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What is Lean Six Sigma (LSS)? It is the combination of two world-renowned process improvement and quality philosophies that make for a powerful means to achieve and sustain continuous quality improvement and exceptional performance in all functions of your business.

HR, Human Resources or Human Relations, has evolved over the past few decades into a very dynamic and even more integral part of businesses today. In the ready mixed concrete industry, the work of HR can be carried out everywhere from the owner of a local business to departments with full time staffs of professionals at the regional and national levels. Responsibilities in this area vary by company and can cover employee relations, insurance, retirement plans, safety and environmental management, and other areas.

I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly regarding procurement in the concrete business, as well as in cement, aggregates, concrete products and building materials. But, before we throw stones, I also witnessed first-hand annual savings of tens of millions of dollars captured by a relatively small group of coordinators/facilitators in the U.S. and well over $100 million gained on a global scale.

Value added or “up-selling” has been foundational to the success of many concrete companies and continues to be a solid source of potential profit generation. The scope of value added is not just product orientated, but also involves a true understanding of customer needs. Many customers still miss the full potential value of concrete and services you can provide.

The potential for optimization in the ready mixed business touches many levels and areas. The most recognized are the areas of logistics/dispatch, materials and plant performance. They all have quick gains and add value, but there are other areas to optimize as well.