Brainboxes adopts six sigma to promote excellence in progress

August 15, 2006 / News

First Six Sigma black belt for Brainboxes

Brainboxes, specialists in tailored Bluetooth and Serial Technologies, has announced it is committed to Six Sigma, the enterprise wide business strategy that promotes excellence in business practice by improving processes to reduce waste and costs. The company has assigned Dave Ritchie to the project full time after his completion of the intensive Six Sigma black belt training programme.  Brainboxes has chosen to adopt Six Sigma to enhance productivity and to improve the quality of its products for customers.

Brainboxes, which recently celebrated its 21st anniversary, now has two of its staff working on Six Sigma projects. Black belt Dave Ritchie, who was previously Brainboxes’ hardware team leader, now has the full time job of leading Six Sigma-based improvement projects throughout the company. Xiaolong Shi, is a Six Sigma green belt, and Shi’s recent project involved successfully resolving variations in stock level.  As a green belt, Shi dedicates two days a week to the task and she is due to start a new Six Sigma project.  Everyone in the company has undergone an entry level Six Sigma course.  Brainboxes will implement a six-year plan that will see between 20 and 30 percent of its staff trained to green belt or black belt level in Six Sigma methods.

Six Sigma is designed to enhance performance by improving the efficiency of specific areas of a business, from production to administration, and involves collecting data from a particular problem process and performing statistical analysis to find the root causes of the problem. Brainboxes is already enjoying the success of its company’s commitment to this strategy.  Dave Ritchie recently completed a nine-month project on defects on the surface mount production line, which resulted in sustained process improvement of 80 percent.

Eammon Walsh, managing director of Brainboxes commented, “The methodologies of Six Sigma are leading to improvements and developments in our products and services that are setting new standards of performance, value and quality for Brainboxes.  News of this has certainly impressed some of our existing customers.” Walsh continued, “Our success to date with Six Sigma, and our commitment to it, has proven that such process enhancements can work just as well in a company our size, as they do in large multinationals. Six Sigma is part of our on-going drive to improve our business processes.”

Six Sigma employs the concepts Statistical Analysis, Design of Experiments, Creative Thinking, and Change Management and Pokayoke (Japanese term meaning ‘error proofing’) and some concepts of lean production. Six Sigma was made famous in the 1980s by Jack Welch, CEO of General Electric, but its tenets remains just as relevant in today’s business environment.