Eli Lilly: Continuously Improving Our Continuous Improvement Process

Held on: Thursday, February 26, 2015

Humberto DeLuca, Consultant MBB - Eli Lilly and Company


Ten years ago, Eli Lilly introduced Lean Six Sigma to the organization and set some aggressive goals:

  • Six Sigma savings goal: 2 - 3% of annual revenue
  • Black Belt count goal: 1% of employee population or around 400 Black Belts
  • 60 projects completed of the several hundred launched

Deploying Lean Six Sigma and delivering direct benefits to the Lilly company, customers, and shareholders is one thing, but applying process improvement methodology in the pharmaceutical industry has a whole additional dimension - improvements achieved offer greater potential to make the world a healthier place.

Today, Eli Lilly continues to apply the Lean Six Sigma toolkit to its own operations and has been using the skills of their Six Sigma-trained employees by volunteering to lead external projects. Black Belts help local nonprofit organizations (non-health care) to improve their own operations and also partner with their health care customers to improve patient outcomes.

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Speaker Details


Humberto DeLuca, Consultant MBB
Humberto currently leads Eli Lilly's business transformation by training and coaching Belts and business leaders in DMAIC, DMEDI, and Lean methods. Prior to working for Eli Lilly, he held management positions at Chrysler Corporation where he led cost reduction and efficiency projects and was also responsible for new product launch, process design, and equipment validation. Humberto earned his B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Evansville. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt.