Continuous improvement and Lean 6 Sigma in SODIS
Discover how Sodis succeeded in establishing a real culture of continuous improvement thanks to AXSENS-BTE and Lean Six Sigma.

An indispensable link between booksellers, distributors and publishers, SODIS, part of the Gallimard group, is a specialist in book distribution. Accompanied by the firm AXSENS-BTE since 2017 in its continuous improvement approach, SODIS has succeeded in moving from “firefighting mode” to real process control. Read on to hear how…

In 2017, the observation made by the new Logistics Operations Department of SODIS was clear: improving customer satisfaction was only being done at a high cost and at the expense of quality, working conditions and profitability.

Aware of the need to provide a rapid and practical response, SODIS chose AXSENS-BTE to assist them in setting up a long-term problem-solving approach with two clear objectives: to alleviate the pain points and to work efficiently in order to regain profitability.

After a detailed study of the field, AXSENS-BTE trained the SODIS department heads in Lean Six Sigma and the continuous improvement approach. “It is essential that as many employees as possible are trained and involved in the approach if we are to succeed in anchoring it in daily operational practices. We were thus able to launch a continuous improvement project in each department,” explained Christophe Souillé, AXSENS-BTE consultant.

The first results became visible in 2018, but SODIS management wanted to go even further by strengthening the DMAIC approach, particularly on the order preparation line.

Green indicators

All the financial and quality indicators turned green more rapidly than expected. The continuous improvement approach is now deeply rooted in the SODIS corporate culture.

Each department head has integrated, in his daily managerial routine, statistical tools to follow and stabilize control indicators. Each department is therefore autonomous in resolving the majority of problems encountered.

“We have gone from firefighting mode to mastering our processes and problems. We are now able to calmly anticipate the load peaks inherent in our business, especially at the end of the year,” says Jérôme Barbe, QHSE Manager, who is responsible for the methodology and continuous improvement at SODIS.

He adds: “AXSENS-BTE helped us to establish a culture of continuous improvement at every level of the company. The gains are significant, both in terms of working conditions and economics. We particularly appreciated their approach: they showed us how to deploy it in a very concrete way, but without ever forcing things. This clearly facilitated the acceptance of these new working methods within our teams.”