Imagine that you were assigned to lead a project and your boss asks if there is a way to achieve the expected results in a faster way. Or maybe you manage a department and is asked by the board to reduce your expenses by 20% by the end of the quarter. How would you start?
For us at EPIC Consultants, and so many other successful professionals and organizations around the world, the answer is clear: Lean 6 Sigma. Lean 6 Sigma is a powerful combination of the principles of Lean Systems, which focus on making processes faster, with the 6 Sigma framework, which focuses on processes’ consistency and quality. Thus, Lean 6 Sigma is all about making things better, faster and at a lower cost. No wonder, it is the most popular continuous improvement methodology in history.
According to Lean 6 Sigma Black Belt, EPIC Consultants’ Senior Consultant and Florida International University Instructor, Luiz Nery, the popularity of this tool is strongly due to the fact that it can be applied to any project in any area or industry and that it provides a much more practical and concrete approach in terms of results. In his experience, this methodology usually brings a return that is 3 to 5 times the investment in 6 months to 1 year, depending on the size of the project, and that is fantastic!
Why a Green Belt
The path to Lean 6 Sigma starts with a Green Belt certification. And that’s how Luiz started. Just graduated in Mechanical Engineering at UNICAMP in Brazil, Luiz was recruited for a leadership trainee program at Industrias Romi, a heavy machinery manufacturer. It was an entry level position with a high goal: to form the future leaders of the organization. And a key element of the program was the Green Belt certification, thus, without much thought, Luiz, as the other trainees, was placed in the company’s training program, in which he found his passion.
“I say that I was bitten by the Continuous Improvement bug and, since then, there was no turning back for me”, he says.
The methodology took his career to the next level, in companies such as Unilever, Philips and Panalpina. However, he wanted more of it. After much consideration of a variety of programs, in 2012 he decided to come to Miami for his 6 Sigma Black Belt and Lean Management certification from FIU. “I found the program at FIU to provide just what I was looking for. It is a very practical and engaging program that gives you all the tools you need and enables you to use them from day 1. Lean 6 Sigma is a well-known methodology nowadays and you can pretty much find the theory available for free over the internet. The opportunity to engage with top notch consultants who has the real-life experience was priceless.”
Upon his return to Brazil, he immediately saw the push the new credentials gave to his career. “It was insane! I arrived on Friday and on Monday I had an offer to head the Continuous Improvement program at Fini Candy in Brazil. The weight of the FIU certificate was impressive.” Luiz says.
Since then, Luiz has come back to FIU College of Engineering and Computing at an Instructor capacity; teaching and facilitating the Lean 6 Sigma External Programs, alongside the instructors and consultants he once was a student of.
Better, faster and cheaper
Now, with 13 years of international experience in continuous improvement in different manufacturing and office environments, leading several projects in different countries, Luiz is part of the EPIC team implementing and managing Lean 6 Sigma in a variety of companies and is currently the Corporate Relations Director at IISE Greater Miami Chapter.
“The methodology is being applied nowadays in so many different fields. I have gone from medical devices, to a flower industry or a food equipment enterprise to a mental health clinic in one single day. We can see changes happening in processes and in people’s lives”, Luiz said.
When asked for examples of results he normally sees in their projects, “we always measure results in dollars, as that’s a universal measure.” Some numbers? “oh! 100K, 500K, 350K, 11M, 2M, … the least is maybe 50K, in a small project in a small organization.”
Benefits of a Green Belt
Having a Lean 6 Sigma Green Belt in your team gives you immediate results to build those incredible figures Luiz has experienced on. Through the application of problem-solving mentality and practical tools, a Green Belt will help your team:
- reduce waste
- improve efficiency
- increase productivity and quality
- reduce costs
- improve safety, health and environmental matters
- increase customer satisfaction and retention and much more.
On the personal and professional level, a Green Belt Certification is a common requirement of the job market nowadays and a big plus to anybody's resume, whatever your chosen career may be. "People can apply Lean 6 Sigma tools in different situations to get quick solutions to the problems they face in the day to day, with great results, even if they are not running a project in a company. Everything can be seen as a process and can be improved.”, added Luiz.
Besides, “There are no previous requirements to join a Green Belt certification class. The program at FIU can help you bring your professional performance and experience to the next level, whether you want to make an impact in your company or in your job search. It certainly can help you take better and more effective decisions. And get things done better, faster and cheaper.