Few companies provide as diverse an array of manufactured products as Jabil. Based in Florida, Jabil is the third-largest contract manufacturer worldwide with over 90 locations in 23 counties. In each of its locations, Jabil maintains a commitment to employee development and best practice implementation based on Lean Six Sigma principles.

Walter Garvin, Jabil’s vice president of Lean Six Sigma, recently spoke to IndustryWeek Magazine about the importance of a full-company commitment to process change, and the challenges of the long-term approach to Lean Six Sigma. In the segment, Taking the Long View of Lean: Q&A, Garvin shared the following pearls:

  • For an organization to become or remain competitive, Lean Six Sigma transformation must be a long-term commitment across all levels of the organization. Garvin stresses that lasting transformation is culture-based rather than tool-based. It takes more than hiring a someone to develop and implement best practices organization-wide. Everyone has to be engaged in the process.
  • Senior management is the bedrock of the Lean Six Sigma transformation. Without a senior commitment, a company may experience some short-term success with Lean Six Sigma, but true organization transformation and benefits come from senior management taking the long-view and modeling that to the rest of the organization.
  • Keep employees motivated and engaged. When committing to the long-view of Lean Six Sigma, it is important to keep employees motivated at all levels of the organization through respect, recognition and rewards that are meaningful to employees. This is a step that is not always included in the define, measure, analyze, improve, and control toolkit, but it is an important component to encourage employee buy-in to organization goals.

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