Lean Six Sigma

Consistently Applying Lean Six Sigma Principles to Deliver Customer Products in the Most Effective Ways

Operational Excellence. Customer Focus.

Innovation and optimization are always top priorities in manufacturing. Successful companies take great lengths to ensure they are utilizing advanced technology with industry-leading best practices. At Jabil, we create strategies of improvement and upgrades not only for technology or supply chain logistics, we make sure we are constantly enriching our most prized assets: our people. By incorporating Lean Six Sigma methodologies into Jabil culture and leadership, we ensure that the people we work with and serve get our absolute best.

What is Lean?

Lean is a way of thought that analyzes processes to eliminate waste, make workflows more efficient, while still delivering value to customers. Lean uses a Plan, Do, Check, Act/ Adjust (PDCA) method of finding solutions and pave the way towards continuous improvement. Lean is based upon 5 principles that set the stage for proper process analysis and problem solving:

  • Define Value – gain a better understanding of what customers value and discover what they truly need
  • Map the Value Stream – using customer value as a goal, identify all processes that directly contribute to value. Any activities that do not contribute to customer value are considered waste and should be removed or reduced as much as possible.
  • Create Flow – after getting rid of waste processes, analyze the activities that contribute to customer value and make sure the process flow without interruption or delay.
  • Establish Pull – control inventory and processes to ensure timely delivery of goods and services to reduce excess inventory waste
  • Pursue Perfection – continue using the previous principles to evaluate processes to maximize delivery of customer value

What is Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is another problem-solving method with its roots in the scientific method. While Lean used a PDCA method to identify and eliminate waste, Six Sigma bases its methods on Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC) to eliminate defects in products or processes:

  • Define – define the problem or project goals. The more specific the definition, analysis and problem solving will be more successful
  • Measure – once a problem or project is defined, metrics and other measurements are developed to better understand the issue
  • Analyze – collect and analyze data to identify the cause of the problem
  • Improve – create solutions based upon data observed and establish metrics to verify success
  • Control – establish benchmarks to confirm that the solution is still working for continued improvement 

Combining both methods of problem-solving gives users a complementary system that offers a deeper look into maximizing customer value while reducing waste and redundancy. Recommendations based on Lean Six Sigma offer real-world accountability and enrich leadership skills and teamwork.

Jabil Lean Six Sigma Impact

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 improvements in quality, delivery, and cost. Prioritizing Lean Six Sigma is a significant part of Jabil's culture within all our plants and throughout all functional departments, including finance, business development, product development, supply chain management, and others. To foster continuous improvement, different levels of the organization undergo different Lean and Six Sigma certifications: Shop Floor, Bronze, Silver, Black Belt, or Champion. 

  • Shop Floor certification is geared for all employees and provides foundational Lean knowledge. 
  • Bronze certification provides general awareness of Lean Six Sigma principles, systems, and tools for eliminating waste and is for supervisors, engineers, managers, and directors. 
  • Silver certification for managers develops leadership skills and in-depth knowledge of Lean Six Sigma principles and tools. 
  • Black Belt certification is directed at management and develops in-depth knowledge of Six Sigma principles for reducing variation.
  • Champion certification is a one-day program to enable senior leaders to effectively improve management operations within the company. 

Jabil is committed to delivering the highest-quality products, services, and supply chain management processes in the industry. Consistently applying Lean Six Sigma principles throughout Jabil has improved manufacturing efficiency; reduced variations, defects, and costs; eliminated product development waste and non-value-added activities; improved process value stream flow; and, delivered customer products in the most effective ways:

  • Operations
    • Eliminate defects
    • Reduce cycle time
    • Reduce machine downtime
    • Improve labor and equipment effectiveness
  • Supply Chain
    • Improve on-time delivery
    • Reduce inventory and logistics costs
    • Reduce lead time
    • Improve supplier quality
  • Human Resources
    • Enhance employee on-boarding
    • Reduce cost-to-serve
    • Reduce new hire cycle time
  • Information Technology
    • Improve security
    • Improve information accessibility
    • Improve business process management

Delivering Best Practices

To further support the Lean Six Sigma implementation, Jabil holds an annual continuous improvement challenge called "Deliver Best Practices" to reward, recognize, and share innovative process improvements throughout the company. The competition covers four categories: Customer Satisfaction, Employee Development, Operational Excellence, and Social and Environmental Responsibility.

Since 2010, all teams have followed DMAIC or the Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, Verify (DMADV) methodologies to execute and present their improvement projects — reinforcing a standard, scientific approach to continuous improvement at Jabil. In 2012, teams developed and launched a platform for managing, tracking, and sharing all Lean Six Sigma projects as well as for automating competition submissions and judging processes. This platform has been a huge success in fostering replication and collaborative innovation at Jabil.

Jabil strives to deliver the highest quality products, services, and supply chain management processes in the industry. 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 improvements in quality, delivery, and cost to maximize customer value.

Jabil’s Lean Six Sigma expertise is located throughout the world.