QOG has several ways we can work with you
1. Six Sigma Projects
2. Training/certification with projects
3. Business Transformation
4. Information Technology Strategy and Solutions
5. Project Management
6. M & A operational due diligence
7. Post-merger integration
Completing one project targeted at improving one of your key business metrics is a great way to start working together. We will meet with your decision makers for a few hours to scope out exactly which key business metrics you want to improve. We will work with you to choose a project that will bring you the highest return on investment. The normal tendency is to choose a project that is “easy to get your arms around.” The statistical rigor we bring to your project allows you to choose highly complex projects that normally would be considered impossible. For instance your project might focus on driving more revenue to a store regardless of product mix, reducing cost in an entire order flow process, or improving the timing of the cash flows in the billing process across an entire hospital. Once your project has been scoped, we will analyze your data over time, usually a minimum of 30 data points is required. This data can be 30 days, 30 weeks or 30 months to evaluate your present mode of operation. This analysis will take about a week. We will meet again with your decision makers for about an hour to give you our full proposal of how we will work together, how long the project will take and what resources we will need from you.
How long does a project take?
In general, most projects take 3-4 months but this is a function of how quickly the data can be gathered, validated and most importantly, the availability of your Project Leader and Project Support Team. For example, if you track sales per day or sales per week, we can gather the data with that frequency. If you want to determine if a problem repeats itself in 8 days, then we need to wait 8 days to see the data. Therefore the duration of any engagement is a function of frequency of the data to be gathered and analyzed.
How many people do we need?
We will need a project leader from you. This person needs to be your best listener and someone who is focused on improving the key business metric but not necessarily a subject matter expert. If the leader is made available to us whenever we need to confer, the project will take about 3 months. If we have to “wait” to see the leader, the project will take longer. As the client you have control over the timing of this part of the engagement. Ideally the leader is the person who has the most to gain or the most to lose by the outcome of this project. Other than the leader we will need a Project Support Team made up of a few key stakeholders who are familiar with the key components of the business process that is being analyzed. The role of the Project Support Team is to help ensure that all aspects of the project are being considered. It is anticipated that the time commitment of this group will be rather small compared to that of the Project Leader. Finally QOG will need access to your front-line employees and your subject matter experts for brainstorming sessions. The front-line workers know how to perform the job better than anyone else. We know that your business has to continue to operate during the engagement so we will only need the front-line employees a short time to solicit their ideas. We will collect ideas from the brainstorming sessions over a period of three days. If, for example, your goal is to improve revenue, we will ask your front-line employees how they would generate more revenue if they were the decision maker. Our experience says we will get from 100-800 ideas from your people. One significant side benefit of this process is the boost to morale that usually occurs when the employees who do the work are asked for their input and their ideas are taken seriously.
What do you do with the ideas?
Your project leader will work with QOG statisticians to analyze your baseline data and look for factors that have a significant impact on the performance of your key business metrics. These indicators coupled with the list of suggestions from your front-line employees will be scrubbed to eliminate any duplicate ideas and evaluate the remainder as to their ease of implementation, speed of implementation and cost of implementation. Typically we have 10-40 ideas that remain to be tested to determine if they in fact do improve revenue, reduce cost, and improve customer satisfaction or any other key business metric that you need to improve. Once we have the list of testable ideas, we will verify that we have properly captured the essence of the idea with the front-line employees who gave us the idea to ensure the idea is fully developed. We will take the list of testable ideas that remain to the decision maker before the testing starts and ask permission to immediately implement any of the good ideas (usually only 25% of the total number of ideas), stop all bad ideas (25%) and stop all ideas that make no difference (50%). This keeps the project on the fast track and ensures breakthrough results. When QOG leaves your company, the ideas that truly improve your key business metrics will have been implemented.
The leader from your company will schedule the training for your front-line employees which usually requires 15-30 minutes per session. Once the front-line employees begin testing the ideas according to very precise recipes we will need approximately 6 people to monitor this process for around 3 days to ensure compliance and then 2-4 people for ongoing monitoring until the testing is complete. This usually takes about 2 months.
The project is complete when we have implemented all of the good ideas, stopped all the bad ideas and stopped those that make no difference but incur cost. Results will then be monitored for a period of time so we can visually see the improvement on our tracking charts. This usually takes between two and three weeks.
Examples of case studies using this method are: Case Studies
Black Belt - Training to be a Black Belt in Six Sigma takes 4 weeks, or one week a month for 4 months. When you decide to pursue this option you will have multiple people in class, and multiple projects going on simultaneously. This method can be very advantageous to your company. If the projects selected by the students are screened and selected by the decision makers and have large ROI’s, the resulting improvements can be in the millions of dollars not just thousands of dollars. The DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) process works the same whether you select a complex process or a simple process. The mathematical rigor of Six Sigma allows you to work on very complex processes that can produce dramatic breakthrough results for your company. We can help you choose the right projects for your company and move quickly to implementation.
In Black Belt training, students will be out of the office for each of the four weeks and have limited access to voice mail. After week one of training, the students will have three weeks before the next class and they will work on their selected projects during this time. To successfully complete the class and be certified, each student must complete a project following the DMAIC process. There will be one-on-one coaching throughout the 4 weeks so that the student will feel comfortable presenting their project results to the decision makers. Project results are typically in the millions if the project has been chosen by the key decision makers within the company. Examples of case studies using this method are: Case Studies
Green Belt – Training to be a Green Belt in Six Sigma takes 2 weeks or one week a month for two months. All participants are required to successfully complete a project while in classroom training. Even though class size ranges from 10 to 20 people, individual one-on-one coaching is provided on the Green Belt’s project. Many people opt for Green Belt Certification because they are keenly interested in process improvement and the results that come with it, but are not particularly interested in the complex statistics and Design of Experiment methodologies required to be a Black Belt. Green Belt training is designed to increase problem solving skills for front line managers with an emphasis on DMAIC. Green Belts typically lead or participate in projects that are in a specific area of the organization and require less than a full-time commitment to Six Sigma throughout the business. Their primary responsibilities are to successfully integrate Six Sigma techniques into the company and to lead small-scale improvement projects in their own organizations. Project results typically are between $50k and $100k.
Champion Training – Champions are leaders who own process improvement initiatives. This course will enable the champion team to lead the Six Sigma or Process Excellence initiative, design a high-level implementation plan, and define the champion leadership role in supporting and executing that plan. It is suggested that leadership attend this course with the expected outcomes of identifying projects, prioritizing them and developing initial charters for the projects and understanding how to assign resources necessary to perform the project work. This course takes 2.5 days.
Lean/Six Sigma Green Belt Training - This is a two-week course designed to integrate components of LEAN into the DMAIC process improvement methodology. This course successfully combines the components of lean enterprise and six sigma tools that will enable you to transform your operations and maximize bottom line results. Participants are required to bring a project to class to work on. Individuals at any level should attend this course regardless of their particular industry. The key is that the individuals must want to use a structured process to streamline business processes, make improvements, and maintain the gains of their improvements. Some of the topics covered are: Overview of Six Sigma, Overview of Lean Enterprise, Defining Your Project, Process Basics, Understanding Voice of the Customer, Data Collection, Data Analysis, Process Analysis, Value Stream Mapping, Identifying Causes of the Problem, Verifying Causes, Overview of Design of Experiments, Lean Solutions: 5s, Flow, Mistake Proofing (Poka-Yoke), Evaluating Results, Standardization, Methods and Training, Process Monitoring, Control Communication and Future Plans.
Black Belt in Sensory Testing - This approach is for companies in the food manufacturing industry who wish to use the scientific techniques of Six Sigma to introduce new products to the retail market (using market testing of prototypes) or to produce existing products in a different facility. We have a turn-key staff of associates who can teach your people to utilize Black Belt quality methods in a manner that uniquely applies to the food manufacturing industry. Our turn-key expertise includes 1) sensory analysis testing, 2) project management and 3) statistical analysis using triangle and home use testing to obtain the optimum product attributes, product appraisal, product acceptance and quality. Examples of case studies using this method are: Food Manufacturing Case Studies
This approach is for those companies who wish to transform their culture into one that focuses on satisfying the customer and using the resulting benefits to increase profitability. During Business Transformation your company Leadership Team has decided that they want to emphasize this data-driven disciplined approach throughout all departments from the highest level down to the front-line worker. They want Six Sigma projects that generate significant improvements to profits measured in hundreds of thousands of dollars and they want them quickly and efficiently. You already have an established strategy for your company, but you want a tactical way to execute that strategy and not take forever in doing it.
Quadrant One Group offers a versatile combination of IT leadership, vision, skills, knowledge, alliances, and global delivery capabilities at the disposal of our clients. We can engage in providing IT strategy, defining application architectures, charting a roadmap for enterprise application integration, consulting on information security and governance, designing business objects in a service oriented architecture (SOA), or simply providing a highly specialized skill to augment your technology team. Additionally, we have the resources to help your organization manage and extend your operational performance by overcoming most complex integration challenges. In a nutshell, we are your partners to create and execute innovative strategies to provide superior results.
Quadrant One Group has extensive Project Management experience across multiple industries including both service industries and manufacturing environments. Our PMI Certified associates can help ensure that your programs and major projects come in on time and budget by providing the discipline and rigor of the PM methodology.
Quadrant One Group associates have been involved in numerous Operational due diligence engagements aimed at realistically assessing the likely post-merger synergies that are available to the investors. This is done by providing a detailed overview of the timing of the realization of those synergies and contingency plans for overcoming the most challenging issues. Quadrant One Group associates can detail for you the positive aspects of the transaction, the surprises and areas for concern and an overview of the integration issues. QOG associates can perform due diligence in the following areas:
Sales & Marketing including channel strategy and product rationalization
Information Technology including all major Operational Support Systems
Human Resources including employee benefits
Quadrant One Group consultants have been leaders in multiple post-merger integration initiatives. Typically QOG will become involved early in the process, usually much prior to closing. Early involvement helps ensure that the Management Team can continue to focus on the daily business operations while QOG works to develop the integration plan. These engagements allow QOG to utilize the diverse skills of our consultants including Project Management, Information Technology integration road mapping, vendor negotiations, Design for Six Sigma and development of interim performance metrics from the diverse systems that will continue to operate for some time. QOG can help you stay focused on delivering the key business results and ensure that the merger stays on schedule and delivers the planned financial synergies.
We have the outsourcing solutions that go beyond run-of-the-mill development and support. We will work with your organization to achieve superior results by customizing our services portfolio to match your needs. We understand that there is more to outsourcing than simply reducing costs. Our outsourcing services can help your company achieve:
Reductions in software development and support costs by about 40%
Reduction in TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) for applications by up to 40%
Strategic deployments of FTE resources on critical on-site requirements
Ability to ramp up and down on projects based on planned milestones
Access to highly specialized technology skills
We can engage in projects on a fixed cost or not-to-exceed cost basis, or the traditional time and material basis.