2023 Year in Review

2023 Year in Review

As we reach the end of our 20th Year of offering Lean Six Sigma services to our customers, I’d like to take a look back at our activities. We started off in January with a trip to the Philadelphia area for a Lean Six Sigma Deployment kaizen event for Align Precision. My colleague Satya Kudapa made this journey with me where we worked closely with Eric Thompson and Jim Logan who oversee their Operational Excellence program. After the workshop, I took a few days of vacation to visit some of the many historic sites and museums in Philadelphia, plus take in some live jazz.

Also in January, TMAC facilitated a 1-day workshop on Hoshin Kanri with a special focus on the X-Matrix. My colleague Rolando ColindresBran taught this workshop.

In February, we kicked off a new combined LSS Green Belt/Black Belt course. This class had students from Setpoint Integrated Solutions, Align Precision, Solomon People Systems, and TMAC. The instructors were Mike Boyte and Alberto Yanez.

In March, Alberto and I traveled to Orlando for the 21st Annual Lean and Six Sigma World Conference. This was the first such conference to be held in-person since the pandemic. It was great to see all our friends and former students. Later in the month, I attended the 7th Annual Business Analytics Symposium held at The University of Texas at Arlington.   

Also in March, we kicked off a new LSS Master Black Belt class with students from PepsiCo, Keurig Dr Pepper, GE Appliances, and TMAC. It is always a treat to work with my co-instructors Kimberly Watson-Hemphill and Chuck Cox from Firefly. No matter the topic or activity I learn something new in this class from the students or co-instructors. It is the highest level of LSS training that we offer at TMAC.

In April, Alberto Yanez and Chris Meeks taught a 2-day LSS Yellow Belt workshop for the City of Burleson. This is yet another example of how LSS is being embraced by non-manufacturers, and increasingly in government.

That same month we added some new LSS Black Belt students to the class we started back in February. They had previously completed Green Belt training and were from USG Corporation and National Oilwell Varco. Both the Black Belt and Master Black Belt courses wrapped up in May.

In June, we began a LSS Green Belt class for Medline Industries at their beautiful corporate campus in Northfield, IL, a suburb of Chicago. Nate Mlinac leads their Continuous Improvement Program. Alberto and I were scheduled to teach this class, but I had to cancel for Week 1 due to illness. Thankfully, Mike Boyte was able to fill in for me at the last minute.

In July, I did make it up to Illinois to teach Week 2 of the Medline GB with Alberto. The weather was fantastic, and we enjoyed the cooler temps which were a blessed relief from the Texas summer. After the class wrapped up, I was able to squeeze in a visit to the Art Institute, plus ate at some great restaurants in Chicago and enjoyed (you guessed it) more live jazz.

During August, Satya Kudapa and I facilitated a 2-day Lean for Leaders workshop for Interstate Batteries as part of an executive retreat in beautiful Granbury, TX. Will McDade and his team enjoyed the workshop, and we all enjoyed the lakeside venue.

That same month we took the opportunity to recognize the 20-Year Anniversary of TMAC’s Lean Six Sigma Program. Yes, we’ve been providing LSS training and services for two decades. We decided to celebrate the past two decades with a special Customer Appreciation Event held on August 5th. During this event we had a special recognition of four LSS customers: USG Corporation, Keurig Dr Pepper, Oncor, and Transplace/Uber Freight. Their commitment to process excellence over many years has resulted in millions of dollars in savings AND workforce skills development of hundreds of employees. I also enjoyed reconnecting with former TMAC employees who attended this event plus past students from Setpoint and Williams RDM.

We said goodbye to our Events Coordinator, Rebecca Holmes, who took a position at another department here at UT-Arlington. We were fortunate to have her as part of our LSS Team since 2020.

In September, we kicked off a new LSS Green Belt/Black Belt class with students from Dallas County, Align Precision, CoorsTek, Setpoint, USG Corporation, and Cook Children’s Healthcare System. Separately, we also started a new Six Sigma Green Belt class for Closure Systems International taught at their facility in Kilgore, TX. This was part of a CSI companywide Six Sigma Program. To be consisten across multiple locations, we used different training materials developed by IMEC, the equivalent to TMAC in Indiana.

In October TMAC participated in the Manufacturing Day event at Plano Convention Center in Plano, a suburb of Dallas. I enjoyed visiting with TMAC customers and with area college students planning for careers in manufacturing. I always feel better about the future after spending time with such students.

About that same time, we welcomed Robin Evans as our new Event Coordinator. She hit the ground running by doing a great job supporting our Green Belt class that month plus preparing and sending out our OCT LSS newsletter. And she continues to do great work for us, including planning the recent TMAC Christmas Party at Chicken & Pickle (that’s her on the left in the photo below).

In November, we delivered a 2-day LSS Yellow Belt for Interstate Batteries at their corporate offices in Dallas. Alberto and Mike taught this workshop. We have two more YBs planned for them early in 2024. And we have two additional YBs planned next year for another customer, Setpoint. Companies are finding this basic workshop to be helpful in developing basic LSS skills, and in assessing their staff for possible future skills development as GBs or even BBs. 

Last week we wrapped up the Black Belt course which kicked off back in September. One of the most fun activities of any BB class is the catapult competition in which teams vie to see who can hit a target using design of experiments (DOE). One team had a perfect record with 9 shots and 9 hits. This was amazing, and even got my colleague Alberto Yanez to do a little dance.  

Over the course of the year TMAC certified one Green Belt, seven Black Belts, and one Master Black Belt. The total combined financial impact for this group was $5.7M. This does not include savings for Green Belts who completed projects while being coached by the Black Belts and Master Black Belt. 

In closing, I want to thank each of our customers. Without you TMAC would not exist. We appreciate your hard work, creativity, enthusiasm, and perseverance through good times and bad. You are why we look forward to going to work every day. I would also like to recognize my coworkers at TMAC for their commitment to excellence.

All of us at TMAC wish you a Safe and Happy Holiday Season, and much success in the New Year!