Lean Six Sigma Case Study 2023
Acme Laboratories is a specialised facility that tests samples sent in from a wide range of sources – hospitals, forensic science departments etc.
There are typically seven different sample types, each having to undergo one or more tests.
Product A accounted for 60% of the workload.
Product B accounted for 19% of the workload.
Product C accounted for 11% of the workload.
Products D,E, F and G accounted for 4%, 3%, 2% and 1% of the workload respectively.
Products A and C were from the same product family and received the same testing procedures, requiring nine different tests.
Products B,D, E, F and G only required two simple tests.
Data regarding cycle times for different products were available and, as an example, the cycle time data for product A during a period from January to April were:
14 samples in 0-5 days, 148 samples in 6-10 days, 239 samples in 11-15 days, 82 samples in 16-20 days, 48 samples in 21-25 days, 25 samples in 26-30 days, 50 samples in 30+ days.
The present target cycle time was 15 days
Each day, the lab received between 1 and 17 samples
Each week the lab received between 25 and 45 samples.
Once tested, the results had to pass through a lengthy approval process and also a release procedure before completion.
There was on-going pressure from the customers to speed up the turnaround time without compromising the accuracy and traceability of the testing process.
Imagine using Lean Six Sigma methodology, describe how improvements might have been made.
Describe the tools that might have been used in this quality improvement process, their purpose and when they were used.
Use a minimum of three Lean Six Sigma tools in each of the DMAIC phases.
Chart some of the data that might have been gleaned during the project.
How should the goal of the project be chosen?
Write a suitable project scope, problem statement, business case, CTQ etc.
Use your team to brainstorm possible areas for improvement, and create an Ishakawa diagram forthe project.
Document a possible solution to the improvement project.
Emphasise the before and after metrics which clearly identify the savings in KPI’s such as time or quality and ultimately the financial savings from the project.