Goodyear places more emphasis on data-driven decisions

Jan. 22, 2003

Jon Rich, president of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s North American Tire operation, has tabbed Karen Burke to head up its Six Sigma and Quality division as vice president.

Six Sigma, a statistical process that uses facts and data to better drive business solutions, was instrumental in the business transformation of Goodyear's Chemical Division, which Rich helmed as president prior to his recent appointment.

"Six Sigma is not just about cost out," says Burke, previously director of the supply chain for the Chemical Division. "It's about the customer.

"It's about improving business processes, taking waste and inefficiencies out. That is where our customers and we are going to realize huge benefits. It's about improvements in the quality and consistency in how we service our customers, not just how we make a tire."

Burke says Six Sigma can drive process change to achieve simplicity in active projects like the integrated supply chain organization.

There are some 100 people actively working on Six Sigma in manufacturing, according to Rich. "And we will move quickly in adding to the approximately 25 (who) already have been identified for Karen's organization."

Burke joined Goodyear in 1987 as a squadron trainee.