– PACCAR, Inc., a producer of light- to heavy-duty trucks, received the Best Achievement in Integrating Lean and Six Sigma methodologies at the recent Global Six Sigma Summit & Industry Awards in Las Vegas. They were recognized for developing a fact-based, decision-making process called High Impact Kaizen Event (HIKE), which allowed PACCAR to optimize their plant processes.PACCAR demonstrated that HIKE improve design engineering, financial services, sales and marketing, plant production, dealer service, and other applications. More than 50 HIKES have been conducted without a single failure. In four weeks, HIKE has cut defects in half, doubled capacity, saved millions of dollars in costs, and increased sales.Once corporate management approves a project, a qualified HIKE coach is chosen from PACCAR’s Six Sigma staff. The coach is an executive grade professional with a successful track record applying both Lean and Six Sigma, and in multiple HIKES. The coach then becomes a direct extension of corporate management as well as on-site expertise for his or her team.A “War Room,” set up as a central point for data, analysis, and solutions, is located near the site of improvement where it is visible to the entire organization. Accessibility is essential. Visitors are welcomed during team breaks, but never during the team’s 10-hour daily sessions.A key benefit of HIKE’s structure is that it prevents false starts. The process occurs across the PACCAR organization at a rate of about three per month. At any single location the pause between each HIKE is normally one month, but can be as little as one week. The process seamlessly integrates Lean and Six Sigma.While HIKE was first piloted in PACCAR manufacturing plants, HIKES have been successful also in financial services, human resources, dealerships, and sales and marketing.