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Six Sigma: The Strategy Towards Higher Quality Output

Six Sigma Strategy

Businesses that are into manufacturing are highly familiar in the Six Sigma strategy and how it contributes to the quality of output being delivered to customers. Six Sigma strategy is a core tool in improving quality not only in products but also in manufacturing processes. The general concept of Six Sigma is to identify defects or errors in manufacturing processes and minimize steps in these processes by utilizing quality management. Managers who implement the Six Sigma strategy are subjected to lean manufacturing training in order to efficiently identify the flaws in the process. With clearly defined goals, processes are designed to have measurable outcomes and  subjected to statistical methods.

Originating from the manufacturing process idea that a sigma rating is the sum of products created without defects, the term Six Sigma was coined. With the notion that as the quality and efficiency of the process improves, the rating improves as well. It simply implies that the move into Six Sigma rating means 99.9% of outputs are without defects.

Six Sigma follows a methodology that most managers who had gone through lean manufacturing training will be able to understand and implement. The acronym for this method is DMAIC which means Define the problem, Measure, Analyze, Improvement and Control. Defining the problem includes identifying customer needs or errors or inconsistency in the processes. Measure covers quantifying data in order to collect relevant data in solving the problem. Analyze intends to draw conclusions based on the collected data. In this phase, interpretation and determining relevant factors that caused the problem are done. Improvement is the implementation of changes necessary to avoid the flaw in the process and Control is the part wherein stability in the improved system is established by controlling outcomes. Monitoring and using statistical and quantifiable methods are usually done in this phase.

The Six Sigma business strategy is commonly used as a core tool and requires quality management leaders with a thorough understanding of the methodology and the know-how for implementation. These leaders need to have lean manufacturing training. Many large organizations have created a certification process for upcoming managers to master levels of the Six Sigma strategy. For smaller businesses, there are companies that have experts who can work with a business as a Six Sigma consultant. The established hierarchy begins with green belts on the bottom of the pyramid. Typically the green belts implement the improvement strategy as part of their normal job. Above them are the black belts, they manage and oversee the Improvement strategies full time. Master Black belts gather data and oversee the black belts. They are well trained in statistics therefore they collect and interpret data.

Upper management uses champions who oversee the master black belts. Champions look over the whole system in an integrated manner and are professionals in lean manufacturing training processes.

Six Sigma Efficiency

Since not all organizations are practicing the Six Sigma strategy, many businesses still need the benefits of this strategy in order to achieve efficiency and quality output. Hiring a Six Sigma consultant in order to improve outcomes will benefit in terms of higher quality and customer satisfaction. For more information about  Six Sigma and Six Sigma consultants, please visit this link.

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