US LBM Continues Employee Commitment to Lean Six Sigma

Originally published by: ProSales MagazineOctober 29, 2020

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For the eighth consecutive year, associates from specialty building materials distributor US LBM earned a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification from the Wisconsin School of Business Center for Professional & Executive Development. The company’s US 1 initiative, which includes a progressive series of Lean Six Sigma certifications for associates, such as Green Belt and Yellow Belt, is central to US LBM’s continuous improvement strategy, according to the distributor.

US LBM logo

Lean Six Sigma is a step-by-step process of interventions and statistical tools that allows companies to understand which business processes are not performing as needed, identify root causes of problems, and sustain a competitive advantage.

Seven US LBM associates complete the Green Belt program in October and 15 more are working towards earning their Green Belt Certification in December. The associates represent a range of disciplines, including operations, logistics, purchasing, HR, finance, and sales. To date, US LBM has had more than 900 associates certified with a Lean Six Sigma Yellow, Green, or Black Belt.

“Providing our people with the knowledge and tools to drive efficiency and change helps us achieve our continuous improvement goals and allows our associates to continue building their careers,” US LBM chief human resources officer and executive vice president of culture Wendy Whiteash said in a news release.

The Green Belt program typically runs from January to June and includes in-person work sessions at the Center for Professional & Executive Development in Madison, Wis. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, US LBM and the Center for Professional & Executive Development collaborated to adapt the program for online and virtual learning, with similar work underway for the Yellow Belt program.

“Innovating, adapting to changing conditions, and problem solving are at the heart of the Lean Six Sigma philosophy and US LBM’s culture,” Whiteash said. “We have been proud to partner with the Center for Professional & Executive Development for nearly a decade, and their ability to work with us under challenging conditions so that we can continue investing in our people and enterprise speaks to the strength of the Center and our relationship.”

Buffalo Grove, Ill.-based US LBM ranked 6th on the 2020 ProSales 100 and operates more than 250 locations across the United States. The distributor offers a portfolio of specialty products, including windowsdoors, millwork, wallboard, roofing, siding, engineered components, and cabinetry.