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WFS’ Lean Six Sigma programme inspires business improvements

Andres Brothers (above), Director Operational Ground Support North America, and George Kessanis (right), General Manager, New York JFK Building 9 Cargo Operations, are among the first group of WFS sta to successfully achieve Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification

The launch of a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (LSSGB) programme by Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), is helping employees from across the business achieve an internationally recognised management certification while identifying opportunities to increase operational efficiency, reduce waste, and enhance customer satisfaction.

WFS currently has 10 team members in the region who have earned their coveted Green Belts, having successfully completed 40 hours of classroom training, an examination, and a six-month project to target a specific benefit for the company.

15 employees are actively going through the program, and a further 130 members are on the ‘wait list’ to join the upcoming quarterly programs.

LSSGB was introduced to WFS in North America by Jeffrey Bounds, Senior Vice President, Operational Excellence & Business Performance, Americas, and Phil Schreibman, Director, Continuous Improvement, and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt.

The first LSSGB cohort commenced in 2023, with two more since.

Phil Schreibman said “We chose Lean Six Sigma because it not only drives operational excellence, it also inspires transformational change.

“The Lean principles are very hands-on and focus on removing waste from processes, while Six Sigma traditionally comes more from a manufacturing and engineering environment.

“So, by combining the two and creating a Green Belt level, we are teaching leaders and future leaders how to look at our day-to-day operations, to not only remove waste from existing processes but to also create standardized processes that can work across the network.

“It is also giving everyone involved a skillset to look at data to make the best decisions possible.”

Jeffrey Bounds commented: “The way our team have embraced the Lean Six Sigma concept has reinforced the eagerness for the program.

“The reason why we limit each quarterly group to 10 people, and part of the uniqueness of what we’re doing, is because we couple it with mentorships, aligning the program participants with our Continuous Improvement (CI) directors, who are all Lean Six Sigma Black Belts and above.

“Having that partnership with a CI team already very excited about driving change and improvement is contagious.

“As a global leader in air cargo handling, we are committed to providing our customers with the highest level of service and believe that implementing this initiative is a critical step in achieving this goal.

“This program is not only bringing positive change to our operations, it reinforces and builds a culture of continuous improvement that will benefit our customers, employees, and stakeholders for years to come.

“It is giving our LSSGB team members the opportunity to attain an internationally-recognized certification that they will carry with them for the remainder of their careers, and produces a return on that investment for the business as well”.

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