Xylem Partners with Nexus to provide Six Sigma Training

April 1, 2024

by Britney Rivers

In September 2023, Nexus partnered with Xylem, a water solutions technology provider, to provide a custom Lean Six Sigma Green Belt course. Lead instructor Dr. Patrick Hammett traveled to Nanjing, China to teach a multicultural cohort of professionals in the world-class certification program. Dr. Hammett shares his experience partnering with Xylem to teach the international Six Sigma course.

global partnership

As a professional education provider, Nexus partners with organizations to create high-quality custom training programs. Since 2022, it has offered professional development to employees at Xylem, a water solutions technology company. Xylem is committed to helping customers solve the world’s toughest water challenges across utility, industrial, commercial, and residential markets worldwide. The company prioritizes employee growth and Nexus is proud to support them with exceptional instruction. 

In September of 2023, Nexus Instructor Dr. Patrick Hammett traveled to Nanjing, the second-largest city in the East China region, to teach a 5-day Lean Six Sigma Green Belt course. Dr. Hammett is the Lead Faculty for the University of Michigan College of Engineering’s Six Sigma Program. He has taught over 18,000 students and mentored hundreds of continuous improvement and student research projects. During his time in China, Dr. Hammett helped a diverse group of 32 students earn a Nexus Six Sigma certification. 

Overcoming Challenges to Achieve Professional Development

Organizing an international Six Sigma course wasn’t an easy feat. The course design and logistics were a team effort between Nexus staff and Xylem representatives. The project required months of planning to bring Dr. Hammett to Nanjing, China to teach the course. Once the details were finalized, Dr. Hammett and the participants were excited to take part in this unique experience. 

Dr. Hammett recalls, “The students were committed to learning everything that they could through the experience. When I arrived, the representative of the continuous improvement group told me he was concerned that many students would be reluctant to participate in class due to the language barriers. However, we were quickly amazed at how engaging the cohort was. The students were there to learn and get the most out of the experience, educationally, professionally, and culturally.” 

The Lean Six Sigma course brought together Xylem’s emerging market group in Nanjing. The cohort combined representatives from several countries, creating a dynamic environment where students participated in many interesting discussions on culture and how continuous improvement is relevant to their corporate responsibilities. Dr. Hammett reflects, “It was a truly multicultural experience. We had students from China, Egypt, South Africa, Australia, and the Philippines.” 

Despite language and cultural barriers, the students were motivated to ask questions about the content and communicate with each other. Dr. Hammett was impressed by the class engagement and enjoyed teaching to the cohort. 

A Blend of Learning and Company Culture

Nexus has maintained a strong relationship with Xylem since the beginning of the partnership. A benefit of Nexus custom training is the opportunity for companies to tailor course content to meet their employees’ needs and goals. In the Lean Six Sigma courses, Xylem employees were able to connect the lessons learned to real experiences in the workplace. Dr. Hammett says, “Because we’ve had a prior relationship with Xylem, many of the examples that we used in class came from past projects from their company. This helped define and discuss the topics for the new generation of continuous improvement leaders.”

Dr. Hammett visited Xylem’s facilities to experience the manufacturing process firsthand. He says, “When you visit another country, you get the opportunity to see their facilities in person. I realized that a lot of the things they are doing in their plants are things that we’re covering in our University of Michigan courses. I also realized the global connection Nexus’ courses provide. The topics we are talking about in our classes are things that we’re seeing in places as far away as China.”

As an essential part of Xylem’s vision and commitment to sustainability, the company gives back to local communities. The cohort hosted a philanthropy event to clean up a park in Nanjing, China as a team-building exercise. This was a major highlight of the course and allowed the participants to network outside of the classroom.

Opportunity for lifelong learners

By partnering with Nexus at Michigan Engineering, Xylem offers its employees exceptional professional development. Since 2022, Nexus has hosted 3 cohorts of Xylem learners in custom Lean Six Sigma Green Belt programs. Within those cohorts, learners have earned a combined total of over 100 certifications. Employees, in turn, invest their new skills back into the company. The students are eager to learn and share their knowledge after completing a Nexus course. 

Dr. Hammett reflects on the partnership. “Xylem has been a tremendous company to work with. They are very dedicated professionals who value the continuous improvement processes we teach. They provide great internal company support for logistics and help students with their projects. Xylem is a true partner in every sense.”

The partnership with Xylem is a stellar example of Nexus’ commitment to teaching and supporting learners. The unique collaboration between Nexus and corporate partners allows companies to design training to fit employees’ needs and goals and invest the knowledge into its company.

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