OMNOVA's Lytle earns 1st-ever Lean Gold Certification

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: lean manufacturing

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) and the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing have conferred upon Jeff Lytle, Lean Six Sigma master black belt of OMNOVA Solutions Inc., the first-ever Lean Gold Certification – the highest level of lean certification achievement. Facilitated by SME, AME and the Shingo Prize, and developed by industry, the lean certification program is the first professional credential, independent of curriculum, in industry. Its intent is to bring alignment and consistency to the assessment of knowledge, skills and abilities of lean practitioners.


The lean certification program is comprised of three distinct, yet equally important levels: Bronze, which is focused on tactical lean or lean in a local environment; Silver, which is focused on integrative or value stream lean; and Gold, which is focused on strategic or enterprise transformational lean. In order to achieve his Gold Certification, Lytle successfully completed the requirements for all three levels of certification, which included for each level a comprehensive knowledge examination and peer-reviewed portfolio and, at the Gold level, an in-person panel interview.


"As with Six Sigma, many companies have their own lean (or Lean Six Sigma) programs. These are either home-grown, developed by a consultant, or a combination of both. I'm excited that SME, AME and the Shingo Prize have taken on the challenge to create a common lean certification platform," said Lytle. "This certification serves as a credible tool to asses an individual's knowledge and capabilities in lean, and creates a model that can certainly help companies in their workforce development. Each level requires more tangible work experience in lean than the previous. With this knowledge neatly documented in a portfolio, individuals can use this data to help demonstrate their capabilities and career growth to current and future employers. Additionally, employers looking for lean practitioners within (and outside) of their organization can have a common platform to assess knowledge and skills by requesting their SME-AME-Shingo Prize lean certification portfolios. The exams and panel interview at the Gold level add credibility to work experience shown in the portfolios."


Lytle's certification is valid for three years, and he will be required to demonstrate continuing practice of lean through continuing education and an update to his portfolio, which again will be peer reviewed.


Since January 2007, SME has received applications from more than 1,000 lean certification candidates. Additionally, the exam for the Bronze-level certification is being utilized by the 360vu Foundation and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership network as an outcome assessment for their Lean Enterprise Certificate Program.


About SME

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers is the world's leading professional society supporting manufacturing education. Through its member programs, publications, expositions and professional development resources, SME promotes an increased awareness of manufacturing engineering and helps keep manufacturing professionals up to date on leading trends and technologies. Headquartered in Michigan, SME influences more than 500,000 manufacturing practitioners and executives annually. The society, which celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2007, has members in more than 70 countries and is supported by a network of hundreds of technical communities and chapters worldwide. Visit


About AME

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), founded in 1985, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to cultivating understanding, analysis and exchange of productivity methods and their successful application in the pursuit of excellence. AME is practitioner-based, and events and workshops focus on hands-on learning. Visit


About the Shingo Prize

The Shingo Prize was established in 1988 to promote awareness of lean manufacturing concepts and recognize companies in the United States, Canada and Mexico that achieve world-class manufacturing status. The Shingo Prize philosophy is that world-class business performance may be achieved through focused improvements in core manufacturing and business processes. Visit


About Jeff Lytle

Jeff Lytle is a Lean Six Sigma master black belt for OMNOVA Solutions Inc. In this capacity, Jeff mentors black belts and green belts across OMNOVA, and also plays a critical leadership role in establishing the direction of Lean Six Sigma through training platform development, execution of projects to drive out waste and variation in key business processes, and to extend training and enhanced solutions to OMNOVA's customers.


About OMNOVA Solutions Inc.

OMNOVA Solutions Inc. is a technology-based company with 2006 sales of approximately $700 million and a current workforce of 1,700 employees worldwide. The company is an innovator of emulsion polymers, specialty chemicals, and decorative and functional surfaces for a variety of commercial, industrial and residential end uses. Visit

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