HomeCase StudiesTraining SolutionsResourcesPPI PIPsAbout Us

Multiple Facility Process Improvement Initiative:

Process Challenge:

  • A daily nationwide publication underwent a major product change and significant market expansion in a narrow timeframe
  • One significant constraint was to use existing contracted manufacturing equipment which ranged in age from two to thirty years old at eight locations across the nation
  • The rollout of the change had a very compressed timeframe due to market demands for rapid rollout of the new product format

Summary of Improvement:

  • Project Goal: To expand readership to a number of key cities and surrounding regions of the nation on a short timeline and continue to maintain operational effectiveness at existing facilities
  • Critical to Quality (CTQ): To produce the product at a quality level acceptable to critical national advertisers and maintain delivery commitments to readers
  • Selected Solution: An intensive, site specific quality improvement program with targeted process changes, standardized procedures, and product monitoring activities

Results:

  • Quality improvements drove incremental advertising color premium revenue over $5,000,000, annually
  • During a two-and-a-half-year period, only one four-color credit was issued to an advertiser while producing approximately 650,000,000 copies. That is a process sigma level of 7.43, significantly better than the 6-sigma target of 3.4 per million copies

Product Quality Evaluation:

Process Challenge:

  • Existing multi-location quality evaluations were very subjective with little or no objective measurement criteria
  • The evaluations did not provide categorical analysis capability to provide recommendations for process improvement

Summary of Improvement:

  • Project Goal: To objectively measure quality of products produced at multiple manufacturing facilities across the nation
  • Critical to Quality (CTQ): Improve overall product quality and decrease variability both day-to-day and across multiple manufacturing locations
  • Selected Solution: A program assigning objective measures for key quality criteria performed by an independent organization not part of the existing company

Results:

  • Quality monitoring overall metric score improved 15.9 percent
  • Quality monitoring overall metric score variability decreased 43.4 percent

Multi-Location Quality and Productivity Audit:

Process Challenge:

  • Existing quality audit policies and procedures were insufficient to meet the demands of a daily nationwide publication which was to undergo a major product change
  • Due to previous adversarial practices, audit recommendations were implemented with increases in short-term performance, but the gains were frequently lost over the medium to long-term

Summary of Improvement:

  • Project Goal: To objectively measure a contract manufacturing operation for conformance to requirements for quality and productivity, using a collaborative approach
  • Critical to Quality (CTQ): Conform to specified quality and productivity requirements measured on a long-term basis
  • Selected Solution: A collaborative approach to review findings and recommendations to ensure the improvements were maintained over the long-term

Results:

  • Audited facilities achieved and frequently exceeded target values. The operations incrementally improved quality metrics thereafter
  • Productivity improved to an acceptable level. Additional product criteria necessitated additional manufacturing capacity so incremental improvement improved over a longer time frame

Excessive Expedited Change Requests:

Process Challenge:

  • At an IT infrastructure outsource service provider, during the previous twelve-month period, expedited change requests increased significantly
  • This resulted in higher labor costs and excessive risk to the infrastructure

Summary of Improvement:

  • Project Goal: To not have greater than 15% expedites based on the total number of changes during the period measured
  • Critical to Quality (CTQ): Timely change requests, system availability, and targeted lead times
  • Selected Solution: Establish a joint client/company expedite review board to ensure compliance to recommended changes on an ongoing basis

Results:

  • During the twelve months following project completion, company expedites decreased to less than five per month.
  • During the second year, company expedites have been zero for three months.
  • Client results were not as significant but were reduced overall

Excessive Service Desk Tickets Escalated to Highest Resolver Level

Process Challenge:

  • An IT infrastructure account experienced an excessively high volume of end user services tickets escalated to the highest (and most costly) resolver level
  • This caused client user dissatisfaction, potential service level agreement (SLA) risks, end user technician productivity issues, and excessive costs for the service provider

Summary of Improvement:

  • Project Goal: The goal was to reduce the number of tickets escalated to the highest resolver level by 3%
  • Critical to Quality (CTQ): Resolve tickets before they get escalated to the highest resolver level which will address both client dissatisfaction and excessive costs/risks to the service provider
  • Selected Solution: Provide additional feedback to lower level technicians through use of a standardized format for filling out initial and resolution comments sections, along with monitoring ticket resolutions on a real-time basis

Results:

  • During and immediately after the project, the client increased the number of users and additional areas covered by the ticketing process. Using comparable metrics, the reduction was over of 5%

Infrastructure Risks Due to Ineffective Workstation Patching:

Process Challenge:

  • At an IT outsource service provider, client workstations were at risk due to not being patched in a timely manner
  • This created a potential unstable environment for the client in its ability to conduct day to day business with potential external client risks and service provider service level agreements (SLA) risks

Summary of Improvement:

  • Project Goal: Bring the workstation environment within acceptable levels defined as all workstations patched with any vulnerabilities that are six months or older
  • Critical to Quality (CTQ): Timely patching
  • Selected Solution: Open up access to an internal client LAN which unknowingly was not accessible to the patching tool. Additional changes to client policies regarding training room, laboratory, temporary, loaner PCs to ensure these machines are patched on a regular basis

Results:

  • Six-month patching percentage increased to over 98%.
  • Changes to client policies are not all implemented which prevents achievement of project goal

Excessive Increase in the Number of Service Desk Calls:

Process Challenge

  • For an IT infrastructure outsource provider, service desk call volume increased over 23% year over year
  • This caused client dissatisfaction from excessive wait times and potential service level agreement (SLA) risks to the service desk

Summary of Improvement

  • Project Goal: Reduce overall call volume back to previous year's volume and further decrease by an additional 5%
  • Critical to Quality (CTQ): Better overall communication of changes in the environment to yield greater end user productivity and satisfaction
  • Selected Solution: Technological solutions to clients to include communication about average response time for Incidents

Results:

  • During and immediately after the project, the client increased the number of users and additional areas which would contact the service desk.
  • Using comparable metrics, call volume was reduced back to the previous year's level and exceeded the additional target of 5%

Increase in P1 (Priority 1) Incidents:

Process Challenge

  • In the six-month period prior to start of the project, the number of P1 incidents had climbed significantly to over 400.
  • A P1 incident requires a significant amount of staff resources to restore service. Additionally, from some incidents, a business can be severely impacted by the service outage.

Summary of Improvement

  • Project Goal: Reduce total P1 incidents by 25%.
  • Critical to Quality (CTQ): Reduce client (and client's clients) impact of P1 incidents with associated costs.
  • Selected Solution: Technical solutions implemented for application restarts, proper automatic alert routing and threshold settings, along with a program to reduce end of life hardware.

Results:

  • In the same six-month period at the end of the project, total P1s decreased from to just over 200, a 44% reduction.
  • Cost reductions were over $325K.

Improve Hardware Asset Management:

Process Challenge

  • For an IT infrastructure outsource provider, tracking accuracy of PC desktop and laptop assets had deteriorated. The client and clients' external auditor expressed concerns with data integrity.
  • In the year prior to start of the project, asset management SLA reporting accuracy was 97.0% and lower which is below the agreed service level agreement (SLA) target.

Summary of Improvement

  • Project Goal: Increase SLA to a minimum of 98.0% in client mandated data fields.
  • Critical to Quality (CTQ): Accurate tracking of PC desktop and laptop assets is critical. Client's external auditor cited this as a concern in an audit during the project.
  • Selected Solution: Multiple solutions implemented including ensuring critical data fields are checked/updated each time a technician contacts the client and mandated timely return of spare equipment to storage depot.

Results:

  • At the end of the project, SLA reporting accuracy for the prior three months was 98.65%, exceeding target.
  • A significant amount of both client and outsource provider's time was saved but was not determined.
  • Additionally, client's external auditor concerns were addressed. Systems were put in place to ensure the concern would not come up in future audits.