How can Lean Six Sigma help Machine Learning?

Note that this article was submitted and accepted by KDnuggest, the most popular blog site about machine learning and knowledge discovery.

I have been using Lean Six Sigma (LSS) to improve business processes for the past 10+ year and am very satisfied with its benefits. Recently, I’ve been working with a consulting firm and a software vendor to implement a machine learning (ML) model to predict remaining useful life (RUL) of service parts. The result which I feel most frustrated is the low accuracy of the resulting model. As shown below, if people measure the deviation as the absolute difference between the actual part life and the predicted one, the resulting model has 127, 60, and 36 days of average deviation for the selected 3 parts. I could not understand why the deviations are so large with machine learning.

After working with the consultants and data scientists, it appears that they can improve the deviation only by 10%. This puzzles me a lot. I thought machine learning is a great new tool to make forecast simple and quick, but I did not expect it could have such large deviation. To me, such deviation, even after the 10% improvement, still renders the forecast useless to the business owners.

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6 Steps To Supply Chain Risk Management Success

6 Steps To Supply Chain Risk Management Success

Lean production may traditionally be considered the linchpin that holds successful supply chain management together, but reducing your exposure to risks is becoming a key priority for maritime companies.

Our dependence on, and partnerships with suppliers, whether it be via outsourcing or mitigating stock opens up a whole world of exposure for marine businesses and their procurement teams. That’s why risk management is so crucial to the supply chain.

Navigating risks really is the key to management success. With the global expansion of supply chains comes ever more complicated business structures and so countless issues can arise causing disruption, delays and ultimately money going down the drain.

Both buyers and suppliers can be hit by a number of unavoidable problems. From natural disasters to terrorism or cyber attacks. Each problem can have big effects on both upstream and downstream partners.

So what can you do to mitigate risk?

The best way to reduce exposure is to make sure you and your company keep up to date with developments in the maritime sector. And to follow a few key steps…

1. Choose your suppliers carefully

Conduct audits of your suppliers on a regular basis and if necessary, inspections to make sure they are committed to risk management like you are.

2. Authenticate suppliers’ insurance cover

It’s worth remembering that a certificate of insurance is only evidence of the insurance cover as it was when it was written.

3. Clearly define contract scopes and draft contracts

Be careful when defining contract scopes and draft contracts.

4. Understand the extent of your exposure

How much risk are you and your business exposed to?

5. Put a plan in place

Identifying risks is the easy part, now you have to get an action plan in place.

6. Lower the threat of risk by purchasing the right cover

Making sure your policy covers your company’s specific exposure mix and risk tolerance is important.

Do you have any ideas to add regarding risk management in supply chain? Share your opinions in the comment box or send us a message for discussion.

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