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The story of every successful manufacturer is one of nonstop self-improvement. What may have been an effective process five or 10 or 20 years ago — or, for a manufacturer with a history as long as Trim-Tex’s, 50-plus years ago — may no longer be the best road forward. To provide customers with the best possible products and services, sometimes it can take a manufacturer shattering its own status quo. And sometimes that may take a little extra education. This is exactly what some folks here at Trim-Tex are doing, by enlisting in Six Sigma “Green Belt” certification training.
GREEN BELTS LEARN ‘LEAN MANUFACTURING ON STEROIDS’
Six Sigma Green Belts are trained to become ninjas of efficiency, across all sorts of departments, from factory floors to accountants’ office. Or, as John Azara, Regional Manager and Strategic Advisor at IMEC puts it, Six Sigma is like “problem-solving and lean manufacturing on steroids.”
“Six Sigma provides the participants, the folks who are trained, with a new skillset for how to solve problems at a higher level and much faster,” says Azara. “We give them the tools and skillsets to solve problems in the factory. And by solving those problems, not only do we make things internally better, but we also make a better product — a more consistent product; a more reliable product.”
Trim-Tex and IMEC have been partnered up for some time now, working together to make our production process stronger than ever. They’ve helped to empower our staff with continued development and to modernize our production, going as far as hosting a full day of last year. Now, IMEC is guiding several of our key team members through Green Belt training, which includes 35 hours of virtual classroom training, as well as another two to three months of coaching through problem-solving projects.
“Green Belt Lean Six Sigma certification allows our employees to spot and solve problems throughout the organization,” says Trim-Tex Plant Operations Manager George Sobota, who’s in the process of receiving his Green Belt certification. “Not only have they become better problem-solvers, but they learned the best methods to continuously improve on any process. This doesn’t stop at the Operations department — every department can benefit from analyzing their processes.”
GREEN BELTS LEARN TO MAKE ‘THE BEST PRODUCTS AT THE BEST PRICE’
So, how will all of this training affect our customers? As members of our team gain new skills in problem solving for their various departments, eliminating any and all parts of our processes that slow us down, well, hopefully you will notice nothing at all — no product defects, no shipment delays, no barriers between you and a finishing job done on time and on budget. We already pride ourselves on providing Trim-Tex customers with exceptional service and top-of-the-line vinyl drywall accessories, but perfection is something always worth striving for. This Six Sigma Green Belt training will be adding new, cutting-edge tools to our toolbox, all to give you the best possible experience with our services.
“I would say the biggest takeaway of this training will be in the team that we are building that is improvement-focused,” says David Powell, Continual Improvement Engineer for Trim-Tex (as well as our resident lean manufacturing guru). “Having the Green Belt will empower our group to harness the power of data to reduce quality defects and eliminate processes and steps that the customer is not willing to pay for. This is going to help us focus on the voice of the customer and make sure we are doing all we can to get them the best product at the best price!”
The story of every successful manufacturer has never been one of Band-Aids or cure-alls. There’s no single fix to a factory’s operations that will last forever. It takes constantly reassessing what’s working and what’s not, and making adjustments along the way. But anyone who’s worked in manufacturing has felt like they’ve had entire days (or weeks, or months, or years) of only putting out fires, rather than proactively solving problems in production. This is what Six Sigma Green Belt training is going to allow Trim-Tex to get better at, and in turn, our customers will gain an even better partner for their finishing needs.