History of Variance Reduction International, Inc.
With a vision of making Lean Six Sigma (LSS) tools widely used in the upstream oil industry, Sally Ulman, president of VRI, started the company with an initial six month contract with Caltex Pacific Indonesia back in the late fall of 1999. In her 16 year career as a corrosion engineer with Chevron, she had begun to use the LSS tools with a difficult water treatment process in Lost Hills, CA. Completing the first LSS project in upstream oil worldwide in 1999, gave Sally the idea that others in the industry could benefit by these tools. At the same time, Air Academy Associates, pioneers in LSS, asked Sally to help them with a worldwide rollout within GlaxoSmithKline and other companies. Along the way, Sally met many other exceptional consultants working in this field, whom later became VRI Associates, and she began to establish contracts with many companies. Before long, VRI added several new contracts and consultants to the company. To date, VRI has doubled business each year for the last 5 years!
As most training materials used to teach LSS are expensive, and often do not show an actual LSS project deployed as tools are discussed, VRI decided to change this practice. VRI developed an extensive series of participant guides that are reasonably priced, and leave the students with MANY examples of the LSS tools USED in actual projects. Reference materials to better help project completions were also added. Many clients have commented on how VRI training materials are amongst the best in the field.
VRI now supports many LSS deployments in various companies and industries. Our Associates offer a unique personal touch in all they do by often meeting with students one-on-one before and after class, as well as supporting them by e-mail communications long after the coursework is over. As all of the VRI Associates are experienced in the field, very little support from a “home office” is needed. This gives us the ability to keep our rates down. In maintaining our instructor’s consistency, we have developed extensive SOPs.VRI Associates come from a wide variety of backgrounds and often author publications in the use of LSS tools and methodologies. Clients are encouraged to see what our people offer and may request certain Associates if they desire.
VRI edits our training materials annually to stay abreast of changes in the LSS industry. We develop specialty courses to meet these trends as well. New classes such as DMAIC Done Quickly – a quick one day class for trained LSS people to SEE how to execute a project in weeks rather than months, is an example of such work.VRI is a certified Women Owned Business and Small Business. Officers in VRI hold memberships in ASQ, SME, AME, and SPE.