An ‘aha’ moment is a moment of clarity, when all the pieces of a puzzle come together and seamlessly converge to form that perfect realization of what needs to happen next.

Terri Stentz, director of global sourcing for Cardinal Health, offers a great example in a recent post for Industry Week.

A customer was ordering items one at a time, multiple times per day, Stentz explains. An examination of this purchasing process revealed the customer usually ordered seven pieces per day; however, the items were being pulled from cartons that held 10 items. Why not just purchase an entire box at a time, rather than buy them individually? 

It was only a few years ago that Cardinal Health embraced Lean Six Sigma, the initiative that helped guide Stentz.

What began as an effort to reduce errors, waste, and lost revenue by driving “collaboration in the health care supply chain,” wound up pointing out that they needed to do more work to eliminate inefficiencies. Ultimately, Cardinal Health discovered what many Lean Six Sigma proponents realize: it’s about building relationships and trust with key supply chain partners and working with them to determine what the customer really needs.

Some might suggest that coming to this realization was an equally important ‘aha’ moment, given that there was a time when quality for most companies was focused more on policing the work, rather than addressing the customer’s needs.

Today, a quality professional’s role is about integrating processes seamlessly into all business operations that involve customers. To do this, many firms are using Lean Six Sigma to enable them to determine the best approach for satisfying the customer, leading them to many more ‘aha’ moments.

Let us help you experience the feeling that occurs when all the puzzle pieces fall into place.

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