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Team Excellence

International Team Excellence Award: Recent Award Recipients

Thousands of teams from the world’s most successful companies have participated in ASQ’s Team Excellence Award (ITEA) Process. A global audience saw how quality concepts were being used by teams within organizations all over the world to make valuable improvements in areas such as customer satisfaction, waste reduction, and employee morale—all leading to improved profitability.

Review presentations from Team Excellence recipients from the past eight years. For more winning presentations, browse the Past Presentations page.

Gold Level Recipients

Sancor Salud (2019)
Sancor Salud
Activated - ABACOM

The main challenge we faced was implementing a completely redesigned customer enrollment process and training more than 500 sellers in 86 service centers all over Argentina. Given a context of exponential customer growth for SanCor Salud, we initially had an obsolete enrollment process, which was slow compared customer’s expectations, and non digital capabilities that resulted in high delivery costs. All of these ended in low customer satisfaction and more than 6% customer claims rate.

Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research & Design Institute Co., Ltd. (2019)
Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research & Design Institute Co., Ltd.
Sunflower, Better NPP, Better Life

This session presents a vivid case wherein nuclear energy is provided in a better manner through the modification of current plant to bring light, warmth, and green to the public in China. Human Factors Engineering is involved into the plant modification in the area of main control room, eliminating potential human factors errors by plant operators. Quality methods and innovative tools such as rapid prototype iteration, task cognitive walkthrough and simulator-based activities achieve continuous improvements in design optimization and project management, making the plant modification an industrial benchmark. Other goals include project implementation with high quality, and safe operation for next several decades. The presentation also concentrates on the application of quality management in projects, the strengths of teams, and the importance of organizational support.

Max Life Insurance Co. Ltd. (2018)
Max Life Insurance Company Limited
Reduction in New Business Discrepancy
Haryana, India

This team found a gap in defective proposal forms logged at branches and sent to the head office, thereby increasing policy issuance TAT, leading to rework. Agents approached the customer multiple times to get discrepancies resolved, leading to customer and distributor dissatisfaction. It was vital to identify these discrepancies before issuance so that a policy contract was issued without any errors. The team followed the structured DMAIC methodology by analyzing people, process, and technology levers across the organization to achieve an annual cost savings of $1.29 million. The project helped in reducing the discrepancy from 28 to 13 percent by the end of the year, thereby reducing business cancellations due to discrepancy from $2.32 million to $1.16 million. This reduced policy contract grievances by 53 percent. From a paper-based login process, we shifted to a tablet-based login process. This improved customer satisfaction scores and created efficiency to establish controls and sustain performance, improving customer loyalty scores from 69 to 78 percent. For solution identification, the team utilized tools like control charts, fishbone, FMEA, gage R&R, qualitative analysis, chi square, 2P tests, and ANOVA. For process improvements, the team utilized vendor penalties and tablet-based modules, etc. The team successfully managed to reduce discrepancies and implemented a new system testing design, further presenting replication opportunities for other channels.

Sullair Argentina (2017)
Sullair Argentina
Availability, Discipline, Statistics

This project originated when the company's management promoted the implementation of Lean Six Sigma improvement methodology at the corporate level. The objectives defined were to improve the productivity and efficiency of the technical service process of machines of our rental fleet. This mission is visualized with the improvement of a management key performance indicator called “non-available fleet.”

Movistar - Telefónica de Argentina (2015)
Movistar - Telefónica de Argentina
Weaving a Quality Network

This project addressed the construction of sites to provide cell phone coverage in Argentina. The team was able to increase the rate of quality of works from 0% to 99%, to reduce the ratio of defects from 900 defects/100 works to 5 defects/100 works and to reduce effective work time to 54% through the application of Lean Six Sigma DMAIC methodology, accelerating revenue streams by more than $2.7 million (USD) per year. The team had its own interdisciplinary members and participants of our external suppliers.

Movistar Weaving a Quality Network Team
Dubai Aluminium (2014)
Dubai Aluminium
DUBAL Stub Repair Reduction Team
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

DUBAL Rodding incurred a high cost of $2.6 million for stub repairs in 2009. A project was initiated to reduce repair costs by reducing the stub damage rate from 6 percent to 4 percent. The Lean Six Sigma approach and DMAIC methodology were adopted, including prioritization matrix, gage R&R, Pareto, fishbone diagram, hypothesis testing, regression, and control charts. The damage rate was reduced by 3 percent, leading to annual savings of $1.3 million. The success of this project inspired many similar projects.

DUBAL Stub Repair Reduction Team
tgestiona (2014)
Matter of Time
Buenos Aires, Argentina

This project addressed the process for handling the addition, deletion, or modification of customer access to the company’s systems. It affects more than 20,000 users of 256 systems and handles more than 500 requests per week. With Six Sigma methodology, the team increased punctuality from 36 percent to 95.2 percent, reduced error rate from 10 percent to 0.05 percent and reduced processing time from 26 to less than three days while achieving an annual economic benefit of US$346,500.

tgestiona Team
Tgestiona (2012)
Delivering Quality
Type of Team: Six Sigma
Capital Federal, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Highly applicable to different service industries, this project encircled more than 1,000 delivery points in Argentine territory to solve logistical problems. Goals were achieved using Six Sigma methodology and DMAIC. The project team achieved savings of $630,000 USD per year by reducing unusual deliveries from 53 to one, and satisfying all the service level agreement indicators at about 95 percent, helping to improve the image of the company and the service provided to its customers.

tgestiona Team

Silver Level Recipients

Max Life Insurance Co. Ltd. (2019)
Max Life Insurance Co. Ltd., India
Sell Right for Customer Delight at Axis Bank

We will present our team’s project focused on how we went about reducing grievance for one of our partner bank’s distribution channel customers who purchase life insurance policies from us, as well as how it impacted customer satisfaction and other key organizational metrics by using a structured DMAIC approach under Six Sigma methodology. High rates of dissatisfaction in this channel was a problem area which was solved by this team.
Our team project is focused on reducing the customer grievance and is directly linked with our company vision and strategic priorities of service excellence and a strong distribution network. It was rated high on complexity and change management due to increased focus on customer protection by insurance regulators and banking regulator, which made it crucial for our company and partner bank to proactively address and reduce customer grievances. Moreover, this project was cutting across all our key stakeholders: customers, insurance regulators, banking regulators, 233 partner bank branches with 1558 Bank sellers, and 163 of our employees.

Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (2018)
Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center
Virtual Rubik's Cube Team
Shanghai, China

The team successfully carried out a vehicle development capability improvement project, which helped their company satisfy customers and continue taking the lead in global emerging market. This project's objective was to improve vehicle body safety system development capability in three aspects: accurate—accuracy of CAE analysis; fast—developing time; efficient—vehicle efficiency among benchmarks. The project was carried out according to a global vehicle development process that contained different milestones and different deliverables to help achieve final success. The team followed a Design for Six Sigma approach to achieve an annual cost savings of $3.8 million and utilized tools such as SIPOC, turtle diagram, brainstorming, affinity diagram, effect and difficulty matrix, cause and effect matrix, ANOVA, and Monte Carlo analysis for improvement opportunities identification. In the improvement development phase, benchmarking, topology, DoE, decision matrix, Pugh matrix, four-box model, and others were utilized to get seven final improvement recommendations. These improvements were supported by all stakeholders in the implementation phase and resulted in a CAE accuracy increase of 61 percent, a structure efficiency increase of 14 percent, and a developing time decrease of 37.5 percent. This project impacted the organization's goals for increasing development capability and taking the lead in technical strategy in automotive industry.

Sime Darby Plantation (2017)
Sime Darby Plantation 
Sime Darby Plantation Sdn. Bhd.
Blue Ocean

The team successfully completed a Lean Six Sigma project that reduced waste water treatment plant chemical costs by 31 percent. A structured DMAIC methodology was used throughout the project course including statistical process control tools (hypothesis testing, design of experiment, comparative method, etc.). Numerous benefits were realized, with total potential exceeding US$300,000 per year. A new alternative processing technology using 100 percent organic chemicals was revolutionized. This led to creation of environmental friendly nonscheduled waste sludge, thus avoiding the costly while nonsustainable sludge disposal and landfill. The project achievement has also sparked potential replication across company-owned refineries’ and mills’ water treatment facilities.

Sime Darby Plantation Team Photo 
Jabil (2016)
Jabil Singapore

This team found a major opportunity to decrease material handling costs in a warehouse’s material handling process cycle time. They used the DMAIC method to optimize the process cycle time by 50 percent. Various lean and Six Sigma tools used included value stream map, measuring process capability, brainstorming potential root causes, validating causes, and ranking and prioritizing solutions. As a result of the transformation, the warehouse process cycle time decreased by 61 percent, transaction efficiency per person improved by 118 percent, operating cost reduced by 22 percent, and warehouse space was optimized by 92 percent.

Jabil (2016)
Nypro Shanghai

This project team aimed to shorten the order response time with a customized e-pull system for higher customer satisfaction as part of a quick response manufacturing. Through Six Sigma tools such as DMAIC methodology, value stream mapping, design of experiments, quality function deployment, and statistical test, the team was able to lower the work in process by 43 percent, decrease the attrition rate by 33 percent, and lower the order response time by 50 percent. All of these improved actions consequently provided a significant annual cost saving for the site. The organization has steered away from the traditional push system to e-pull, and the results clearly showed the overwhelmingly accelerated responsiveness and flexibility that come with this new system.

Jabil Shanghai Team
Khazanah Nasional Berhad (2014)
Khazanah Nasional
Khazanah Nasional Berhad
Team Blitz
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia

This project focused on improving the payment processing cycle at a branch office. Using PDCA methodology and various tools such as cause and effect diagram, 5 Whys, and multivoting, the team managed to reduce the payment cycle time by more than 50 percent. The results included improved employee morale and increased personnel marketability from experiences gained throughout the project duration.

Team Blitz
Pruksa Real Estate Public Company Limited (2013)
Pruksa Real Estate
Pruksa Real Estate Public Company Limited
QCI Team
Bangkok, Thailand

This project focused on reducing the construction quality problem in residential projects. Team use Lean-Six Sigma technique to find out the root causes and apply manufacturing control technique as final improvement to solve the problem in construction process. As result of the improvement, the construction quality problem was decreased by 80%, providing potential saving $4.6 million by reducing of rework.

QCI Team
Telefonica de Argentina (2013)
Telefonica de Argentina
Connected on Time
Buenos Aires, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina

This project focused on improving installation and connection time using microwave radio links. Goals were achieved using Lean Six Sigma DMAIC methodology. The project team achieved savings of $425,000 USD per year by reducing installation times from 78 days to 44, and satisfying all the service level agreement indicators at about 95 percent, helping to improve the image of the company and the service provided to its customers.

telefonica Team

Bronze Level Recipients

Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center/Yanfeng Automotive Interiors (2019)
Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center/Yanfeng Automotive Interiors
Green Interior Team

This new technology design project aimed to demonstrate our experience and learning regarding door trim design using chemical foaming injection technology. By proceeding with our organization’s structured DMADV methodology, we have so far successfully achieved 22% mass reduction as well as high finish at an approximately equal cost compared to traditional injection molding technology. These accomplishments have been made in compliance with 3 of PATAC’s 6 technology domains, and 2 of YFAI’s 4 technology directions. The methodology has also been applied to instrument panel/console sub-systems and other three Tier 1 suppliers, marking our company’s systematic success in the mass production of six vehicles.

Max Healthcare Institute Ltd. (2018)
Max Healthcare Institute Limited
Team Life Savers
Haryana, India

Over 200 lives are lost annually in the Indian National Capital Region (Delhi, New Delhi, and adjoining urban areas) linked to delayed arrivals of ambulances. In comparison, fewer than 10 lives are lost annually in developed economies like the United Kingdom for similar reasons (U.K. NHS estimates). While there are structural ways to expedite emergency response services, the core idea is to reduce the reach time of qualified medical care to patients during emergencies. The project team conducted a detailed study involving all relevant stakeholders to help understand the linked gaps in reach time delay. Adopting internal quality systems combined with a Six Sigma approach, the project team arrived at final root cause(s) and a structured action plan from design to implementation. Resulting from the project, the team was able to reduce reach time from 34 minutes (pre-project) to under 13 minutes (post-project; global benchmark being 15 minutes). In addition, the project led to a documented 58 lives saved in nine months, with a 94 percent customer satisfaction score. The initiative has garnered various internal and external awards and promising feedback from the community at large. Given the success, the team now plans to rapidly scale up this trademark service in the region with committed investments from the organization.

Genpact (2014)
Transforming Order to Cash Process
Johannesburg, South Africa

The team successfully carried out an order-to-cash process transformation project for a multinational beverage company by analyzing people, process, and technology levers across the organizational cross-functions using Lean Six Sigma methodology, a robust change management framework, and strong project management methods. The project improved weighted-days-to-collect from 59.9 days to 49.4 days, positively impacting cash flow by $19.6 million and recovering potential bad debt of $6.4 million. It also helped create efficiency and effectiveness as well as establish controls to sustain performance.

Max Life Insurance Co. Ltd. (2014)
Max Life
Max Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
Proactive Retention Team
Gurgaon, Haryana, India

This project addresses the progression of company-customer relationships and demystifies why customers let go of their precious investments and simply walk away. The project impacted each and every stakeholder of Maxlife. Generating revenue of more than US$77 million and additional renewal premium income of US$100 million, this is a fascinating story of combining the systematic data-based understanding of the customer’s world and translating that into business benefits.

Max Life Team
Shanghai Johnson Controls Yanfeng Seating Mechanisms Co., Ltd. (2014)
Shanghai Johnson Controls Yanfeng Seating Mechanisms Co., Ltd.
JCYM Continuous Improvement Team
Shanghai, China

This project focused on improving a flatness-testing system. Utilizing the DMAIC, Kepner Tregoe, and TRIZ methodologies, the team employed affinity diagram, Ishikawa diagram, I&D matrix, hypothesis test, DoE, and a number of other valuable tools for root cause identification and final improvement recommendations. The improvement provided the potential for a US$2.5 million cost reduction by optimizing the flatness-testing process and adjusting the fixture that guarantees accuracy of result.

JCYM Continuous Improvement Team
Volkswagen Argentina – Córdoba Plant (2014)
Volkswagen Argentina – Córdoba Plant
Contact Zone
Córdoba, Argentina

This problem-solving project dealt with a transmission failure detected during road tests before the launch of a new VW light commercial vehicle (Saveiro). This team applied the 8D methodology, using DoE, Ishikawa diagram, priority matrix, finite elements analysis, simulations, and FMEA among other tools. As a result, the failure was solved and the launch date was met, avoiding 100 million euros in potential corporate losses, 7 million euros in potential warranty claims, and 3 million euros in machinery investment.

Volkswagen Team
Continental Guadalajara (2013)
Continental Automotive
Continental Guadalajara
Commercial Vehicles Continuous Improvement Team
Tlajomulco de Zuñiga, Jalisco, Mexico

Through the use of Six Sigma tools and the TRIZ methodology, the team was able to solve a commercial vehicle gauge issue. The team”s work has resulted in an annual savings of $406,267 and increased inventory output. Following the success of the commercial vehicle gauge product, the team received a quality customer award and continues to work on organization-wide projects.

Continental Team
Oshkosh Defense (2013)
Oshkosh Defense
Oshkosh Defense
LVSR Leak Reduction Team
Oshkosh, WI, USA

This problem solving project is about reducing leaks on the Logistics Vehicle System Replacement or (LVSR). When Oshkosh Defense's customer told them there were oil leaks on their vehicles, the team was formed to fix the problem. The team used Oshkosh”s standard problem solving process to address multiple root causes and developed a system to quickly identify the tightening standards all hoses and fittings.

Oshkosh Team
Pruksa Real Estate Public Company Limited (2013)
Pruksa Real Estate
Pruksa Real Estate Public Company Limited
Valuable Engineer Team
Bangkok, Thailand

Product Design is the important step for new product launching process. For this project, the design team applied Lean-Six Sigma Tools to diagnose the root causes and improve the Delay launching of Residential projects. As result of the improvement, the House Delivery Time was reduced from 329 to 148 Days, this provided Potential US$994,070 Cost saving per Annum by reduction of rework, and also reduced a huge number of customer complaint.

Valuable Engineering Team
Alcoa, Inc. (2012)
Alcoa, Inc.
Transformation to the Core
Type of Team: Lean
Morristown, TN, USA

The Ceramic Core Excellence Team drove significant culture change. Using A3 thinking to define its target, the team used process management, workflow designs, and DMAIC to achieve target conditions. The project team improved delivery time by 63 percent, reduced the OSHA recordable rate by 23 percent, and reduced cost by 26 percent annually. In addition, the PPM defect rate went down 52 percent, and employee absenteeism was reduced by 30 percent.

Alcoa Team
Anheuser-Busch InBev (2012)
Anheuser-Busch InBev
Liner Continuous Improvement Team
Type of Team: Improvement
Oklahoma City, OK, USA

The Liner Continuous Improvement Team was formed to optimize placement of the liner compound used to create an airtight seal on cans. Following a standardized improvement team process, several designed experiments determined how to successfully optimize the compound placement. These innovations reduced the possibility of potential quality issues and reduced cost while maintaining efficiency.

Anheuser-Busch Team
CSX Transportation/General Electric (2012)
CSX Transportation/General Electric
CSX - GE Fuel Conservation Team
Type of Team: Six Sigma
Jacksonville, FL, USA

CSX Transportation and General Electric partnered in a fuel and emissions conservation project that documented an astounding 6.9 percent fuel savings for their pilot trains and a potential 390,000-ton reduction in greenhouse gases annually. Using the DMADV project discipline, the team executed multiple pilots to validate the results. This project improves the air we breathe and reduces our dependency on an increasingly scarce natural resource.

CSX Team
National Reconnaissance Office (2012)
National Reconnaissance Office
Media Services Center
Type of Team: Six Sigma DMAIC
Chantilly, VA, USA

Using Six Sigma DMAIC methodology, this project was implemented to facilitate critical communications, reduce production defects, and implement sustainable improvements to the process of gathering, creating, and managing customer requirements. Accuracy rose from a baseline sigma of 1.5 to 3.3, which is a 96.96 percent improvement score. Project creation average cycle-time decreased by seven minutes, generating significant cost savings, and customer satisfaction scores rose from 97.8 percent to 98.7 percent.

NRO Team
Reliance Industries Ltd. Hazira (2012)
Reliance Industries Ltd. Hazira
Mission Excellence
Type of Team: Six Sigma
Surat, Gujarat, India

Reliance is the largest polyester POY producer in the world. The challenge was to increase POY production without incurring any capital expenditure, and to earn higher revenue by utilizing available polymer capacity. Different tools such as mind mapping, cause-and-effect matrix, theory of constraints, simulation model, FMEA, SCRAMPER, and DOE were used. The team achieved annual savings of $3.1 million and increased productivity. This modification was also incorporated in other sites of reliance and future projects.

RIL-Hazira Team
The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans (2012)
The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans
Housekeeping Defect Reduction Project
Type of Team: 6 Step Defect Reduction - Room Supply Missing
Coconut Grove, FL, USA

The project team used The Ritz-Carlton’s six-step problem-solving process over five weeks to diagnose the cause of defects in the housekeeping department, specifically missing room supplies. By applying the principles of 5S and improving training and inspections processes, the team reduced defects by 50 percent in the first year and additional reductions in the second year. The project also reduced the cost of guest supplies by 25 percent through better inventory controls and management. The approach and results for this project have been shared throughout Ritz-Carlton.

Ritz-Carlton Team