Original Date: 07/10/2006
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Lean Organization
In October of 2003, Tobyhanna Army Depot executed an overhaul of its Lean/Six Sigma approach by creating the Directorate of Productivity Improvement and Innovation. This transformational move integrated continuous process improvement functions to provide a single focus on building and sustaining efficient processes throughout the enterprise.
Tobyhanna Army Depot (TYAD) has been on Lean journey since June 2002. Until October 2003, TYAD’s approach lacked structure and had limited activity and breadth. No dedicated resources existed other than a small office of six people, with Lean results sporadic at best. In late 2003 TYAD made a systematic overhaul of its Lean/Six Sigma approach and created the Directorate of Productivity Improvement and Innovation (D/PII). This forward-thinking move integrated continuous process improvement functions to provide a single focus on building and sustaining efficient processes throughout the enterprise while process design, validation, and measurement were incorporated into a single organization to maximize synergy and eliminate waste.
The organizations consolidated under the D/PII “umbrella” include the Research and Analysis Division, the Process Engineering Division, the Quality Management and Improvement Divisions, and the inspection of all products and assets. The Industrial Modernization Division will be folded into the D/PII organization in the near future to facilitate linkages to facility upgrades and optimize floor space usage during Lean events.
TYAD’s dedicated Lean core team is currently comprised of 34 employees with one Master Black Belt and five Black Belts. The core team members consist of commodity teams of various levels and backgrounds who have direct access to the director level and mentoring avenues. Recent updates to this approach include Lean process improvement specialists embedded within mission directorates, which means that each director will have Lean/Six Sigma expertise on staff to augment and drive Lean sustainment.
The single focus of the D/PII has yielded productivity improvements that have culminated in a 2006 year-to-date savings of $16.9 million – a testimony to the savings that result from Lean events (Figure 2-6).
Figure 2-6. Lean Events and Savings
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