Quality Revolution Reduces Defects, Drives Sales Growth at 3M

Case Study

- November 2010

Abstract: For several years, problems with abrasives belts topped the list of industrial abrasives customer complaints at 3M. By combining Lean Six Sigma and a Top-200 customer focus, 3M improved its belt fabrication processes. The belt project led to improved quality as defects in parts per million were reduced by a factor of 28 times, and at the same time, sales grew by 54 percent. The improvement team entered this project in the ASQ International Team Excellence Award process and was named a finalist for 2009-10.

Keywords: Case study; Lean; Six Sigma; Business results; Customer focus; Customer satisfaction; Defect reduction; Root cause analysis; International Team Excellence Award (ITEA) process;

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