Lean Six Sigma Setup Time Reduction and Training New Employees

Furthermore, Lean Six Sigma Herku Method is not only transferrable between different industries but it is successfully applicable in all areas’ of your business such as in sales, in marketing, in production, in administration or in human resources.

Why to Be Concerned About Setup Time?

First let’s look at setup time.

Setup time is mainly known in the manufacturing environment. Reduction of setup time – the time required to change from one activity or process to another – provides you with …

–         Higher equipment utilization

–         Increased productivity

–         Lower waiting times

–         Lower batch sizes

–         Reduced inventory

–         Increased capacity

–         More flexibility

Setup time is non-value-adding time; therefore its reduction should be your primary concern.

How to Reduce Setup Time?

Without going into much detail, one of the best way to reduce setup time is to move internal activities (those that require the production activity to be stopped) to external activities (tasks that can be done while running production).

Only the separation of internal and external activities will help you reducing your setup time by 50% with zero additional costs.

Learn more about setup time reduction at

How to Apply This in HRM?

Improving the training and orientation period of new employee is very important because you are able to deliver the right quality quickly without losing too much of production.

The team also identified that site tour – showing new employee around the workplace, introducing ever important aspect of the work, to show where to find what – is an important part of the training.

The team admitted, that due to time pressure, even such simple yet very important element, is often not completed during the first days of the program.

This led me to ask the question: How much is such site tour different from one occasion to another? Should the site tour be different for the employees of the same job occupation?

The answer was: NO, and if it does, it is not preferred.

That was the trigger to separate the internal and external activities during the training period of a new employee.

While site tour was an internal activity (it was held during production time, therefore reducing productivity) we agreed to make it an external activity.

We are going to shoot several video’s showing around the workplace, explaining all the necessary details that the new employee should know. The video will be put on DVD and/or placed on the secured website of the company.

The new employee will receive the DVD/access during last interview with his/her boss and HR Manager.

The employee is then required to watch those videos and be prepared before he/she starts on the first day.

No live site tour will be held but of course any specific questions will be answered by the mentor (responsible person to carry out the planned introduction).

Advantages and tangible results of improving training of new employees

–         Increased productivity (due to reduction of lost production)

–         Increased and constant quality due to standardized introduction (video is always the same)

–         More detailed information is available (since watching the video is outside production time, so you can provide more valuable information compared to the life site tour)

–         New employee is more confident from day 1 because he/she is already familiar with the workplace and got the related information required to do his/her job well

–         Training period will be shorter because the employee will be able to do his/her job with less supervision faster

To tell you the truth, the above project was done in a Healthcare company but you can see it is equally applicable in Manufacturing, IT, Government, Energy, Real-Estate or Finance.

Do you want to learn how to increase your productivity by 50% and – more importantly – how to do it even with your less motivated colleagues? You can learn it in 30% faster, guaranteed.

Warm regards,


M.Sc. Peter Herku MBA, Lean Six Sigma Coach

        +31 55 737 00 02

        +31 655 30 10 94

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