Barloworld Handling has introduced Six Sigma continuous improvement tools and techniques to improve the efficiency of its processes, reduce costs and boost customer satisfaction.
It now has 16 “black and green belt” qualified staff and has completed a number of improvement projects, which it says have had a positive effect on customer service.
Six Sigma is a set of tools and techniques designed to improve the consistency and quality of process outputs. Black and green certification is awarded on completion of a comprehensive training programme and improvement projects.
Barloworld first introduced the Six Sigma methodology in April 2008 with six employees originally trained to green belt standard by Paloma Consulting.
This group completed seven projects which achieved financial benefits and improved efficiency, resulting in fewer breakdowns, faster engineer response times, less waste and the quality of new truck handovers.
Phil Marles, field service manager at Barloworld, said: “One of the main areas of focus for our Six Sigma projects is the improvement of internal processes to achieve customer satisfaction. In addition, we also have a number of projects aimed at improving equipment reliability in the field leading to even better up-time for our customers.”
He added: “One key positive is that we have used the Six Sigma process to strengthen our working relationship with Hyster, helping to improve the reliability of trucks in the field and introduced improvements in both manufacturing and quality testing.”
All projects are monitored for a minimum of twelve months after completion to ensure that improvements are controlled and maintained.