Lean six-sigma brings dramatic improvements to crime lab

December 30, 2013 by neil

Monroe County Crime Laboratory, USA

Lean consultants were called in to provide Lean six-sigma training at Munroe County Crime Laboratory to help rectify serious backlogs in DNA analysis.  Because the DNA analysis procedures were highly regulated it was possible to create standardized worksheets with checkboxes that covered all the necessary details that needed to be supplied. Fortuitously the standardised worksheets improved review processes where a major bottleneck was occurring.  A system was also devised that created a constant daily output of results.  At the commencement of the Lean six-sigma project the average turnaround of DNA results for the crime laboratory was some 121 days from the start of case analysis through to the completion of a final report. In just over one year of Lean six-sigma implementation the average turnaround time dropped to 15 days. On a month by month basis the case backlog continued to drop, with 861 cases at the start of 2013 deceasing to some 600 in seven months – a 30% improvement! These ground breaking results were the stimulus for other crime laboratories to improve their performance and help rectify a national problem. [1]

[1] Brandt, D., (2013), Finding clues to solve backlog, Industrial Engineer, Vol 45, Iss 7, pp 48-50, Institute of Industrial Engineers-Publisher, Norcross

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