lean supply chain, lean supply chain management, product design process, electronic manufacturing, contract manufacturing, supply chain management, product development
Jabil's Global Lean Six Sigma team drives excellence that results in the highest quality, on-time delivery and optimized efficiency. Prioritizing Lean Six Sigma is a significant part of Jabil's culture within our manufacturing plants and throughout all functional departments, including finance, business development, supply chain and others.
Lean Six Sigma
Driving Continuous Lean Supply Chain Improvement
Jabil is committed to delivering the highest quality products, services, and supply chain management processes in the industry. The ongoing use of Lean and Six Sigma principles throughout the company has enabled Jabil to improve electronic manufacturing efficiency; reduce variations, defects and costs; eliminate product development waste and non-value added activities; and deliver customer products in the most effective way.
The goal of Jabil's Global Lean Six Sigma team is to create a workforce of problem solvers, where everyone is focused on continually driving lean supply chain improvements in quality, delivery and cost. Prioritizing Lean Six Sigma is a significant part of Jabil's culture within our contract and electronic manufacturing plants and throughout all functional departments, including finance, business development, product development, supply chain management and others.
Employees are trained in Lean Supply Chain Management principles through a three-tier certification (Bronze, Silver and Gold), where they must complete a number of lean supply chain projects, present their projects to other lean supply chain management teams and councils, and successfully pass a certification exam. In addition, starting in 2010, Jabil requires that Plant Operations Managers must be or become Six Sigma Black Belt – a first in the industry.
Deliver Best Lean Supply Chain Practices
To further support the Lean Six Sigma deployment, Jabil holds an annual continuous lean supply chain improvement challenge called "Deliver Best Practices," to reward, recognize and share innovative electronic manufacturing and lean supply chain improvements throughout the company. The competition covers four categories: Customer Satisfaction, Employee Development, Operational Excellence and Social & Environmental Responsibility.
In 2009, the inaugural year of the lean supply chain competition, Jabil employees submitted 282 projects. In 2010, all teams followed the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (DMAIC) methodology in the lean supply chain competition, reinforcing a standard scientific approach. In 2011, 533 projects from 52 sites were submitted - a 72% increase in submissions over 2010. In 2012, 1,081 entries from 62 different sites were submitted to the lean supply chain competition, more than doubling the 533 entries from 2011.
With a mission of supporting Jabil's cost effectiveness initiatives, a team in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA, focused on reducing material handling costs associated with return to stock inventory. Through new ideas, simple strategies and fresh thinking to "business as usual," the team defined problems from the end-user perspective and determined there were opportunities they could improve. The team developed an interface that could read and write part data. Once automated, the application allowed the user to locate critical parts quickly and efficiently. The automation also allowed for better accuracy of inventory counts, cycle-time reduction, as well as improved employee morale. A key component of any continuous improvement effort is transferability and the St. Petersburg team worked to "go global" with their project — thus far the improved system has been rolled out to Tiszaujvaros, Hungary and it is in the final testing phase in Uzhgorod.
In Pune, India, Jabil employees demonstrated out-of-the-box thinking with a project to eliminate major non-value-add activities in the warehouse. Their existing label generation and application was over-processing information and increased variability. The team modified vendor labels, making them compatible for scanning purposes. The impact was reduced wait-time and inventory carrying costs; optimized manpower; reduced the risk of using the wrong part during production and increased customer confidence.
With logistical efficiency and speed as their key goals, the team in Manaus, Brazil, reviewed their operational procedures for inbound freight and developed a plan aimed at improving the process. The team identified opportunities to reduce freight expenses and lower storage costs connected to clearance time. The team lowered freight costs, reduced inbound clearance lead times, and cut approximately two days out of inventory in transit.
Jabil Huangpu, China, has an excellent track record of providing superior customer service through a keen focus on quality and efficiency. Consequently, it's no surprise that a team from this site would develop and implement a new set of manufacturing procedures aimed at reducing defects and increasing product quality. Within six months the team had to develop and implement a process that would produce nearly zero defective parts per million, a success rate of 99.9 percent or better. With time as their enemy, the team quickly identified five key areas during the manufacturing process where training, new technology, and a uniform set of procedures could limit defects. They implemented these processes and they proved to be successful. Huangpu's reward: more business from a satisfied customer.
The customer wanted it faster, the engineering team wanted it better, and the production team wanted it easier. A team in Wuxi, China, overhauled its entire process. To optimize the procedures, the team divided the process up into two separate tasks which allowed for more accuracy and more efficiency. Through the use of the bifurcated manufacturing process the team increased capacity tuning by 150 percent, reduced time spent on each unit by 30 percent, and removed barriers within the manufacturing process.
An entrepreneurial Finance and Accounting team in Kwidzyn, Poland, wondered how they could best take care of their customers. To begin, the team performed a baseline assessment to determine their current level of service, and then vowed to turn a good score into a great one. The team worked to identify opportunities for improved customer service and they worked to implement these ideas. They created an efficient process for financial reporting, developed tools enabling the business managers to access information on their own, and greatly improved the forecasting process.
This year, a winning team in Penang, Malaysia, dedicated to improving every product, service, and process wanted to take their focus to another level by seeking improvements in every aspect of the business. Their goal was to give all employees in Penang – from top to bottom – the tools necessary to make decisions that improved performance and further reduced waste. They understood that cultural transformation would not occur unless the organization embraced the spirit of continuous improvement. To promote change, the site built a library, developed training, printed posters and held numerous educational events. All of these efforts paid off as the number of Kaizens nearly doubled and Bronze Certification participation increased exponentially.
In Manaus, Brazil, continuous improvement is about building a culture of change and teamwork. With the main focus on people, the team in Manaus actively drove continuous improvement at their site by providing their employees with education and practical training through Kaizen events. Further, the team set up benchmarking opportunities with top local companies to encourage collaboration. As a direct result of their efforts, the site had higher employee morale, reduced costs, and improved customer satisfaction.
Recognizing a need for a more efficient workplace management system, a team in Chihuahua, Mexico, created an on-line reporting tool, which allowed managers to make quicker, better decisions. The much needed on-line resource allowed managers in Chihuahua to make proactive decisions on operating and scheduling with greater precision. Once implemented the data allowed for better tracking, increased transparency and improved scheduling.
Social & Environmental Responsibility
Inspired by a personal story and driven by Jabil's corporate values, a team from Tiszaujvaros, Hungary, took action to improve the community in which they live and work. That's when a resourceful team saw the opportunity to connect people with special needs with positions at Jabil. Once underway, the program found great success. The team attended special recruiting events, ensured accessibility, and even invited a sign language interpreter to attend a recruiting session in order to attract candidates. In the end, the team accomplished their goals by satisfying the need for good employees while supporting Jabil's growth in Tiszaujvaros.
A team in Wuxi, China, committed to finding new ways to efficiently work with plastics was determined to reduce the environmental impact connected to the painting process for smart phones. The goal was to reduce the amount of materials used and decrease the electricity needed by over 50 percent. The team developed a unique and innovative process that positioned the phones for efficient painting. As a result, the team reduced electricity usage and paint required by 60 percent and 55 percent, respectively. The team also significantly reduced the materials used during the process creating a cleaner environment.
A team in Huangpu, China, focused on improving morale at their site. To accomplish this task, they created an employee-based team to support the Jabil culture in China. Through their efforts, they organized and encouraged employees to actively take part in worthwhile community events. The team founded 16 sports clubs, entertainment activities, training, and education groups with 3,000 members. They stayed focused on taking care of the community too. As a result of these efforts, the team improved morale and created a healthier atmosphere.