RRAD members advance to semifinals in LEAP competition
Two RRAD employees, Kimberly Henderson and Debbie Caudle, were selected to advance to the semifinals in the Department of the Army Lean Six Sigma Excellence Award Program. Shown above are Charlean Carroll, master black belt instructor; Kimberly Henderson, the 2011first place selection; Debbie Caudle, the 2011 third place selection and Tasandria Singleton, a semifinalist for the award in 2010.

For a second year, Red River Army Depot has two nominees competing in the Department of the Army Lean Six Sigma Excellence Award Program. This year the Army Materiel Command selected Debra Caudle and Kimberly Henderson, both RRAD black belt practitioners, as semifinalist for the LEAP competition.

Henderson was chosen as AMC's first place selection and Caudle received third place based on DA selection criteria.

The intent of this annual awards program is to recognize Army organizations and practitioners who demonstrate excellence in the building, sustainment and employment of Continuous Process Improvement and LSS capabilities to support the enterprise approach to institutional adaptation, according to Charlean Carroll, RRAD master black belt instructor.

Nomination factors considered were financial benefits, operational benefits, replication of project and LSS tools used to accomplish project success.

Henderson began her lean journey in 2008 while working in the RRAD Combat Division. Two years later, she received DA certification as a green belt and in July 2011 obtained black belt certification. Over the years she has shared her knowledge as a coach for other depot employees working to obtain belt certification.

Henderson's project, titled "Improve the Process Cycle Time to complete Green and Black Belt Projects," significantly accelerated completion rate of projects. At the rate RRAD was completing green and black belt projects it would have taken 46 and 27 years, respectively, to complete RRAD's projected goal. Since Henderson completed the project, RRAD has now adopted the "No Belt Left Unbuckled" solution which joins the green belt with a black belt participant to help complete the process. Henderson's project resulted in $11.7 million in cost avoidance validated by RRAD Resource Manager, Timothy Thomsen.

Caudle's lean journey began in 2003 as a materiel expediter in the Directorate for Public Works. She began working on her black belt training in August 2010 and received certification in June 2011.

The title of Caudle's project is "Improve Reclaim Process of Metal in Fabrication Process." After implementation of the project, storage space was reduced from 41,500 square feet to 10,000 by reducing inventory and the cost for storing inventory. Cost avoidance totaled $4.8 million.

"My goal is the same today as it was in 2003 when I began my lean journey," said Caudle. "I would like to continue to help others find ways to cut waste from our processes so that Red River can continue to provide jobs to our communities and give our 'best and nothing less' to our number one customer -- our Soldier."

Caudle is active in the day-to-day process improvements in the Directorate for Maintenance. She also continues to share her knowledge as a black belt coach.

Winners for the LEAP award will be announced in November.

In 2010, Jeffrey Brown and Tasandria Singleton were RRAD green belt project nominees in the Non-Enterprise Project Team Award Area. Both nominees were forwarded by TACOM Life Cycle Management Command to AMC for consideration and Singleton was chosen as a semifinalist. Singleton's project "Reduce FMTV Frames Defects" resulted in $1.6 million in cost avoidance.

The depot began its lean journey in 2002. According to Carroll the improvements have been a needed part of carrying out the daily mission.

"Continuous process improvement helps the depot to live up to our mottos: Our Best, Nothing Less and Build It as If Our Lives Depends On It - Theirs Do," said Carroll.

Page last updated Wed September 28th, 2011 at 00:00