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Lilly Software Associates Inc., a provider of enterprise and supply chain solutions for manufacturers and distributors, will host a regional lean manufacturing seminar series this month in nine U.S. cities.

Attendees will hear from Lilly Software representatives and other industry experts about the priniciples of lean manufacturing and how companies in a host of industries have implemented lean solutions. Several of Lilly Software’s customers will discuss their success stories, as well.

"We used to quote six to eight weeks for delivery and had a very difficult time making good on those promises," says Tom King, president of ThemoFab. "All of a sudden, we’re shipping everything on time--even the rush orders. Eight months after implementation, our on-time delivery is 98 percent."

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Top companies depend on savvy purchasing techniques to increase supply chain performance measurements, according to research by benchmarking and consulting firm Best Practices LLC.

Supply chain research, drawn from executive interviews and surveys of more than 100 top-performing companies, includes these findings:

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Supply chain and inventory management professionals will gather in San Diego Oct. 10-13 for the 2004 APICS International Conference and Exposition.

The conference will feature speeches from industry leaders and authors, along with more than 100 educational workshops addressing enterprise quality management, lean strategies, project management, small business issues, emerging trends, personal and professional development and supply chain management tools and essentials. Other conference highlights include:

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Six Sigma Brokers LLC has announced the public launch of its new deployment methodology, STARR.

The methodology is a "control gate" approach to Six Sigma deployment, which contains effective checks and balances at each stage, accelerating progress while minimizing costly mistakes and rework. Much of the success of Six Sigma can be attributed to the rigor and discipline of the DMAIC, DMADV and IDOV process and design optimization methodologies. STARR brings the same structured and disciplined approach to the deployment process.

STARR stands for:

  • Strategy--to ensure that Six Sigma supports the client’s vision and strategy
  • Tactics--the means by which the strategy will be delivered
  • Action--the Six Sigma deployment roadmap
  • Review--a feedback system to allow continuous appraisal
  • Reflect--the promotion of knowledge management, best practice sharing and cultural change

Each phase of the system contains the essential tools and templates necessary for the successful completion of each stage of the deployment process. The control gate at the end of each phase ensures that the necessary discipline is maintained to reduce the risk of things going wrong.

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The Professional Development Institute has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Motorola University. Under the agreement, Motorola University will provide its Six Sigma expertise and services to Ohio-area businesses through the Professional Development Institute at Corporate College Westlake.

"It’s an exciting opportunity to work with a two-time winner of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the creator of the Six Sigma Business Improvement Methodology," says Vera Lewis-Jasper, executive director of professional development at Corporate College, a division of Cuyahoga Community College. "Together, we will enable more organizations to benefit from a revolutionary business improvement methodology. The Professional Development Institute is committed to providing the highest quality services and Motorola’s Six Sigma training and consulting services are world-class."

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Albertsons Inc. has started a major roll-out of a companywide Six Sigma quality program designed to reduce management layers, increase leadership spans, improve customer focus, drive new format leadership and formalize its quality program.

Six Sigma Academy will assist in the training and implementation program. Leading the Six Sigma effort for Albertsons will be Jim Gentile, who has been named senior vice president of Six Sigma quality. Gentile, a 33-year veteran of the company, is currently president of its Northern California division. In his new capacity, he will become a member of the company’s executive council.

"Six Sigma has the potential to move Albertson’s to an all-new level of productivity and customer service in our industry," says Larry Johnston, Albertsons chairman of the board, CEO and president. "We are excited to be the first food and drug retailer in the world to launch a companywide Six Sigma effort. Over the next 36 months, we plan to deploy hundreds of Black Belts into every corner of the company as we re-engineer our major processes in every function and discipline. The world has witnessed how Six Sigma can transform industrial giants like GE, AlliedSignal, 3M and others. We believe it holds the same exciting potential in food and drug retailing."

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CommerceQuest Inc. and Savvi International have announced an alliance that expands the effectiveness of Six Sigma throughout the subscribing business enterprise by leveraging business process management (BPM) information technology.

The announcement, made at the Leadership Conference of the International Society of Six Sigma Professionals, is being touted as a major advancement in the streamlining of complex business process management and Six Sigma technology.

Desktop BPM tools help Six Sigma practitioners in the design and simulation of business processes for Six Sigma projects. Enterprise BPM improves the effectiveness of business initiatives by applying information technology to define, measure and analyze entire process improvement programs. Combining the advanced Enterprise BPM solution of CommerceQuest’s TRAXION Enterprise Business Process Management Suite with the Savvi Sigma performance improvement methodology, businesses are now able to completely characterize, understand and manage entire value chains. People and systems, as well as process participants, can now perform to unprecedented levels of control and predictibility.

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Breakthrough Management Group, a provider of Six Sigma training, consulting and software, has signed a strategic reseller agreement with Iowa-based GeoLearning Inc., a developer of learning management platforms and Web-based training solutions.

Under the terms of the agreement, GeoLearning will resell and host BMG’s extensive content library of Six Sigma e-courses and Web-based training.

"GeoLearning is one of the top e-learning solutions providers in the world," says David Silverstein, president and CEO of Breakthrough Management Group. "This partnership opens up a significant sales channel for us. By offering BMG’s Six Sigma e-course library to GeoLearning’s customers, the e-learning community will have more options for accessing BMG’s complete Six Sigma online belt programs, basic skills and awareness training, as well as BMG’s custom content services. The company’s young workforce, high growth rate and reputation for excellence makes them a perfect match for a partnership with BMG."

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Microsoft Corp. has released new enhancements for its Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Six Sigma.

The additions to the software are intended to help businesses cut costs, improve processes and reduce the time it takes to complete projects. Available now at no charge to all Microsoft industry partners and customers, the Accelerator--which now fully leverages support for the latest Microsoft Office system--delivers standardized tools, support and structured implementation methods crucial to successful Six Sigma adoption.

"We are seeing an increasing need from Motorola’s customers and suppliers with business improvement initiatives for an integrated, scalable, easy-to-use system that enables teams to manage and monitor their Six Sigma projects," says Tom McCarty, vice president of Motorola University Consulting Services. "That’s why Motorola University is working with Microsoft to offer the Office Solution Accelerator for Six Sigma to our clients."

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Minitab Inc. has agreed to include Rath & Strong’s two latest publications--Who’s Fault Is It Anyway?, and Rath & Strong’s Guide to MINITAB: Release 14--in Minitab’s companion textbook list, available on the Minitab Web site.

Whose Fault Is It Anyway: A Modern Fable About Six Sigma is written to be entertaining and informative. This concise Rath & Strong book is a simple, effective and enjoyable way to spread the powerful message of Six Sigma. The fable provides an easy way to experience what it really feels like to implement Six Sigma and run a project.

The Guide To MINITAB: Release 14 teaches users how to use MINITAB software in a two-level approach designed to enhance the learning experience: