LSSGB programme inspires WFS certifications in North America

WFS currently has 10 team members in the region who have earned their Green Belts

Lean Six Sigma programmes inspire WFS’ Green Belt certifications in North America

George Kessanis, General Manager, WFS New York JFK Building 9 Cargo Operations North America, with his Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certificate. (Photo Credit: WFS)

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Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), a member of the SATS Group, launched the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (LSSGB) programme in North America.

WFS is identifying opportunities to increase operational efficiency, reduce waste and enhance customer satisfaction while helping employees from across the business achieve an internationally recognised management certification.

WFS currently has 10 team members in the region who have earned their 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, says an official release. "Nearly 15 employees are actively going through the programme, and a further 130 members are on the ‘waitlist’ to join the upcoming quarterly programmes."

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 completed after the launch.

WFS is now offering the LSSGB programme for up to 10 employees in North America four times a year. "This is available not only to those with an operational focus but also encompasses team members from other key areas of the business including IT, Finance and HR."

Andres Brothers, Director, Operational Support, Ground Operations, North America, WFS with his Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certificate

Schreibman says: “We chose Lean Six Sigma because it not only drives operational excellence but 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 standardised 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."

In terms of cost benefits, the achievements of employees in the first two LSSGB cohorts have already surpassed WFS’ target in North America for the first three programmes with more expected from the current active programme.

“The way our team has embraced the Lean Six Sigma concept has reinforced the eagerness for the programme," says Bounds. "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 programme 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 programme 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-recognised 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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