Final Thoughts: DuPont - ASQ

Final Thoughts: DuPont


Editor’s note: This department features Six Sigma related content excerpted from the annual reports and other communications produced by a variety of the world’s most successful companies.

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From the annual report: Six Sigma continues to be the “way we work.” Our 1,200 Black Belts and 250 Master Black Belts remain the foundation of our effort, but the use of Six Sigma tools, methodologies and thinking is now widespread. Over 10,000 DuPont people have been through Green Belt training, including our corporate officers. Over 11,000 projects are now in our database.

Our newest trend in Six Sigma is the increasing number of revenue growth projects. Over 1,200 such projects are under way, and in 2003, we will more than double that number. One project is expected to add more than half a million dollars of fire extinguishant sales in our Asia Pacific region.

Also, a DuPont sales rep gained as much as $6.5 million in new business through a project that saved an Elvanol resin customer more than $1 million a year. Another project resulted in nearly $1 million in pretax operating income by increasing waterborne paint production capacity at our Mt. Clemens, MI, plant.

From Producti-vity and quality improvements are fundamental to achieving sustainable growth.... Many of the 4,000 completed or current Six Sigma projects have resulted in reduced environmental impact or increased safety. For example, at a U.S. plant, a Six Sigma project saved 50 billion BTUs [British thermal units] by reducing the amount of purchased steam unnecessarily condensed and lost to drainage. At a site in the People’s Republic of China, a project helped reduce electricity consumption and therefore carbon dioxide emissions. Another major project focused on ways to reduce soft tissue injuries and illnesses companywide.

From and the American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC): Don R. Linsenmann, vice president and corporate champion of DuPont Six Sigma, recently spoke with APQC.
Linsenmann said design for Six Sigma (DFSS) brought a new focus on the voice of the customer. Customer input is valuable in driving research development, product development and applications.

The integration of DFSS, voice of the customer research and marketing and sales staff all contribute to emphasis on growth through Du-Pont Six Sigma. Linsenmann said, “DuPont Six Sigma has morphed. And we still have half of our projects focused on cost reduction; we have another quarter focused on various transactions; and the final quarter focused on revenue, half of that last subset focused on top-line growth, where we are with our customers using Six Sigma. But we’ve learned that all of these projects are enabling us to grow.”

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