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On the Right Track: Rail Company Reduces Expenses With Six Sigma

Summary: In 2006, rail company CSX Transportation selected an improvement project through a systematic look at process gaps and opportunities using the company’s established methods along with Six Sigma and define, measure, analyze, improve, and control (DMAIC). The project, focusing on train and engine expenses as well as accuracy in employee pay, used a top-down approach based on solid data and broad stakeholder involvement. Utilizing a variety of quality tools such as failure mode and effects analysis and process mapping, an improvement team helped reduce expenses by $1.4 million, lower arbitrary payment claims in a specific category by 40 percent, and maintain performance metrics. Completed in just nine weeks, this project qualified as a finalist in the 2008 International Team Excellence Award process sponsored by ASQ.

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