Ansbach delivers new Lean Six Sigma training room
ANSBACH, Germany Aca,!" Displaying its dedication to improving services, saving money and cutting out waste, U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach revealed its newly-created Lean Six Sigma training room that offers more than just four pretty walls.

ANSBACH, Germany Aca,!" Displaying its dedication to improving services, saving money and cutting out waste, USAG Ansbach revealed its newly-created Lean Six Sigma training room that offers more than just four pretty walls.

The new facility is a sign of the times in Ansbach, said John Hirstein, lead management analyst with the plans, analysis and integration office.

"We take LSS seriously," said Hirstein. "LSS is moving in the right direction for the garrison in 2009 with various events scheduled."

Lean Six Sigma is a combining of two business strategies (Lean and Six Sigma), according to the U.S. Army's Knowledge Center on LSS. Lean was designed to optimize automotive manufacturing and Six Sigma evolved as a quality initiative to eliminate defects by reducing variation in processes in the semiconductor industry.

It is now a leading process improvement strategy for the Army.

The most recent event for the garrison was turning an old heated storage attic into a new Lean Six Sigma Solution Center.

"We needed a room to facilitate all the activities we are planning, which we were to have, but did not," said Hirstein. "This was the trigger mechanism to get this thing done."

Renovating the room was itself an LSS project.

Starting out as an attic storage facility in the garrison headquarters, the room is now a clean, renovated, flagship or beacon model for other garrisons, Hirstein said. The room was full of junk storage and by turning the project into a success event it helped the garrison and the region earn reputations as LSS movers and shakers, he said.

"By doing so, we gain credibility, savings and get recognized in the Lean Six Sigma world and IMCOM (Installation Management Command)," said Hirstein. "The end result is having a training center for Lean Six Sigma; it was a perfect match."

And the extra space is a win-win for all as well.

"Instead of everyone going to Heidelberg for Lean Six Sigma training, why not sponsor a class and bring an LSS instructor here," said Hirstein. "Instead of having nine people go there and pay temporary duty costs for them, have one person come here and conduct the training there. Plus, this shows Ansbach is moving up and evolving Aca,!" we understand, we get it and we are practicing it every day."

By comparison to last year, Ansbach gets it, he added.

"The renovation project was a cost savings of $19,250," Hirstein said. "We recognized and redistributed usable items to different organizations, preventing them from having to purchase new ones."

Not only does it save precious funds, Hirstein hopes the room will add even more value to agencies Aca,!" the multi-purpose facility is not only for LSS or even just Ansbach.

"The garrison will offer many LSS classes in it over the year. But if the facility is available, any unit can sign up to use it as well. (It serves as) an extra conference room, so five staff members do not have to drive far just to hold a meeting," said Hirstein.

State-of-the-art equipment is being planned, but for now the room currently has basic networking available with a standalone computer, he added. As people learn about the project Hirstein hopes they can in turn understand and learn the principles of Lean Six Sigma-and thus come and use the facility or even follow suit and develop their own room or other projects.

"We are growing our knowledge and we now have a knowledge center," he said. "The more meetings we have up there that aren't really geared to LSS, we hope that people will start reading what we have on the walls, will connect with those thoughts and will start asking the right questions-a stage or forum, our own dedicated room."

Using LSS can bring great changes, Hirstein said. "We copied another garrison's LSS project," he said. "Its computer shut-down event model policy (turning off computers at the end of the work day) now saves Ansbach about $161,000 a year. We learned from them, applied our numbers and we will get the same result: savings. Everybody in Europe should be following that lead."

In the end, Hirstein said the point is savings.

"This is the foundation of success," he said. "It is a simple process you can do for yourself. We are good stewards. If we all go back and look at our daily processes and save resources, by leaning ourselves out by doing a better job on tasks, we could save even more.

"That maintains integrity. If you cannot maintain your own area with integrity, how do you expect anybody else to'"

Page last updated Fri May 1st, 2009 at 06:42