Best Buy: Outside of the Box

A fresh approach to Lean Six Sigma at one of America's best retailers



For a multinational retailer of technology and entertainment products and services, the ability to adapt to market demands at the speed of light is not simply a goal – it’s a necessity. Part of the solution for retail giant Best Buy Co. Inc. is to think outside of the box.

When Best Buy, headquartered in Richfield, Minn., USA, began implementing Lean Six Sigma in 2005, its focus on creating efficiencies was matched only by its goal to enhance the experience of its end customers. The result: the development of an Enterprise Continuous Improvement Capability Team. Trained Belts identify and solve issues that exist in end-to-end processes, affecting both internal and external customers. Ultimately, the solutions that they find will better position Best Buy to adapt to market demands and contribute to the company’s commitment to growth and innovation.

Since training its first wave of Black Belts, Best Buy has reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits in both operating income and working capital impacts. The company sat at No. 45 on the Fortune 500 list in 2010, up from No. 77 in 2005.

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