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5 unexpected ways Six Sigma can benefit your company

Six Sigma

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Innovation has continued to drive a hugely competitive environment within the manufacturing industry. Today’s competitive environment leaves no room for error. But, how do you eliminate these errors. More importantly, how do you ensure your operational capability is way ahead of your competitors and implement a significant step chain in performance? The answer is Six Sigma.

What is Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is a highly disciplined process which helps businesses work towards delivering near-perfect products and services. The word ‘Six Sigma’ is a statistical term which measures how far a given process deviates from perfection. To achieve Six Sigma, a process must not produce a defect more than 3.4 times per million opportunities.

The philosophy of Six Sigma is that if you measure how many defects are in a process, you can work out how to systematically find and remove the defects to help achieve perfection.

Six Sigma revolves around 6 core concepts;

Critical to Quality: Attributes most important to the customer

Defects: Failing to deliver what the customer wants

Process Capability: What your process can deliver

Variation: What the customer sees and feels

Stable Operations: Ensuring consistent, predictable processes to improve what the customer sees and feels.

Design for Six Sigma: Designing to meet customer needs and process capability

Unexpected Benefits

There are plenty of expected benefits of implementing Six Sigma such as bottom line cost savings, drive sales growth, improved quality of product/service as perceived by the customer, development of staff skills etc.

The following 5 benefits offer a deeper understanding of some of the additional benefits of implementing Six Sigma.

Benefit 1: Improved Customer Loyalty

Customer Loyalty is an objective all businesses should focus on when looking to drive performance. Consider this; On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase (Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs ).

In addition 78% of consumers have cancelled a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience (Source: American Express Survey, 2011). So how does this relate to Six Sigma? Six Sigma significantly reduces the risk of any customer experience being outside of a set of specifications.

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Benefit 2: Employee Motivation & Development

Introducing Six Sigma motivates and develops employees in two core ways;

  1. Involving employees in the improvement process. This promotes active participation and results in an engaged, accountable team.
  2. Building trust. Transparency throughout all levels of the organization promotes a shared understanding of how each person is important to the organization’s success.

More often than not this is overlooked by organisations implementing Six Sigma. This is an underlying advantage of Six Sigma which dramatically increases the chances of continued success.

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Benefit 3: Supply Chain Management

As mentioned previously, achieving Six Sigma means achieving  a defect rate of 3.4 or less out of every million opportunities. One of the ways six sigma can be used to facilitate this is to drive down the number of suppliers an organisation uses.

The strategy behind this is to reduce the number of ‘ripple effects’ caused by suppliers changing the ways they operate (new machinery, new processes etc.).

The most successful organisations drive their Six Sigma improvements as far up the supply chain as possible.

Benefit 4: Time Management

Applying a Six Sigma methodology to your business can make employees manage their time a lot more effectively, resulting in a more efficient business and more productive employees.

Employees are asked to set SMART goals and then apply the data principles of Six Sigma to those goals. This is achieved through looking at 3 core areas; learning, performance and fulfilment.

Benefit 5: Improves Efficiency

This may seem like a slightly more obvious benefit, but it is one which should never be overlooked. The effective implementation of Six Sigma improves the efficiency of an organisation by:

  1. Maximizing efforts toward delivering a satisfactory product or service to customers.
  2. Allows allocation of resources/revenue produced from newly improved processes towards growing the business

Simply put, Six Sigma enables you to create efficient processes so that your organisation can deliver more products or services, with more satisfied customers than ever before.

Next Steps – Six Sigma Green & Black belt Training with Paul Allen (KPS Associate)

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Paul began his own Six Sigma journey working for the Sony Corporation as a line manager. Since then he has trained over 400 people and has
become well respected in the industry for the effectiveness of the Six Sigma training programmes he delivers. He specialises in Training Six sigma in a practical and engaging way especially to the smaller organisations who think it maybe too complex for them.

With over 17 years Six Sigma experience training others, Paul has provided Six Sigma training for a number of Blue chip companies such as Boots, Tata, Schaeffler and Xerox as well as for many small to medium sized companies.

Download the detailed Six Sigma training outline

INTERESTED IN FINDING OUT MORE?

Email Mark Knowlton: Mark@kpspartnership.org

Call Mark Knowlton: 01843 292 681

 

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