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Molex is a global manufacturer of over 100,000 electronic and fiber optic products with operations in 39 manufacturing locations and 16 countries. With $3 billion in sales, chances are that several things you own contain Molex components. Starting in 2007, Molex deployed a coordinated, worldwide Global Lean Six Sigma (GLSS) initiative that enlisted participation from 25 development centers across the world. PowerSteering has been an integral part of meeting the program’s goals for applying quality principles to all business processes and preventing problems proactively rather than fixing them after the fact.

A Different Focus on Continuous Improvement

There are a number of things that Molex did differently with the GLSS program than with previous quality improvement initiatives. First and foremost, every project is tied to a corporate business objective and 70% of these projects impact internal or external customers directly. A global adoption approach meant that staff and tools needed to be multi-lingual and the system had to capture standard processes across multiple countries. Following a top-down implementation strategy, Molex trained executive management before the first project was selected. Finally, Molex recruited top talent throughout the organization and dedicated these Black Belts to focus on chronic problem areas.

What Gets Measured Gets Done

Molex leverages PowerSteering to make their GLSS deployment lean. More than 2,700 projects are tracked in PowerSteering through to the realization phase including all gate approvals. Standard templates in English and Japanese help Belts manage their projects efficiently and assure consistency. Visual portals measure Molex’s specific deployment metrics with real-time reports of project phase, status, health, customer satisfaction objective and cost reduction focus. Getting meaningful data quickly is the watchword at Molex and PowerSteering has automated the process so that it is easy to drill down into any project, in any global location.

Replicate Project Success

Replication is a very important part of Molex’s deployment and PowerSteering is used as the central library to capture project successes and identify opportunities for replication across all functions, plants and geographies. PowerSteering is also used beyond GLSS as an efficient way to handle gated workflow. In one example of this, a weekly report highlighted that 80% of projects in a tooling transfer application were late. With progress indicators clearly visible to the entire engineering community, these projects got back on track in no time. Molex credits PowerSteering with helping to reduce waste, eliminate process variation and ultimately create a stronger link to customers.

Deployment Highlights:

  • Top-down deployment
  • Used in 11 countries
  • Multi-lingual templates & reports
  • 2,700 projects tracked
  • 43% reduction in quality notifications
  • Real-time KPIs
  • 3-4 completed Black Belt Projects per year