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Yes, There are Projects Beyond Making the Perfect Crayola Crayon & Marker"

Richard John Titus, Jr., Adjunct Faculty, MBB and Principal, Lehigh University and Titus Consulting, Bethlehem, PA, USA

Keywords: Deployment, IT, HR

Industry: Manufacturing

Level: Intermediate


Crayola manufactures over 2.2 billion crayons and 500 million markers per year at the Easton facility. Crayola began the Lean Six Sigma journey in 2000 focusing on the application of Lean. In 2007, under the direction, guidance and participation of Mr. Peter Ruggiero, Certified Six Sigma Green Belt and Executive V.P. of Worldwide Operations and Information Technology (IT) Crayola launched their first wave of Green Belts. Since this first wave over 100 Green Belts and Black Belts have been trained and certified. Hundreds of projects have been completed yielding substantial savings and improvements. While the majority of projects have been focused on manufacturing, a number of significant projects have been completed in other areas of the business including Information Technology, Human Resources (HR) and Research and Development (R&D). These projects have been some of the most successful projects in terms of process improvements and savings. The IT project reduced the total number of required servers and hardware footprint. This allowed the creation of new office space and reduced annual operating expenses over a five-year period. The HR project impacted the time to hire by over 50%, filling Crayola positions with qualified people faster than ever. The R&D project added further improvements in product performance versus competitors via design improvements. These projects remind us that Lean Six Sigma projects exist beyond the tradition walls of our factories. We just need to follow the DMAIC process and remember Dr. W. Edwards Deming as he noted “The factory offers 3% of the opportunity for company improvement, the rest of the business- 97%.”

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