Below are Lean Six Sigma success stories in the Food industry organized alphabetically. For success stories in other industries, please visit our Lean Six Sigma Success Stories page.
Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank Donations
Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank donations used to sit for 92 days before being provided to those in need. With Lean Six Sigma, Akron-Canton now gets donations into the hands of those who need it within 39 days. While the Operations Manager believes more time can be cut, this is a huge improvement over the past 12 months! The process includes sorting, inspecting, packing and delivering the food.
Brasil Canasul, a Brazilian sugar-cane supplier, was tasked to introduce a third shift in order to fulfill a client’s production requirement. After a few months, they noticed several issues including poor productivity, high downtime level, increased staff turnover, and customer complaints. Introducing Lean methodology helped evaluate their process, increase efficiency, and ultimately boost their production.
Brewing beers in Oregon and distrusting to 21 other states, Deschutes is a craft brewery founded in 1988. During an operations walk through in 2013, it was determined that there was a problem in box cutting and packaging. Technical director, Kris Scholl, stopped the line and questioned how the problem could be stopped. With Lean manufacturing and Six Sigma quality systems, the brewery now has consistency and the once small company now has big buy-ins!
“There’s welcome news from packaging material converters that have received formal certification of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP-based) food safety programs in their manufacturing facilities.” HACCP uses similar concepts to Lean and Six Sigma. The certification applies a team-based approach to analyze all aspects of processes, identifies and clarifies possible hazards and controls with monitoring and evaluation.
Living standards are on the rise in developing countries and while daily living standards rise, so are food safety and health standards. Software applications play a huge role in advanced food packaging and that’s when Lean Six Sigma is called to help track performances.
“The food industry is under constant pressure to reduce operating expenses, shorten lead times, improve flexibility and increase throughput.” In this industry, ready-to-eat food, packaging and shipping needs to “do more with less.” Many food industries are now realizing they can benefit from the tools used in Lean and Six Sigma methodologies.
Kids’ Food Basket
Kids’ Food Basket is a nonprofit organization attacking childhood hunger in West Michigan. Kids’ Food Basket averages 175 volunteers each day and engages more than 20,000 volunteers yearly. In 2009, to accommodate the support and growth of Kids’ Food Basket, Jay Ertl, who serves as the board treasurer and CFO at the nonprofit, brought Lean Six Sigma to the baskets to help identify and remove waste from its business processes.
Ajay Kaul, CEO of Jubilant Foodworks (which operates Domino’s Pizza in India) discusses how he has deployed Six Sigma on a large scale to keep food inflation in check. This limits food price increases to no more than 5-6% in a single year, important in a country with a 7% consumption-drive economy.
Kraft Foods implemented a Lean Six Sigma program two years ago and has recently upped its commitment to the Lean Six Sigma program. The company is presently facing hurdles in a competitive environment. A focus on improving efficiency and eliminating waste will allow Kraft to cut costs from within the production chain rather than closing plants.
Mondelez International, Inc.
Mondelez International, Inc. will invest $24 million to expand manufacturing to Turkey. With a new plant in Turkey, the production capacity will increase 20%. In addition to the expansion plans, the supply-chain reinvention plan will include Lean Six Sigma plans to improve driving productivity.
Earlier this month, Mondelez International opened a new $30 million state-of-the-art chocolate production line here to capitalize on growing demand in its European confectionery business. The plant in Skarbimierz, Poland has been operating for over 20 years and is the first Polish plant to implement Lean Six Sigma to “develop team capabilities and drive a high-performing culture.”
Complying is resource-intensive, so Nestle set out to consolidate its way of managing its standards and all management practices. A new program called Nestle Continuous Excellence (NCE) is being implemented across all plants. It’s a management system that consolidates the principles of Lean Manufacturing, Total Productive Management, Six Sigma, 5S and other methods familiar to followers of the Toyota Production System and other quality and productivity disciplines.
Pal’s Sudden Service
Pal’s Sudden Service was a Tennessee-based, burgers-and-fries, drive-thru-only fast-food chain, founded in 1956. The chain grew to 26 locations and had one focus: the customer. Founder Pal Barger and CEO Thom Crosby were said to be obsessed with using Lean techniques to eliminate waste, reduce human error, and simplify processes. During peak hours, cars and trucks pulled away from Pal’s, bag in hand, every 14 seconds. The success came from efficient design, simple menu offerings, and the nonexistence of electronics.
Red Fire Farms
For the past 27 years, Red Fire Farm owner Ryan Voiland has tried everything to keep his 200 acre farm alive and well. When large cooperate growers began to put pressure on produce prices, Voiland turned to lean farming to help keep his business afloat. While implementing lean principles, Voiland was able to remove muda – excess waste – and improve turnaround time.