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Operational excellence

Improving Eaton's performance through operational excellence

Eaton's vision is to improve the quality of life and the environment through the use of power management technologies and services. To accomplish this, we leverage the Eaton Business System. EBS is the embodiment of our integrated operating company philosophy.

EBS is how we run our company in a common way and:

  • Reinforces our belief in standard processes and a teachable point of view.
  • Ensures we transfer best practices and key learning across the organization.
  • Encourages continuous improvement.

EBS is based upon a single mission and vision, a shared set of values and a common philosophy. It also includes a standard set of processes that we use to run our company within:

  • Planning
  • Growth
  • Operational excellence
  • Functional excellence
  • Assessment
  • Learning

We believe EBS is our source of competitive advantage and, when effectively deployed, leads to superior performance.

Eaton leverages design, execution and accountability to enhance operational excellence

Operational excellence draws on the strengths of our employees to enhance efficiency and quality throughout Eaton.

Three important tools we rely on to exceed global requirements for operational excellence are: 

  • Design for Six Sigma
  • Eaton Lean  / Six Sigma
  • Eaton Quality System

Design for Six Sigma (DfSS) is a set of tools and methodologies that instill excellence into the product development process. Using DfSS, we design robust products that will exceed our customer's expectations.

Eaton Lean Six Sigma (ELSS) is a highly effective combination of sustainable process improvement, continuous flow and error/variation reduction methodologies. ELSS allows us to achieve long-term increases in customer satisfaction and cost savings.

The Eaton Quality System (EQS) is a set of comprehensive tools and processes. EQS touches everything we do. From product design to manufacturing to customer delivery, our goal is a continuous cycle of improving our products and services.

The Eaton Quality Management System is composed of three elements:

  • ISO 9001-based Quality Management System.
  • Customer-specific requirements (as required).
  • Eaton-specific Quality Management System Policies.

Every Eaton function has a stake in quality, and everyone contributes in one way or another to:

  • Improve the quality of a product or service by ensuring that it conforms to the customer's requirements.
  • Increase customer satisfaction and loyalty by providing value-added products and services to the customer.
  • Reduce warranty repair costs by delivering a high-quality product.
  • Eliminate waste from business processes continuously and passionately.

The Health and Safety and Risk Management sections outline additional tools we leverage for operational excellence. 

Our continuous improvement strategy states: “Every business, function, department, person… finding a better way to do their job… every day.”  From this strategy stems three pillars of management:

  • Eaton’s strategy deployment process for determining top-down improvements.
  • Continuous improvement function — a framework for running the process and improving the process bottom-up based upon a fast-learning, adaptive culture.
  • Structured problem solving — the application of Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) and selection of continuous improvement tools to build organization capability, shape culture and achieve results.

Executing the components of these three pillars creates customer satisfaction and generates customer value. Combining these elements will lead to sustained improvement over time.

How we measure success

Eaton audits operational practices to identify enhanced performance opportunities. We evaluate our manufacturing performance in operational excellence through our operational assessments (OpA). This cross-functional assessment approach drives our manufacturing operations toward ever higher levels of excellence by focusing on principles of continuous improvement and world-class benchmarks. Operational excellence as measured by the OpA process has shown continued year-over-year improvement for the past four years. Our Continuous Improvement awards annually recognize those facilities and functions that demonstrate superior performance.

Relevant information

Operational Excellence Award

On an annual basis, we recognize business units, plants and functions that drive process improvements with standardization and broad applicability across our organization. Learn more about our 2016 Continuous Improvement Award winners