Killark Lean Six Sigma Green Belts Sustain A Culture of Continuous Improvement

By on March 21, 2013
Killark Lean Six Sigma Green Belts

With over 75 Kaizen improvement events under their belt in 2012, Killark steadfastly believes that improvement is a journey and not a destination. From initial design to final shipping, employees are trained to look for ways to make their jobs more efficient and safer and to produce superior products with less cost.

How does Killark do it? “Two ways” says Mike Collins, Killark’s Director of Operations. “First, we encourage employees to bring problems to their supervisors without fear of impunity. All manufacturing environments have improvement opportunities – we are no different. We work hard at creating an environment where all employees are empowered to bring up issues without fear of reprisal. They are usually the experts at the issue they are addressing and provide vital input as to getting to the root cause of the issue. They are part of the team to work on the improvement. Secondly, we train our employees to use a systematic way of approaching improvement opportunities. Some suggestions are pretty straightforward while other improvement opportunities require further study as to come up with the root cause of the problem and find a suitable fix.”

Often, employees are given wide latitude on how to approach and manage an improvement project. Rather than specifically defining an improvement opportunity with definite target goals, Killark management believes in mentoring their Lean Six Sigma students to come up with their own plan.

Killark Lean Six Sigma Green Belts

With partial funding provided by the Missouri Customized Training Program, and facilitated instruction provided by Ms. Pat Dalton of the St. Louis Community College’s Workforce Solutions Group, twenty Killark employees are currently engaged in a rigorous Lean Six Sigma blended-learning program. The blended learning approach involves intensive online instruction supplemented with classroom training, simulations, and customized Killark projects to drive Six Sigma cost savings within Killark’s lean working environment. Candidates passing the final examination and demonstrating application of skills via their projects will be awarded Lean Six Sigma Green Belts in a mid-year ceremony.

About Kathie Chambers

Kathie is a Workforce Solutions Group Senior Project Manager who works across industries with business leaders and training professionals to maximize training effectiveness. Her experience includes training and development in the corporate, manufacturing, public/non-profit sectors, and business management in privately held companies.

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