ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Online Edition - February 2002


Issue Highlight — Refusal as a Doorway to Commitment
Can saying no be the first step to yes? Refusal as a Doorway to Commitment is the provocative subject of Peter Block's One From Column B in this issue.

Thriving Through Teamwork

The teams competing for AQP’s National Team Excellence Award in Las Vegas from April 12-13 represent nearly all sectors important to a nation’s well being—from cutting waste, errors, and downtime in a wide range of significant commercial products and services to enhancing public service, improving health care, and
protecting the lives of our military in harm’s way of weapons of mass destruction on a future battlefield.

The brief profiles and project summaries we present can only give you a glimpse of how these teams contribute to the health of their companies and their nation. You need to be in Las Vegas to learn the full depth and breadth of their contributions and how serving on teams contributes to improving a team member’s work life. For those unable to attend, we will go behind the scenes and get a full story on the winners for a future issue.

Note: At press time, we were still trying to get full information on all the teams. As we receive full descriptions, we will update information on our Web site at

Baxter Bioscience
T.E.A.M. Raw Materials

Jennifer Hart
Raymond Alfelor
Parminder Bilg
Ingrid Fausset
Jay Jaworski
Elaine Le
Tony Tamacheepjaroen
Trung Tran

The chemical inventory control project was selected by T.E.A.M. Raw Materials to decrease cycle time for the release of raw materials due to its critical impact on the production of recombinant factor VIII. The system we developed benefited our internal and external stakeholders in cost savings, a reduction in cycle time, and waste minimization.

Baxter Healthcare
Kiefel 81, 84, 85, Process Management Team

Janet Clark
Pamela Canipe
Debbie Franklin
Lois Cauthen
Patty Franklin
Carlton Taylor

After asking for input from filling line 10, we decided to work on the spewing issue with the new LPF filler bag. We used storyboard methodology to evaluate the filling and Kiefel processes. We determined an optimal length for the port tube and other Kiefel process improvements would solve the issue and improve both productivity and quality. Implementation helped us meet productivity and quality goals and had an overall favorable impact of the North Cove T.E.A.M. goals.

Bayer Corporation
No Time to Kill

Steven Armell
Lisa Ballance
LaLisa Campbell
Daniel Clark
John Long
Kevin Stanfield
Cheryl Thomas
Karen Flowe

Downtime in the warping process of Bayer’s spandex fibers unit threatened our ability to meet customer production schedules. By challenging the way we do our jobs and applying the continuous improvement process, No Time to Kill increased output by 149,000 pounds. Our production rates continue to climb steadily.

Bayer Corporation
Spaghetti Crumb Development and Commercialization

Paul Biegelsen
Robert Brausch
Yin-Shen Chang
Carolyn Mendel
Renee Owens
Sean Riley
Tricia Rollman
Larry Royalty
Larry Schoffner
Bob Voges

Recovery of polymer from latex by mixing with coagulants is a critical step in the production of polymers made by emulsion polymerization. Eliminating a production bottleneck depended on the ability to reduce the fine particles (fines). We developed a new process using an In-House/On-Site-designed extruder to improve the recovery process efficiency by reducing fines.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Service Excellence Career Path Team

Tim Arnold
Dana Aucoin
Dean Bossier
Wilma Byrd
Jennifer Bullock
Tracye Brumfield
Vickie Bordelon
Thomas Clemons
Carrie Corona
Nicholas Daigle
Lori DeCristofaro
Toni Douglas
Nikki Hickman
Lottie Jacobs
Jane Johnston
Tammy Jones
Diane Koonce
Margarette Maxie
Dana Mistric
Lucie Reeves
Raymond O’Reilly
Susan Rexroat
Tawanda Stevens
Brent Warren
Jennifer Wilson

Maximizing the relationships with our customers focusing on:
• Access to services.
• Quality of services.

At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, we decided to deploy a quality improvement team, the Service Excellence Career Path Team, to focus on career development for customer service representatives and overall enhancement of quality and customer satisfaction.

DST Output
PART (Production Associate Retention Team).

This team was featured in last month’s issue of NFC.

Hermetic Perfectors

Archie Cox
Pat Dameron
George Duncan
Ted Harpole
James Walker
John Smith

The Hermetic Perfectors’ project to reduce or eliminate six hours of rework repairs (daily) needed to meet the customer demands for a superior product. This problem had existed for some time but with the efforts of the Hermetic Perfectors and conventional problem-solving tools, they eliminated the root causes for the six hours of daily rework completely. Savings in rework labor totaled more than $13,000.

Grundfos Pumps Manufacturing
Reduce the Juice

Craig Scheider
Teo Zamora
Andy Christensen
Mike Maxon
Aldo Nakagawa
Gerry Gaona
Jimmy Robles
Doug Chevalier

Reduce the Juice was formed as a voluntary process improvement team in mid-2000 in an effort to reduce energy consumption within Grundfos Pumps Manufacturing. It also was a way to help continuously improve the company’s effort toward the environment as stated in its ISO 14001 registration.

Honda of America Mfg., Inc.
The Team: A Step Ahead

Mike Penny
J. R. Bevins
Cheryl Kronk
Jamie Beal
Dan Lowe
Greg Backus

Downtime on our subassembly line was an ongoing concern. The A Step Ahead team determined the main cause for downtime was objects getting caught in the conveyor drive chain. The team’s countermeasures included design, fabrication, and testing of new support brackets for the conveyor. The resulting elimination of downtime and repair costs netted a savings of more than $55,000 per year.

Honda of America Mfg., Inc.
The Eliminators.

This team was featured in last month’s issue of NFC.

Merrill Lynch
The Team: Merrill Lynch Production Technologies Mail Efficiency Partnering Team

Tony DeMartino
Miguel Frias
Nancy Canales
Philip Less

Members from partnering companies:
Mark Frohlinger
Antonio Luna
Robert Dombroski
Robert Gebhard
Kevin Naughton
Clenard Melancon
Holly Hickey

Our partnering team was made up of Merrill Lynch employees and employees from our five major suppliers. The team was asked to work on improving equipment efficiencies. Our mission then became: increasing equipment processing throughput, reducing rework, and driving down cost. We exceeded all of our goals and Merrill Lynch achieved an annualized cost savings of $1,088,000 while simultaneously strengthening partnerships between the company and its suppliers.

Merrill Lynch
The Team: Merrill Lynch Statement Efficiency Team

James Friscia
Irene Bartholomew
Kevin Forest
Jennifer Guido
Debra Hackworth
Dave Phillips
Eric Ruoff
Chris Tiber

We were asked to analyze our monthly landscape statement, which is distributed to more than 3.7 million clients. Our charter was to improve client satisfaction, improve the efficiency, and reduce costs by looking at ways to shorten the length of the statement without impacting client data. Implementation of our improvements took place in two phases. We reduced expenses by over $2.4 million and improved client satisfaction.

Morton Plant Hospital
The Team: MSICU Interdisciplinary Team

MSICU nursing team:
Kelly McLeay
Matthew McDonnell
Laurie Mack
Janine Brown
Tom Doria
Jackie Munro
Ressa McDonald
Devendra Amin
Eli Freilich
Dilshad Merchant
Tat Chow
Jerry DuCharme
Yvonne Bachman
Amanda Burnett
Geri Matesich
Paul Coyner
Dottie Fritchman

Our challenge was to improve patient outcomes and reduce errors. The root causes identified for errors were lack of coordination and variation in practice. The MSICU Interdisciplinary Team then developed process improvements to reduce errors and improve patient outcomes. The improvement initiatives resulted in a $250,000 cost savings through a significant reduction in length-of-stay, avoidable days, and inappropriate admissions.

Nationwide Insurance

T.K. Christenson
Julia King
Ellen McMahon
Jennifer Mayberry
Walter Shui
Aleksey Ostatnigrosh
Angie Goff
Yana Kalyanova
David Wilkins
Jimmy Xu
Jessie Yu
Scarlett Li
John McIntyre
Judy Fahy
Amanda Adkins
Sloane Chaney
Bret Price
Joann Slezak

The team’s project: We are creating “MyNationwide,” a World Wide Web portal that enables policyholders to view their auto policy data and request changes to their policies. The MyNationwide portal enables policyholders to create an e-account to access their data. (MyNationwide authenticates the policyholder validating their access level.)


Monica Tellez
Melissa Alvarez
Sandra Luna
Javier Ramirez

The Treasure team’s project was to improve the pricing and promotions structure. The objective was to improve the efficiency of the pricing and promotions process. The company’s variety of products demands a very complex bracket structure. Hence, the project focused on simplifying the work process by eliminating unnecessary steps and providing necessary tools to reduce and prevent future errors.

Trident Workforce Investment Board: Charleston County
The Trident One-Stop Career Center Team

Evelyn DeLaine-Hart
Dr. Mary Thornley
David Floyd
Meleah Barnhill
Brian Kurtz
Van Madray
Brett Maddox
Jacinta DeJesus
Richardine Singleton-Brown
Jerry Waltham
Jim Haskell
Meg Howle
John Wilson
Bernard Chisolm
Shannon Prochazka
Paul L. Connerty

The Trident One-Stop Career Center System team project enabled Nucor Steel (the nation’s largest mini-mill), Trident Technical College, and the Trident One-Stop Career Center System to successfully collaborate and thereby meet the work force needs of Nucor Steel and job seekers.

U. S. Department of Defense–Air Force Reserve Command
C2S2 Improvement Team—Total Force Effort
Maj. Kim Thompson
Maj. Roxane Williams
Maj. David Fruck
Capt. Joseph Wible
SMSgt. Robert Homan
MSgt. Ted Hunter
TSgt. Vic Vaughan
TSgt. John Bryan
TSgt. Morris Findley
TSgt. Hector Andrade
TSgt. James Cross
TSgt. David Lumadue
TSgt. Richard Williams
SSgt. Jim Vause
A1C James Chevalier

The team’s project: The team worked on improving the contamination control support system (C2S2), which is constructed of lightweight polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This innovative system consists of six components that are collapsible, versatile, adaptable, user friendly, and cost effective. The C2S2 is, we find, an obvious choice to support operations that may take place in the shadow of nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons of mass destruction.

February 2002 News for a Change Homepage

In This Issue...
The World of Patch Adams and Gesundheit!
Behind Pike Place Fish: A Conversation With Jim Bergquist
How We Use “Fish!” the Video

Teamwork at the Ground Zero Cleanup
Thriving Through Teamwork

Peter Block Column

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