Santa Claus Has A Black Belt

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Undoubtedly, the most successful Lean Six Sigma practitioner of all time is none other than Old St. Nicolas. That’s right – Santa Claus! Mr. Kris Kringle indeed has a Black Belt.

Santa has a lean six sigma black belt
Any effective Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (or Master Black Belt or Green Belt) has successfully evaluated, improved and standardized a repetitive process to create efficiency in time and resources. Through the Lean Six Sigma practitioners of the world, countless savings, reductions and improvements have been measured, but none come close to the successful business of Mr. Claus.

For 364 days each year, Santa runs a workshop manufacturing children’s favorites from the babies’ first teddy bear to the teenager’s texting telephone. He receives these letters from well -deserving kids pouring their hearts out for gifts to bring season’s cheer – each of which he must fulfill. So he leads the workshop elves in creating every toy for every girl and boy in a strict, no-tolerance-for-overtime 364 days.

Year after year, Santa hits the target of making these toys! His Black Belt is the key. By continuously reducing non-value added time, production completes right on time and with just the right inventory.

After the production, on the eve of the 365th day, Santa must deliver. In that single night, Santa travels around the globe, drops in every chimney, enjoys an equal number of lovingly-prepared milk and cookies, and then he nicely places the longed-for Christmas gifts under a prickly pine tree. All the while, Santa must maintain a level of zero noise – for he is not to be seen.

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is critical to Santa’s success. Without this tool, there is no way Santa could have created a process to get the presents under the tree across the world on Christmas night without failing. Instead, Santa maintains a standard of 100% quality and on-time delivery.

After consuming milk and cookies all night with the satisfaction of a process well carried out, Santa kicks up his feet. With Mrs. Claus by his side and the elves and reindeer surrounding him, the group has a kaizen event to plan improvements for the next year. Afterwards, it is back to the workshop for more production – no time for wasted time in Santa’s shop!

Across the globe, all the good little girls and boys awake in extreme satisfaction and gratification for Santa’s good work.

Imagine the impact you could make in your department, your organization, your city, maybe even the whole world if you, like Santa Claus, effectively carried out your Lean Six Sigma training!


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This holiday we hope to spread cheer and good tidings to all through knowledge, resources and training. If you would like to learn more, give Forrest or the Smarter Solutions team a call at 512.918.0280.

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