Tyson Foods

Six Sigma Yields Waste Reduction


"The Six Sigma approach takes 'gut feel management' out of the process. It puts in the required disciplines that take the focus off of people and onto the processes and specific situations. Insyte Consulting's hands on approach enabled us to effectively make this transition and lay the foundation for an expanded Six Sigma program at Tyson Foods." - Ken Murray, Plant Manager


  • Reduced slicing area scrap over $140,000.
  • Reduced kitchen scrap by $90,000.
  • Increased ham yield by $70,000.
  • Green Belts continue to find process improvement opportunities.


Tyson Foods in Buffalo, NY is a manufacturer of processed meats including hams, smoked sausage products and cold cuts, both bulk and sliced.


Over the years, Tyson consistently produced high-quality products with minimal scrap or returns. However, when problems did occur, the root causes were not systematically identified, understood and corrected. Tyson introduced elements of lean manufacturing and total quality management to address these issues, but both met with mixed results.


Tyson management approached Insyte Consulting to determine whether Six Sigma tools and techniques could be a solution. After determining that process variation was a contributor to these issues, Insyte concurred that Six Sigma would be useful and compatible with Tyson's previous lean manufacturing and TQM activities. Insyte trained and certified eight individuals as Six Sigma Green Belts in order to introduce Six Sigma into the organization.

Green Belt certification combines formal training in statistical and other techniques, with practical hands-on application of these skills. Each candidate must successfully complete a project applying Six Sigma principles. Tyson identified four areas where they were experiencing cost or waste issues. Two-person teams used Six Sigma's DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) process to resolve the problems. An Insyte Master Black Belt instructor provided direction and guidance throughout the projects to ensure the teams' success.