2021 A Year of Hope!

Lean Six Sigma – Strategic Thinking

Thanks to pharmaceutical companies and universities combining to provide Covid 19 vaccines, governments globally can signal the end to national lockdowns, by providing roadmaps for their citizens and industries to navigate their “New Normal”.We provide similar hope to companies, providing a roadmap to support their strategic direction by developing and implementing a Lean Six Sigma programme. Our customers are able to accelerate

 business performance by improving efficiencies across the whole             Value Stream . In this edition we are going to look at two companies in     different sectors, one  starting out on their Lean Six Sigma journey and       another at a very mature position of their journey but ever evolving to   meet the new challenges that Covid and their strategic direction. The first is Volvo  Construction equipment based in Motherwell Scotland, who are two years into their roll out. The second is Rosti Suzhou, a contract manufacturer based in Suzhou China. We have interviews with Mr Johncraig Savage Quality and HSE manger Volvo construction and Vicky Xu Systems and C.I. manager Rosti Suzhou.

Volvo Construction Equipment Scotland 


We were invited to work with Volvo (originally Terex) in 2018 by Johncraig Savage after delivering a presentation to Paul Hudson and the local management team. Volvo were similar to many businesses who have engaged with Lean principles but had not been able to get any traction and no bottom-line benefits. LBS carried out an initial audit of the business both culturally and physically reviewing the level of traction across the business. Some cells had maintained a level of lean progress but in the majority of the business it had fallen by the wayside. Colin Parry of LBS developed a road map to implement a successful Lean Six Sigma rollout which started with the management team.

Johncraig Savage Quality and H.S.E. Manager Volvo Construction

Q. What benefit has Volvo seen from working with the LBS Lean Sigma programme?

At Volvo Motherwell we started our Lean Journey with LBS in 2018. The Lean Journey provides a structured format to help us enhance our culture, in the first year we started with  PracticalProblem Solving workshops with shop floor Team Members (TMs), supervisors and engineers working together on live problems under the guidance of LBS. In 2019 we progressed to training Team Members from all over the business to White, Yellow and Green Belt levels. We gave team members a platform to highlight issues and opportunities, and the tools and techniques to identify areas for improvement in the workplace, increasing engagement on the way. Our Team Members have fully embraced the teaching methods used by LBS.

Key highlights of the program to date:

–   40 X TMs trained on Practical problem solving – now able to call on them to support improvement initiatives and problem investigations, knowing that they will be able to understand and engage in the process

–   60 x TMs completed White Belt training, developing their lean knowledge and understanding

–   28 x TMs completed Yellow Belt and either completed their own mini project or supported a Green Belt on their project

–   6 x TMs Green Belt certified, each completing an improvement project with a minimum £30k saving to the business (they are now busy working on second projects in 2021)

–    6 x Kaizen leaders trained, and two Kaizen events hosted on business critical projects, lead by the Kaizen leaders

Q. How does the process link to your company strategy and CI plan?

At Volvo Motherwell we work to the Volvo Production System (VPS), which aligns perfectly to the Lean Six Sigma journey we are on with LBS. We were able to utilise the VPS documents and techniques like the Simple Problem Solving Method and the Quick Response Problem Solving process and incorporate them into the Lean Journey, so we are working in the same manner as the other Volvo sites, but with the added benefit of LBS support and guidance.

Q. How easy is it to work with LBS?

The training approach from LBS made team members at every level feel comfortable and encouraged interaction. Positive feedback from the first few sessions increased participation on the subsequent training courses, helping us gain real traction. The activities on the courses – like the waste walks on the shop floor, really opened team members eyes to the opportunities around them. LBS have been an asset to Volvo Motherwell during this journey, they have experienced the process before and are able to offer help and support along the way – this has proven to be invaluable.


Rosti Suzhou Contract Manufacturer Asia 

“We have been on our Lean sigma Journey for in excess of 14 years with Lean Business              Solutions Limited and during this time the importance of developing the right culture has         always been their and our main passion to underpin success.”                                                      Pat Williams COO Rosti Asia                 

Rosti Suzhou are a contract manufacturer based in Suzhou China. LBS have worked with Rosti group for 16 years and Rosti Suzhou are the most mature in the use of Lean Six Sigma thinking, with it embedded fully into the organisation’s strategic plans and improvement initiatives. The programme was developed to allow the organisation to grow and embed the Lean Six Sigma fully into its culture, with other improvement programmes dovetailing in to support the strategic direction. Firstly, LBS facilitated the customer care programme, which put the customer at the centre of everything each department did. Then coordinating the evolution of the new product introduction process, which now delivers customers concept to actual reality in 72 hours.

In Rosti Suzhou, we started the journey with kaizen blitz activities across the organisation, to show how improvements could be made relatively quickly and easily. A major success was attained with a customer supplying note detection machines, which were manufactured, assembled and distributed globally from the Suzhou site. The customer achieved a £1.5 million saving in W.I.P. across the globe and a potential increase in sales of £3million. Once the culture of improvement was adopted, we needed to provide a platform for it to become sustainable and grow.

We embarked on training Black belts and Green belts initially providing consultancy, coaching and mentoring as the belts carried out their projects. All the projects were aligned to the company strategy, so they had a visual as well as a monetary benefit in the organisation. To achieve their certification, each belt had to deliver a minimum of £30k saving for green belt and £120k for black. As the programme progressed it became the core of the C.I. programme and touched every department in the business as the cross functional teams worked on the projects led by the green and black belts. Initially, LBS trained the yellow belts and they implemented their own projects to achieve certification. Now, they are embedded in the project teams with departmental members. The goal was to have the internal belts deliver their own training programme, quality controlled and certified by LBS. A selection of belts were selected to be trained to deliver the internal programme and they received “train the trainer” training and coaching to deliver the first programme.   This was repeated across the Rosto Asia sites and the same programme is implemented in Rosti Malaysia, a second contract manufacturer in Asia. This was achieved in 2019 and now Rosti Suzhou train their own belts up to green. Each training project and exam is quality controlled and certified by LBS. Watch the interview with Vick Xu on the link to find out more about the process.

Vicky Xu Systems and CI Manager

“Kerry acts as a Coach rather than external consultant, he has accompanied the growth of the business. You don’t speak Chinese, but sometimes you know more about ourselves than we do, as we are in the process. An example is resistance of change, when the organization decide to make a change. You help us to point out the direction when we get stuck. We are glad to work with you, and confident we could be better together, even facing so many challenges”. Click here to see the full interview ttps:


LBS Lean Sigma Qualifications  

    Lean Business Solutions Ltd are pleased to announce their partnership with         ETA International Accreditation and certification Provider. LBS are the first training company in the U.K. to have their Lean Sigma courses accredited by ETA. These courses can be delivered globally with the confidence of an internationally recognised lean sigma qualification. Look out for updates soon!  

Training Courses in 2021 

  Black belt 10 days  Week 1 (24th – 28th May);    Week 2 (19th – 23rd July)

  Green belt: 10 days  Week 1 (7th – 11th June);        Week 2 (12st – 16th July)

   Yellow belt: 3 days  Course 1 (1st – 3rd June);        Course 2 (6th – 8th July)  

Why not visit our website www.lbs-ltd.com to read case studies on how we have helped organisations in various sectors to improve their businesses.

If you would like to discuss how we can help or join one of our Lean Six Sigma courses contact:

Kerry Cochran                                                                                          Colin Parry

Tel: +447985 582753                                                                              Tel: +447967324146

Mail: kerry@lbs-ltd.com                                                                       Mail: colin@lbs-ltd.com