The 6 Sigma Method in Practice

The 6 sigma method comes from the United-States where it was created by Motorola. Other big groups used it afterwards like General Electric, and added value to the method. As a result, 6 sigma is now a global management methodology and a strategic development tool. From now on, the 6 sigma approach concerns industrial companies and service sectors. Requirements for business optimisation are quite similar. 

It is common that nowadays more and more corporate projects decide to combine a lean management approach with 6 sigma in order to double up the advantages of both approaches. 

Why 6 sigma ? 

The name of this method comes from the acceptable level of variations regarding the statistics, in other terms 3.4 defaults for one million of produced unities. However, lots of companies accept a drift level higly superior. 

That is to say some thousands of defaults for the same quantity of produced pieces, and many companies believe it is admissible no matter what kind of industry is concerned. 

The ignorance of costs importance caused by defaults often explains this lack of concrete realization. In order to evaluate its scope, it is important to add into the sum the costs of the repetitive controls, the customer management and more important the lost clients because of the mistakes. In one year, those accumulated costs are more significant and represent a heavy burden for the company profitability. 

How many companies took the time to calculate the shorfall generated by those defaults ? Cost is always high in term of stuff, wasted time, useless occupation of resources and more particularly the customers dissatisfaction... It is therefore concerning this last point that you should focus your attention. We are talking here about COPQ (Cost Of Poor Quality).

The profits provided by a 6 sigma generalization are liked not only regarding this simple sum but also thanks to the new habits and ways of thinking established in the company. However, it is necessary to lead your project with method and rigor. 

Thank you for your attention. 

John&Partners team.

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