Lean Six Sigma sessions are available by request following state and University guidelines for social distancing during COVID-19. For information, email Zac Williams.
Western Michigan University's Center for Integrated Supply Management offers a full range of Lean Six Sigma training that uses an applied business focus. The face-to-face sessions are functionally specific to align with career paths and areas of responsibility.
Courses are taught in a facilitated breakout format by expert instructors who engage participants by drawing upon their combined 50+ years of corporate experience in a variety of industries. During each session, the instructors introduce concepts and skills, which will then be developed and applied in a series of individual and team exercises. Participants will gain knowledge of continuous improvement methodology and Lean Six Sigma techniques used for continuous improvement and project management.
Each training session has been carefully designed and streamlined to make the most of participants' time while ensuring they receive all the required knowledge. Additionally, earning an advanced belt automatically certifies you at the prior belt levels (e.g., earning a Green Belt means you have also earned a White Belt and Yellow Belt, etc.).
Click on the belt names below to review detailed information about each certification. We highly recommend that you contact WMU prior to registering in order to choose the level of training that best fits your experience and goals. To find out which belt may be right for you, please contact Dr. Zac Williams, director of the Center for Integrated Supply Management and associate professor of marketing. Email Zac Williams
- WHITE BELT: Designed to give senior and top-level leaders a working knowledge of Lean Six Sigma as a platform for building a culture of continuous improvement.
- YELLOW BELT: Ideal for practitioners who want to gain a fundamental understanding of the tools used to drive continuous improvement into their everyday work.
- GREEN BELT: Ideal for those engaged in the technical aspects of the business, such as engineering and manufacturing. Designed for managers and supervisors involved in the creation and management of systems supporting continuous improvement through experimentation and advanced data analysis methodologies.
- ORANGE BELT: Gives sales and marketing professionals hands-on application of the methodologies needed to deliver a purchase experience that delivers customer consumption advocacy and product-service buying behaviors.
- BLACK BELT (coming soon): Designed for mid to top-level managers who oversee and connect systems that drive continuous improvement. As site or functional team leaders, they enable organizational team members to drive the movement of change.
- Understand the history and philosophy of continuous improvement using Lean Six Sigma methodology and tools.
- Gain knowledge of the system structure, tools and techniques of Lean Six Sigma project management.
- Connect with "kindred spirit" professionals through face-to-face classroom activities.
- Explore relevant case study examples.
- Earn certification based on class participation and coursework.
- Enhance your career potential.
Meet the instructors
Martin P. Smith, Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt Sensei
Having attained the level of Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt Sensei, Martin Smith is an expert in analysis and experimentation in complex, chaotic environments. He has helped corporations implement continuous improvement methodology in every area of the business from accounting to warehouse processes in an effort to increase value, drive revenue higher and maximize return on investment. These endeavors have resulted in billions of dollars in revenue generation, cost avoidance and savings.
He has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology. He has published three books on Lean Six Sigma for marketing and sales professionals. He was the recipient of the ISBM Academic Practitioners award at Northwestern University's Kellogg Business School and an Innovation award from Darden for work related to Bayesian and Markov Modeling in marketing and sales venues. He innovated and leads Orange Belt training for sales and marketing professionals annually during the exhibitors show in Las Vegas.
Currently Smith works at General Motors in the Operational Excellence department focusing mainly on the sales and marketing functions. His present revenue/savings tally at GM is $1.6B tracked over a three-year period.
Tom Kelly, Black Belt and instructor of marketing
Tom Kelly is an instructor of management at Western Michigan University. He has more than 30 years of supply chain and supplier quality experience in various leadership positions with Dexter Company, Amcor, Conn-Selmer, Whirlpool and Parker Hannifin. He won two “excellence in quality” awards while at Whirlpool. During his time in the private sector he developed numerous supplier quality measurement and assessment systems and established supply chain processes that allowed for ISO certification.
His teaching focus at Western includes Lean Six Sigma, supply chain and how the two subjects interact in a business environment. Kelly is a certified Black Belt, as well as trained auditor. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from Western Michigan University. Additionally, he has been an adjunct business instructor at the University of Notre Dame.
Dr. Tom Scannell, Yellow Belt Healthcare Management and professor of marketing
Tom Scannell is a professor of marketing at Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business. He teaches process and operations management, purchasing, ethics, sustainable operations, business strategy, quantitative analysis and quality management at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He has served on and chaired many committees, and was director of the MBA program.
His publications have appeared in numerous journals including Decision Sciences Journal, Journal of Business Logistics, Journal of Operations Management, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Journal of Supply Chain Management, Modern Management Science and Engineering, Sloan Management Review and The World Financial Review.
He is co-author of two books, one regarding supplier integration into new product development and the other related to supply risk management. He has also published industry reports with CAPS Research.
Scannell helped establish the Supply Chain Management Council of West Michigan. His 11 years of industry experience include work as an electronics design engineer, systems engineer, program and project manager, and new product development manager. He holds a Ph.D. in operations and sourcing management from Michigan State University, an MBA from Western Michigan University and a B.S. in electrical engineering from Western Michigan University.
Bring training to your company
WMU’s Center for Integrated Supply Management offers customized, onsite sessions. Want to train a cross-functional group? No problem. Interested in a session that combines company employees and suppliers? No problem. WMU has the resources and expertise to take any educational need and customize a solution to move a company’s workforce to the next level of excellence. Contact Dr. Zac Williams today to discuss the right option for your team.