Kraft Foods implemented a Lean Six Sigma program two years ago, and has recently upped its adherence to the Lean Six Sigma program. The company has seen measurable increases in productivity as a result, and in a statement earlier this year they attributed a portion of their increased first-quarter profit directly to the Lean Six Sigma program.
In a statement at the 2013 Citi Global Consumer conference, Irene Rosenfeld said that Kraft recently “hired and trained about 70 Lean Six Sigma experts to optimize our production lines.” According to Rosenfeld, Lean Six Sigma has contributed to Kraft’s “gross productivity of more than 4% of COGS over the last two years.”
Kraft is still in the process of implementing the Lean Six Sigma program. In a first quarter 2013 conference call, Tim McLevish stated that: “in manufacturing, substantially all of our key manufacturing lines are now at Three Sigma, but only 15% have achieved Four Sigma certification. In other parts of our supply chain, we’re still at the early stages of tapping Lean Six Sigma principles and implementing integrated business planning.” Yet, even in the midst of implementing the program, the company has seen great results.
Implementing the Lean Six Sigma program has helped make Kraft Foods an innovator in the field, and has provided the company with significant benefits. A focus on improving efficiency and eliminating waste has allowed Kraft to simultaneously cut costs from within the production chain. Rather than closing plants or decreasing manufacturing, Kraft has been able to both cut costs and increase productivity by using the Lean Six Sigma program.
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