Case Studies: Getting Green Belts Up to Speed
Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT), Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, is a Middle Eastern aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul company. The firm has provided technical aviation solutions for more than 20 years, and currently employs more than 3,000 people in the United Arab Emirates. In addition to its regional customer portfolio, ADAT’s international customers cover a wide geographical range, from Iceland to New Zealand.
ADAT is currently using statistical software from Minitab (State College, PA) to analyze its statistical process data. But during a major Six Sigma deployment in 2009, with more than 200 newly trained Green Belts poised to begin work on quality improvement, ADAT began looking for tools that would make the company’s projects easier.
“We needed a solution that would help us facilitate the initial stages of this deployment and create buy-in from the various departments involved,” says Jaggernauth Singh, ADAT’s manager of business process and continuous improvement. The solution lay in Quality Companion by Minitab.
“Quality Companion 3 is a natural complement to Minitab, but its functionality, flexibility and user friendliness were the main attractions for us,” says Singh. “By setting out the DMAIC structure in Companion’s roadmap and pointing the user towards Companion’s built-in recommended tools, quality improvement projects are much easier, especially for Green Belts, saving valuable time and increasing project efficiency and effectiveness.”
With so many new projects due to commence, ADAT recognized the need for standardization and the ability to capture results, in a way that would be quick and easy to interpret, while ensuring that everyone remained confident in their new skills by providing easily accessible answers to questions about quality improvement processes and statistics.
Quality Companion’s ease of customization and project management capabilities were significant influences on ADAT’s decision. “Companion helps us keep a consistent structure in our project data collection. It also helps us sort the important information from the smaller details, especially for presentations,” says Singh. “Not only can we standardize procedures and information, but we can even create unique forms with our corporate brand throughout.”
This consistency of data and presentation, when combined with the free Quality Companion dashboard utility, will enable project teams to easily share their work and results with their peers and managers. “All departments will have access to data from other projects in a central repository, where staff will be able to log in and share valuable project experiences,” Singh says. “And the executive team can use the dashboard at any time to monitor the progress of all our improvement projects.”
Singh recently completed a three-day course in both using and customizing Quality Companion 3 at Minitab’s training center in Coventry, United Kingdom, preparing himself for the software’s roll out to ADAT’s Green Belts. “We have a real challenge on our hands because change and learning new ways of doing things are always difficult,” says Singh. “But Quality Companion 3 will be invaluable in helping us to overcome the popular misconception that data-driven quality improvement projects are too difficult.”
The combination of Minitab statistical software and Quality Companion is putting ADAT in the best position to maximize the benefits of its lean Six Sigma initiatives, helping the company to reduce its costs and improve quality throughout its business.