Seeing Excellence in Full Color With Crayola’s Quality Team: Lean Six Sigma Makes a Difference!

If you’ve ever used a crayon, you know Crayola crayons just can’t be beat.  They aren’t too waxy.  The tips are solid.  The colors are vibrant and the color choices are endless.  Crayola dominates the market, selling nearly 3 billion crayons every year!  And crayons are just the beginning!  Crayola manufactures countless arts and crafts products that are all top-selling items.

Crayola attributes much of the company success to the incorporation of Lean Six Sigma methods.  Crayola makes quality products and the company is very intentional about keeping quality a top priority.  At the recent American Society for Quality’s World Conference on Quality and Improvement in Nashville, Tennessee, key members from Crayola’s Quality Team explained how Lean Six Sigma methods have helped them achieve excellence in the arts and crafts world.

Presenting on behalf of Crayola were Bonnie Hall, the company’s vice president for global quality and continuous improvement, and Rich Titus, a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt who consults with Crayola.  They explained that Crayola has been using Lean Six Sigma initiatives since 2001 and now consider the training to be part of the company culture.  All senior-level managers are fully trained Green and Black Belts and managers conduct regular product reviews.  The company also uses strategic data analysis and statistical methods to reduce waste, cut costs, and maximize the quality of the crayons and other art supplies they produce.

Lean Six Sigma has helped Crayola in nearly every area of business operations.  Although traditionally used for improving manufacturing processes, Crayola has extended Lean Six Sigma methods to increase the accuracy of their inventory system, manage their supply chain, and design better product experiments.  As a result of their Lean Six Sigma training, the company has been able to save money, improve performance, and maintain high quality standards.  When the first round of Lean Six Sigma projects were completed, the company saved more than $1.5 million in raw materials, cost avoidance, process improvements and scrap reductions!  The savings continue to build as the program grows and more employees are trained.

Lean Six Sigma has made a huge difference for Crayola and the company is truly thriving.  Wondering what Lean Six Sigma training can do for your company?  Click here to learn more about Lean Six Sigma certification or contact us today!

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Author: Thomas Pyzdek

Consultant, author, owner of The Pyzdek Institute