Lean Sigma Methods and Tools for Service Organizations: The Story of a Cruise Line Transformation

ean Sigma Methods and Tools for Service Organizations: The Story of a Cruise Lin

Jaideep Motwani, Rob Ptacek, and Richard Fleming

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November 14, 2012
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Both Six Sigma and Lean are widely recognized and implemented; and both have been successful in creating value within a variety of organizations, mostly in manufacturing concerns. Lean Sigma Methods and Tools for Service Organizations proposes to integrate the best practices from each of these philosophies and apply them to an organization whose overriding mission is to deliver superior service to its customers. 

The authors demonstrate in this book how key components of both Six Sigma and Lean, such as identifying and removing defects, elimination of waste, metrics, speed of delivery and the seamless integration of these concepts and practices throughout the operation" serve to deliver the kind of value that customers recognize and which allows the organization to be successful. These Lean Sigma concepts and how they apply to services are compellingly illustrated in the book by focusing on the transformation of a specific service organization: a cruise ship offering a full range of on-board services including guest services, gaming, entertainment, food and medical services, retail sales, security, events and adventure planning, operations and maintenance, purchasing and logistics, human resources and training and administration of payroll and accounting. By covering Lean Sigma applications in each of these areas in a story book format, service providers can begin to understand how Lean Sigma methods and tools can be applied in their service organizations. 

Through a unique and captivating story of two competitive brothers; one (Joe) who has had phenomenal success with Lean Sigma methods and tools in a manufacturing business, and the other (Larry), the manager of a cruise line desperately in need of improvement in all performance areas, this story illustrates the discovery, application and transformation of a variety of service organizations supporting the cruise line operations.  This book applies the concepts of Lean Six Sigma to the service industry. These concepts were developed in the manufacturing industry and have not been widely applied in the service space. The book uses a story telling approach about a cruise line in financial trouble that achieves turn around with Lean Six Sigma.

Jaideep Motwani

Dr. Jaideep Motwani is Chairperson and Professor of Management, Seidman College of Business Grand Valley State University. Dr. Jaideep Motwani is Chair and Professor of Management at the Seidman College of Business, Grand Valley State University since 2000. He is also the E. Seidman Endowed Chair of Management. He received his Ph.D. in Operations Management from University of North Texas. He has co-authored a book entitled “Classics in Operations Management,” and published more than 150 articles in prestigious journals. The majority of Dr.

Rob Ptacek

Rob Ptacek is President and CEO, Competitive Edge Training and Consulting & Partner, Global Lean Institute, LLC. Mr. Ptacek is a Partner in the Global Lean Institute and President and CEO of Competitive Edge Training and Consulting, a firm specializing in leader and organizational development, and Lean Enterprise transformations. He is an Approved Scanlon Leadership Network Consultant. Mr. Ptacek holds a BS in Metallurgical Engineering from Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI (USA), and a Masters of Management from Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, MI (USA).

Richard Fleming

Richard Fleming is President and CEO of Continuous Improvement (CI) Associates and has provided hundreds of manufacturing companies and service firms with lean enterprise consulting, training, and opportunity assessments for more than 20 years. His expertise has been used by leaders to achieve product and process enhancements that result in improved productivity, quality, and service. Mr. Fleming has worked with manufacturers, banks, pharmaceutical companies, colleges, non-profit organizations, and utilities. Mr.

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