WFS Achieves First Green Belt Certifications in North America through Lean Six Sigma Program

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt WFS

The launch of a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (LSSGB) program by Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), a member of the SATS Group, in North America 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 coveted Green Belts, having completed 40 hours of classroom training, an examination, and a six-month project to target a specific benefit for the company. 15 employees are actively going through the program, and 130 members are on the ‘waitlist’ to join the upcoming quarterly programs.

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 since.

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

“We chose Lean Six Sigma because it drives operational excellence and 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 also to create standardised processes that can work across the network. It also gives everyone involved a skillset to look at data to make the best decisions possible,” Phil Schreibman said.

Regarding cost benefits, employees’ achievements in the first two LSSGB cohorts have already surpassed WFS’ target in North America for the first three programs, with more expected from the currently active program. Initiatives have included:

  • Transforming the way ground operations look at week-to-week data for planning across all pools of productivity to ensure all targets are met and resources are applied most efficiently to save cost;
  • Generating income from recycling of IT assets, producing revenue and sustainability benefits;
  • Identify work opportunity tax credits and ensure the business optimises the credits it is entitled to.
  • “The way our team have embraced the Lean Six Sigma concept has reinforced the eagerness for the program. 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 program participants with our Continuous Improvement (CI) directors, who are all Lean Six Sigma Black Belts and above,” Jeffrey Bounds commented. “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. We believe implementing this initiative is a critical step in achieving this goal. This program brings positive change to our operations and reinforces and builds a culture of continuous improvement that will benefit our customers, employees, and stakeholders for years to come. It is allowing our LSSGB team members 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,” he added.

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Ryan Finn
Ryan is the Digital Marketing and Content Creation Manager for Trade and Logistics Siam Ltd. He provides a creative flair to the team and his resourcefulness helps to bring an imaginative improvement to both literary archetypes and online content production. A writer by day and a rider by night, when he's not composing the latest logistics news update or creating compelling copy for our clients, Ryan spends his free time travelling Thailand by motorbike.