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Cummins and Eli Lilly Join Forces to Help Minority-Owned Businesses


INDIANAPOLIS -- Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) and Eli Lilly and Co., two of Indiana’s largest corporations, are joining forces to help minority-owned businesses at Indiana Black Expo’s Summer Celebration.

The two companies are sponsoring a workshop July 15 on Six Sigma, the business problem-solving technique credited with saving corporations millions of dollars annually, as part of the Black Business Conference at the 38th annual event in Indianapolis.

“Lilly has successfully used Six Sigma for more than three years,” said Liz Klimes, Vice President of Six Sigma for the pharmaceutical company. “We’re pleased to have an opportunity to share our expertise and experience with local businesses.”

“Companies that undertake this training will see increased opportunities not only as a supplier to Cummins but as a supplier to any number of other leading corporations,” said Gordon F. Fykes, Director of Diversity Procurement for Cummins, which produces diesel engines and related technology as well as power generation systems.

Here are the workshop details:

Time: 2 – 6 p.m.

Date: July 15, 2008.

Place: Indiana Convention Center, Room 201.

Six Sigma seeks to reduce waste and variability through a data-driven analysis that allows businesses to identify the crux of a problem free of distortions and distractions that might be obscuring a solution.

Lilly and Cummins have been using the technique for several years but it is not as widely used by small businesses.

“Six Sigma is not easy for any company to embrace regardless of size,” said George Strodtbeck, Cummins’ Executive Director of Corporate Quality and Cummins Operating System and an expert on the business problem-solving technique. “But it works for any organization willing to devote the appropriate energy necessary to make broad-based change.”

The workshop will include an overview of Six Sigma from 2 to 4 p.m. followed by a panel discussion from 4 to 6 p.m. that will include minority and women-owned business leaders who have used the technique successfully.

The 38th annual Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration runs from July 10 to July 20 in Indianapolis.


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