Naperville Area News

Date ArticleType
6/27/2019 General
Six Sigma Certification Drives Continuous Improvement

Improving processes that increase productivity, reduce costs, increase profits and so much more. That’s what professionals in all types of organizations can learn by earning a Lean Six Sigma Certificate. Northern Illinois University’s College of Engineering and Engineering Technology trains professionals in Lean Six Sigma leading to Yellow, Green and eventually Black Belt certification.

“Lean Six Sigma is about continuous process improvement,” said Purushothaman Damodaran, Ph.D., professor, and chair of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department at NIU’s College of Engineering and Engineering Technology (CEET) has offered the program for the past seven years. In that time, CEET has trained over 500 yellow and green belts and more than 30 black belts.

“Our training gives professionals the tools to improve processes that save money, eliminate waste, and improve customer satisfaction,” said Damodaran.
“There are so many ways this kind of program can help an organization,” said CEET Dean Donald Peterson. “Six Sigma certification can solve challenges of all kinds, not just manufacturers. Hospitals, municipalities, and school districts all can benefit.”

“Anyone with a background in business management, business operations, finance, engineering, and sciences are ideal for this certification,” said Matt Kroll, one of the NIU Lean Six Sigma instructors.

“Leaders want people that can improve how the organization works. This training provides the methods and hands-on experience that will allow participants to drive improvement,” said Kroll. “Lean Six Sigma certification is recognized across the globe as the high water mark for process improvement.”

The next course starts on Saturday, Oct. 5 at NIU’s Naperville campus on Diehl Rd. that is held on five consecutive Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Upon completion of day one participants earn their yellow belts. Then, they work on a project for 3-6 months that they present to faculty to earn their green belts. At that time, they can enroll in the black belt course, which is a 5-day course followed by an additional project assignment. Classes are held throughout the year on a rotational basis at of NIU’s campuses at Naperville and Hoffman Estates.

Training can also be held at a customer’s site provided they can arrange for a group of 10-15 employees. “We have offered training at various customer sites: Woodward, McDonalds Corp., SPX Hydraulics Technologies, Justrite Manufacturing, Grundfos, Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, and Village of Tinley Park,” said Damodaran.

The Village of Orland Park brought NIU’s Lean Six Sigma course onsite in 2017 to improve a variety of systems processes within the village. Through the program, the village made multiple improvements in its public works, police force, human resources, and economic development departments.

The police department improved the method, consistency and objectivity in administering traffic violations while public works staff developed a way to conserve road salt with a new process to determine how much salt to spread. City planners reduced the time to approve new building permits and human resources streamlined the process of reviewing job applicants.

For information on the Lean Six Sigma courses at NIU, visit go.niu.edu/sixsigma or contact Dr. Damodaran [email protected] or 815-753-5660.

Chairman's Circle and President's Circle Members