Training and Template #1 and Template #2Cost of Poor Quality, Gage R&R Training and TemplateDesign for Six Sigma), Lean Concepts for Employees (5 Principles of Lean, 8 Forms of Waste, 2 second lean, PDCA/A3, Kaizen, standard work, change management, SQDC Visual Management and 5S Training and Template).

Step 4: Assign Resources

For all major activities, particularly the improvement projects (read more about how we can help), there needs to be a project charter defined, so that each project leader can effectively lead the team to success. The charter includes the key metric that should be improved, the goal for improvement, the project leader, team members and mentors (often times this will be our role), along with project scope, business case and time frame for completion. The Project Charter is the first step in the DMAIC improvement cycle. Typically, we identify one product or service value stream that we will assign as the “model cell” to focus all our resources on this one area, in order to prove that the tools work in your organization, and expose the larger management issues to be resolved. Here is a good article about the true purpose of a model cell. This will result in a series of lean events and Six Sigma projects.
Artifact: DMAIC Project Charter (coming soon) and DMAIC Checklist
Training: Yellow Belt, Green Belt, Black Belt, Lean Seminar

Step 5: Train Resources

To successfully complete an improvement project, the project leader and team members need to have a solid understanding of the Lean and Six Sigma tools. We can provide Just-In-Time training on the major tools and techniques needed for most projects. Through the training and examples, we embed sustainability and social responsibility into the exercises and discussion. For all other employees, we would start a “Everybody Everyday” lean program, helping them identify the 8 forms of waste, implement 5S workplace organization, and 2 second lean (small) improvements generated from the daily huddles held in each process area. Managers will be expected to teach the basic concepts to the employees.
Artifact: Lean Six Sigma Skills Assessment, Training Plan for Key Resources and All Employees
Training: Six Sigma for Employees (Six Sigma overview, Yellow Belt and Green Belt training, Project management and Facilitation), Advanced Lean and Six Sigma Tools (TPM, Kanban and Supermarkets, Standard Work, Cellular Layout, SMED, Process Management), Intro to Lean (all employees)

Step 6: Review Projects

In order to keep these key projects from failing, it is important to cadence and regularly review the projects, in order to make sure they are on-track, on-schedule, and getting the results and support that is needed. Any potential risks to the project should also be discussed during these reviews.
Artifact: Scheduled Project Tollgate Reviews

Step 7: Validate Success and Controls

To prove the success of a project, there should be a statistical analysis that validates that the new process has been improved, and that the process is “under control” (consistent results expected in the future). Without this analysis, there will always be discussions on whether the improvements were valid or not. Without proper process controls, the results may not be sustained in the long term.
Artifact: Statistical Analysis showing Improvements
Training: Finance 101 for Projects

Project Support

We believe there are three types of projects:

  1. Data Collection Project – The sole purpose is to determine if an improvement project is needed (if the business case is sufficient). The project is focused on getting data collected, or organized, in order to determine if valuable resources should be applied to resolve it. This can take extensive amount of time and resources just to capture the data, but often times, teams launch into an improvement project without the necessary data, and are doomed to failure.
    • We have vast amounts of experience in extracting data from data systems, databases and different file formats, in order to get the data in some usable format for analysis. We also are experienced at setting up web-based systems to capture new data, along with key variables, so that the data is accurate, and can be analyzed quickly, once enough data has been collected. Contact us for obtaining a quote for these services.
  2. Improvement Project – The goal of this project is to take a metric, baseline its historical performance and make it significantly better. Another key assumption is that the root cause is unknown, or has not been proven with data. This is typically the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Green Belt projects. There is a financial benefit to the company when the metric is improved, and the team members and project leader need to have sufficient skills in Lean and Six Sigma.
    • We can provide Black Belt resources to support your projects. We call it “Rent a Black Belt”. We can provide resources to help manage the project, train the team members, and help mentor the project leaders through the project, following the DMAICR model. Contact us for obtaining a quote for these services.
  3. Implementation Project – The solution is already known and validated, it just requires someone to utilize strong project management skills to keep it on task, under budget, and well communicated.
    • We do not support these type of projects. A project manager would be a good fit for this role.

For help implementing a project, and tying it to a certification, check out our Lean Six Sigma Project Coaching Program

Paper to Electronic Data Conversion

One of the major roadblocks companies face when tying to increase their analytical skills is data accessibility. Usually, the data they need to solve the problem exists, but not in a format that is easy to analyze (electronic, such as Excel).

We have become very efficient and accurate manually entering data from paper sheets of paper.

Want a quick estimate? It will cost about $100 for every 500 numeric data points ($0.20 per data point) you want converted. For example, if you are receiving a supplier data sheet, and it contains 20 data points, it will cost $80 to enter 20 data sheets (400 data points).

Want a more detailed quote? Email us a copy, and we’ll give you an estimate.

We can usually turn around your request within 24-48 hours from the time we receive the paper or scanned copies.

If you want us to complete some analysis on the data file we created, we can provide that service as well! We’ll check for outliers, match the data to a distribution, compare to specification limits (capability study), and look for trends or patterns in the data over time (control charts). You will receive the Minitab© project (MPJ) file upon completion, along with a summary report with recommendations.

In addition, if you want to completely stop the paper documentation, let us help you create a webpage to gather data electronically and store it into a database. We can also create reports, automated emails, login security, and much more! Learn more >>

Minitab Analysis Automation for Large Data Sets

As products become more and more complex, we have the ability to measure, collect and store so much data!

The problem is that Minitab is setup for analyzing only a few variables at a time, and in some cases, only let you analyze one variable. However, we are now seeing products with hundreds and thousands of data points per unit.

The problem is worse when there are settings that need to be changed with each data point, so you can’t just select all the variables at once in the popup window.

For example, if you want to run capability analysis or Gage R&R analysis, you need to define the lower and upper specification limits for each data point. That means you will have to run each analysis manually. When you lookup each set of limits, and enter them into the popup window, it can take about 20 seconds per measurement.

If you have 100 measurements, that can take half an hour, and lots of boring clicking and typing. If you have 500 measurements, that can take 2-3 hours! Not the best use of your time!

We have developed some Excel macros that allow us to automate your Minitab analysis, which can take your analysis time from hours to minutes, cutting your time by 80-90%!

We’ve done Capability analysis on 450 test steps with different limits, Gage R&R analysis on 800 test steps with different limits, and 2-sample T tests on 200 test steps, all in less than an hour!

Send us a sample of your data, or give us a call, and we will give you a quote. Costs are typically around $100-250 for a Minitab analysis file, a summary report of all the analysis in Excel, along with all the charts inside a Powerpoint file.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions, or would like a low cost quote for business improvement consulting, project support, mentoring, or training classes and materials.


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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