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DCMME Partners Discuss Six Sigma DCMME Partners Discuss Six Sigma

By Steve Shade, DCMME Assistant Director

The theme of the Spring 2001 DCMME Partners' Steering Committee meeting was Six Sigma in Manufacturing Organizations. Six Sigma as a business strategy has turned into the hot-button issue of the day. The term itself has evolved into the financial equivalent of a Good Housekeeping seal of approval. First advanced by Motorola around 1986 and advantageously adapted by many organizations, the strategy involves rigorous training in the use of specialized measurement and statistical tools to help improve customer satisfaction by reducing defects in products, processes, and services; cutting costs, which is passed on to the customer; eliminating waste; and reducing the cycle time and its variation, which translates to on-time delivery. 

DCMME Hires New Assistant Director

Steven Shade
DCMME has hired Steven Shade, MSM '00, as its new assistant director. Shade has 14 years of engineering and managerial experience in diverse industries. He received his BS in mechanical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1982. He formerly held a position as senior materials engineer with Intel Corp. in Hillsboro, Ore. "I'm thrilled to be back at DCMME and Krannert," says Shade. "My experience as a student at Krannert was greatly enriched by the courses and support provided by DCMME. I look forward to building on our 13 years of success by bringing a strong customer-focused, data-driven approach to all of our learning, discovery, and engagement efforts."

Representatives from 16 companies (a) discussed how their organizations have implemented Six Sigma initiatives, (b) examined the lessons and caveats their companies learned in implementing Six Sigma, (c) identified Six Sigma concepts and tools that have made the most important and useful improvements in quality and productivity, and (d) suggested additions to the Krannert curriculum to prepare students.

The list of enterprises adapting the Six Sigma strategy is almost endless and continues to grow, embracing many Fortune 500 companies and their suppliers. However, those organizations that have deployed it successfully, making it part of the corporate culture, are relatively few. General Electric and Allied Signal have done so, resulting in a significant increase in their shareholder value.

Since GE is a leader in this initiative, DCMME invited keynote speakers Cinthy Fanning and Mark Sneeringer from the company to give GE's story. They emphasized that Six Sigma has become a key element of GE's business strategy, directly linked to financial performance and customer satisfaction. Six Sigma is viewed as more than a tool set for quality; it's a cultural change, aimed at driving operational excellence and a customer-centric focus. Six Sigma is still a leading corporate focus, even five years after its introduction at GE. 

Partly based on suggestions from GE and DCMME's corporate partners, DCMME has developed a novel Six Sigma case-based, computer-animated simulation learning module to teach Six Sigma concepts and tools. This simulation is being beta tested on Krannert master's students this fall.DCMME corporate partners help Krannert maintain its excellence in operations management by providing important industry information and opportunities for real-world student projects.

DCMME Announces 2001-02 Scholars

Undergraduate DCMME Manufacturing Management Scholars

DCMME funds an aggressive scholarship program designed to attract top-caliber students to manufacturing. Academic performance is the primary criterion for the DCMME scholarships, which consist of cash grants on a semester-by-semester basis.

DCMME made 13 under-graduate student awards for the Fall 2001 semester, with the collective GPA of the group being 3.5/4.00. Award amount is $1,000 per semester, for up to four semesters ($4,000). Students may apply at the end of their sophomore year.

2001-02 recipients: Kristen Bailey, Robert Brown, Tara Emery, Melissa FitzSimons, Sean Gray, Matthew Hall, Tricia Henderson, Jan Martin, Varun Poddar, Jonathan Rundle, Leslie Strezo, Timotius Sugianto, and Betsy Weissinger.

MBA/Manufacturing & Technology Management Scholars

Eight of 37 second-year MBA/MTM students are DCMME scholars. The collective GPA of the group is 3.71/4.00. The award amount is $1,000 per semester for a total of $2,000.

2001-02 recipients: Ron Chauby, Noel Marsden, Arunkumar Iyer, Linda Miller, Naveen Pruthi, Neal Shah, Ashish Johri, and Paroon Chadha.

The resumes of DCMME scholars, in addition to those of the other manufacturing management and MTM students, are posted on DCMME's Web site at www.mgmt.purdue.edu/centers/dcmme, under the banner link "Recruitment."

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