Solectron drives lean six sigma manufacturing to its suppliers
Oct 03, 2005
-- Honors sites for quality achievements
-- Supplier day focuses on ''Embracing Lean'' theme
-- First annual award judges include lean author, Jim Womack and Toyota Production System Expert Chichiro Nakao-San
Solectron (NYSE:SLR) took the logical next step in its industry-leading Lean manufacturing initiative with two consecutive events -- the first annual Global Solectron Production System(TM) (SPS) Kaizen Competition and its Supplier Day conference to help drive Lean into the supply chain. The Supplier Day conference gathered several hundred suppliers for a full day of keynotes and educational sessions to help encourage suppliers to embrace Lean manufacturing.
Solectron announced the Penang, Malaysia, facility as the winner of Solectron's first annual Global SPS Kaizen Competition. SPS is the company's industry-leading Lean Six Sigma methodology for continuous manufacturing improvement in quality and efficiency. Solectron employees have completed more than 5,000 Kaizens, a Japanese term that means continuous improvement, this year throughout its global operations.
"At Solectron, Lean Six Sigma is a way of life on our shop floor which allows us to bring tangible business benefits and cost savings to our customers worldwide. After two years of the Lean journey, we are expanding our vision to include our suppliers for creating a truly differentiated Supply Chain. Supplier Day is an important step in that direction," said Marc Onetto, Solectron's executive vice president, worldwide operations. "The Global SPS Kaizen Competition was designed to recognize the great work Solectron employees are doing worldwide for our customers. We are thrilled to recognize the Penang, Malaysia, team as our first winner, and applaud all of our finalists for their commitment to customer satisfaction."
Entries for the contest were submitted from over 50 Solectron sites around the world. From those entries, 11 finalists from Europe, Asia and the Americas gathered in San Jose, Calif., to recognize the winner. Judges included Jim Womack, founder of the Lean Enterprise Institute and co-author of "Lean Thinking" and Chichiro Nakao-San, who spent over 30 years at Toyota Corporation refining its ground-breaking manufacturing methodology.
"Lean has fundamentally changed the manufacturing landscape, led by Toyota," said Jim Womack. "The future of the EMS industry is found in Kaizen, and Solectron is leading the way. But to reap the full value and benefits of Lean, Kaizen must permeate up and down the supply chain -- from OEMs to suppliers."
Solectron's 2005 Supplier Day formally launched Solectron's Lean supplier program, which forms the foundation of Solectron's vision to deliver competitive supply chain solutions to its customers. The one-day event included breakout sessions on Lean 101, an introduction to the Solectron Production System; Solectron's Lean supply chain program; an overview of increasing customer value through design and engineering for Lean production; and Lean deployment from a supplier perspective.
Most recently, Solectron's manufacturing plant in Columbia, S.C., was recognized as one of the 10 Best Plants in North America by IndustryWeek magazine for Lean implementation and value to customers. In its 16th year, IndustryWeek's Best Plants Award Program is an annual recognition of outstanding manufacturing facilities all across North America. The honor recognizes world-class manufacturing capabilities and a management mindset of continuous improvement. The plant was one of more than 220 facilities nominated from across the country.