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.
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!
H. J. Heinz Company
“Lean helps us get after the low hanging fruit, reduce all waste and optimize flow,” explains Thomas. “For example, on a yield improvement project, lean will help us optimize the waste hitting the floor while six sigma would help us optimize the fill heights in the product through our SPC process. If we are over-filling by half a gram of ketchup in every bottle, for instance, what is the statistical sampling we have to take to adjust it so that we are in control, while still maintaining our spec.?”
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.
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.
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.
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.