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During a time of economic strain, Accenture helped several US retailers implement a framework for continuous improved based on Lean Six Sigma principles.
By helping the retailers to prioritize projects based on business benefit, Accenture helped position the clients for high performance through operational excellence.
Accenture has worked with multiple retail organizations as they plan and implement their continuous improvement programs. These clients are large, United States-based retailers with a focus on innovation and a commitment to customer service.
Continuous improvement has become a necessity for survival and growth, particularly for retailers in an economic downturn. Company leaders realized the need to make internal improvements, but had difficulty filtering projects to focus on the high-value initiatives that could deliver impressive financial results. The retailers chose to work with Accenture on their continuous improvement programs based on Accenture’s breadth and depth of experience with Lean Six Sigma.
Recognizing the clients’ need to realize value rapidly in a weakening economy, Accenture mobilized to lay the foundation for Lean Six Sigma. The objective was to help these retailers “align and identify opportunities for continuous improvement.”
At each client, there were hundreds of improvement projects that had already been planned, announced or were under way within the client’s organization. To sort through the initiatives, Accenture undertook a readiness assessment with executives at each company headquarters and at retail locations across the nation.
Accenture followed up with a full-day Project Identification and Selection Workshop, which built high-level support and narrowed the list of projects for the first wave of continuous improvement.
Finally, Accenture facilitated the creation of a Deployment Playbook assembled by each client. Tailored to each retailer’s needs and culture, the Deployment Playbook outlined where and how Lean Six Sigma and continuous improvement could best be applied throughout their organization.
Accenture’s work in a concise time frame provided the Lean Six Sigma infrastructure for the retailers to launch a well-focused program for continuous improvement. Accenture embedded a framework and common language in support of operational excellence, thereby allowing the clients to target projects with expected high returns and rigorously implement those projects to deliver the sought-after benefits. In the first year at one of these retailers, the client achieved more than a 200 percent return on investment.
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