According to a recent report from the investment website Seeking Alpha, Kraft Foods is offering “the best in class cash return” to its investors with a 3.8 percent dividend yield and a 75 percent payout ratio. The company is crediting its success — at least in part — to the increased adoption of Lean Six Sigma practices that have led it to reduce costs and increase productivity efficiency.

Kraft Foods began using Lean Six Sigma two years ago and has hired about 70 Lean Six Sigma experts to help improve its production line. As the company continues to see positive results from implementing Lean Six Sigma across other areas of its supply chain, it has committed more money into Lean Six Sigma training. In an industry with such competitors as The Hershey Company, Kellogg and General Mills, it is believed that Kraft will continue to benefit from its cost saving initiatives and will continue to be a strong investment opportunity for shareholders.

Kraft is yet one more example of how Lean Six Sigma provides value to companies and shareholders. But there is value for Lean Six Sigma professionals, as well. As of a December 2011 survey, professionals with a six sigma certification earned an average of $16,500 more per year than their non-certified counterparts. Why? Because the training that one obtains with six sigma certification leads to improvement projects that can significantly save money and improve the quality of the product and the efficiency of the service that his or her company provides. For most forward thinking companies, those abilities are well worth $16,500. What’s more, in an economy where there continues to be sharp competition for each professional position that comes open, Lean Six Sigma certification can provide the edge that an applicant needs to be successful.

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