Success Story

Johnson Controls needed continuous improvement software to help them launch and manage a new cross-divisional Six Sigma initiative.

Since implementing PowerSteering, JCI was able to replicate best practices across their global manufacturing facilities that resulting in significant cost savings and a reduction in energy usage and GHG emissions.

Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries. Johnson Controls creates quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles.

Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI) embarked on a massive Six Sigma initiative in early 2000. At first, JCI leveraged a Lotus Notes-based project tracking tool, but eventually outgrew its limited capabilities. JCI began a thorough search of various project portfolio management software applications to identify a tool that would support a cross-divisional Six Sigma initiative spanning its automotive, building and battery divisions worldwide across 300+ plants and locations.

The CI teams were able to deploy proven best practices across the globe to our manufacturing facilities that resulted not only in significant cost savings for our organization, but also a reduction in energy usage and GHG emissions.”

― Kevin Filcik, Continuous Improvement Controller at Johnson Controls

Best Practice Deployment

Using PowerSteering, JCI built two best practice deployment initiatives. The first, called workstream internally, uses tags to identify best practice categories within the various business units. The workstream teams hold regular meetings to manage the deployment and track the initiatives using PowerSteering. Both the status and the benefits are seen on a regular basis. The second, internally known as “push” methodology, is a “bulk deployment” of best practices across the enterprise through PowerSteering’s work generation functionality.

Best Practice Sharing Process Flow

JCI prides itself on continuously documenting best practices across its enterprise with PowerSteering. Subject matter experts comprise a best practice review board that monitors best practice ideas submitted from anyone across the organization. The submissions must include proven results, enablers, implementation guidance, cost/benefit details and the submitter’s contact info. The source of these ideas includes CI initiatives from various plants or simply best practice ideas developed by various successful teams. All ideas are either rejected or approved. The best practice team evaluates all ideas and buckets them in certain categories: rejected, pull or push. The “pull” ideas are approved for teams around the world to review and deploy by using PowerSteering’s CI search engine (product / process / keyword). The “push” category represents the critical few ideas selected for roll out by JCI’s
leadership team.

One notable example of the use of the deployment is related to “sustainability” best practices. Six best practices were identified in specific plants to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These key best practices were “deployed” using PowerSteering to over 250 plant locations worldwide. A corporate “best practice champion” tracked and reported on the execution of the best practices to ensure that all plants completed them and to measure savings and results achieved.

Best Practice Lessons Learned

With the help of PowerSteering’s Six Sigma software, JCI continues to rely on its proven best practice workstream approach. This approach has been very effective not only because of PowerSteering but also because of the business team ownership. The “push” deployment has been effective as well thanks to a high-level executive sponsor and regular status tracking. PowerSteering is a key means to deploy JCI’s best practices.

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