AgroGeneration is one of the largest Ukrainian agricultural producers and the first agricultural company to introduce Lean Six Sigma.
From February to March 2017 Lean Six Sigma workshops have been held at the company’s offices in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Lviv. 152 employees of AgroGeneration have successfully passed exams and won certificates – 65 green belts and 87 yellow belts.
The program is organized according to the following categories: green belts are for the company leaders, yellow and white belts are for the so-called “work horses”, whereas black belts are for masters. After completing the training and passing the exam a green belt employee has to introduce a number of process optimization projects using the obtained knowledge and tools. It is advisable that the management helps green belts choose the processes, which are the company’s top priority. The first 6 Sigma tool is change, which is not a target in itself, but a way to gain higher profit and to reduce costs.
Following the workshops held by Reno Domenico, the founder and president of Sterling Business School, there have been formed working groups that under the supervision of project sponsors will be dealing with the identification and reduction of production costs or tracing the production alignment opportunities. At the moment 50 Lean Six Sigma projects have been initiated at AgroGeneration.
“I always say that in a company the problem is not with people, but with processes. These problems may be quite different. For example, very many companies have issues with either large-scale or small-scale plundering. It may happen for two reasons – either the process is built in a way that facilitates plundering, or the people that are part of this process are underpaid and have no other choice. Thus, the processes must be designed in a way that suggests neither opportunities for, nor the necessity in such practices. Along with that one has to create a relevant infrastructure so that they wouldn’t want to do that. That’s where we can help,” commented Reno Domenico, the founder and president of Sterling Business School and the Chairman of the Democrats Abroad in Ukraine.
Lean Six Sigma demands change of the corporate culture. Lean production must become a cherished value of all employees of AgroGeneration.
“Several years ago we made a decision to introduce Lean Six Sigma in our company. It is essentially about lean production, optimization of costs, and improvement of agricultural technologies and quality. This methodology allows tracking and eliminating inefficient processes.
It is important to note that training in Lean Six Sigma helps the company’s employees optimize their activities and increase productivity while cultivating the teamwork. As a result, there develops a process of ongoing improvement at all levels.
In my opinion, Lean Six Sigma is the most acceptable methodology for the Ukrainian agriculture sector. Yet, there are only a few companies in several countries that have applied it in their agricultural production. Basically, these are high-technology holdings producing seeds, high-yield hybrids etc.
We expect that Lean Six Sigma will be fully introduced in our company by the end of 2017, which will be its first practical implementation in the industrial agriculture of the post-soviet countries. I am convinced that the application of this methodology will open new possibilities for AgroGeneration leading to competitive advantages,” stated Serhii Bulavin, Senior Vice President of AgroGeneration.