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Partner: Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind

Partner: Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind

28 June, 2018


Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind is a national charity and is located just outside Cork City.  The charity provides support for people who are vision impaired and for families of children with Autism to help them become more independent and to improve their standard of living.  Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind achieve this through training individuals and families with a working dog to support mobility and independence.  This activity costs over €5 million per year and 85% of this figure is achieved through fundraising and voluntary donations.

The Need

Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind had difficulties meeting both their internal (employees) and external customers’ (users of the services) demands and requirements, for example, the charity currently has a waiting list for their Guide Dog service that ranges from 12-24 months.  The charity also needed to think differently about team work, and they needed their frontline staff to be the drivers of the change. The Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Management Systems (CAMMS) in Cork Institute of Technology offered them a new perspective.

The Solution

To meet the demands and requirements of their internal and external customers, the charity decided to train their employees in Lean Sigma. CAMMS offers a suite of Lean Sigma Courses which brings new perspectives in service design and operational productivity improvement, thereby enabling them to better respond to their customers’ requirements.  Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind trained their Senior and Middle Managers, as well as Frontline staff members in Lean Sigma techniques.



Benefits of the Engagement

Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind benefited greatly from their collaboration with CAMMS.  Staff morale has improved, and teamwork has been enhanced due to opportunities to work together, utilising Lean Sigma concepts to develop solutions to problems.  This has resulted in increased productivity.  Employees are now more involved in strategic decisions which has resulted in an increased acceptance of data as a tool to strategise meaning the charity is better able to set and attain more achievable goals.

“We were delighted to work closely with the Irish Guide Dogs to help them deliver on their Lean Sigma initiatives. Irish Guide Dogs are a great example of an organisation that have made significant achievements by adopting Lean Sigma principles in every facet of their business with more successes still to come”. - Mike McGrath, CAMMS Manager.

“CAMMS not only trained our individual staff, but they also acted as mentors through the process helping guide us as we found our feet.  As an SME, having CAMMS as a bolt on advisory service was invaluable”. - David McCarthy, Client Services and Communications Manager, Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. 

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