Case Study

Lean Six Sigma improves plant performance and cuts costs

FoodCo was suffering from slow growth and diminished market share. To remain competitive, it needed to improve its manufacturing facilities to reduce cost and increase capacity. It also need to invest in innovation to remain competitive. Bain incorporated Lean Six Sigma principles to improve the company’s plant performance, which yielded 15 percent cost savings and increased flexibility.

  • min read

At a Glance

  • 15% Decrease in cost
  • 25% Increase in equipment effectiveness
  • 30% Increase in capacity

The Story

The Situation

FoodCo* was losing market share to strong competitors and suffering from slowing growth in primary channels. To remain competitive, the client had to:

  • Improve manufacturing facilities to reduce cost and increase capacity, and
  • Invest in innovations needed for growth and competitiveness

The client asked Bain to address the following key questions:

  • Can capacity be increased in existing plants? How much, and where?
  • Can cost per ton be reduced on existing lines?
  • Can enough cash be freed up from operations to fund investments in innovation?

Our Approach

Bain incorporated Six Sigma DMAIC methodology and Lean principles into our four-step approach to improve FoodCo's plant performance.


Our Recommendations

Bain identified 45 initiatives and prioritized them according to improvements to plant capacity and overall equipment effectiveness. Of these, Bain recommended six as the most critical initiatives.


The Results

With Bain's support, FoodCo implemented the recommended initiatives, generating 15% cost savings and increased flexibility. The company also worked with Bain to put knowledge transfer programs in place so that the improvements would spread to additional plants in the system.

* We take our clients' confidentiality seriously. While we've changed their names, the results are real.

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