How Six Sigma Can Change the Way You Work

by Nicolette Emmino

Every businessperson starts out with the hope that he or she will make a profit in the long run.

However, this is not always the case. There are many challenges encountered on a day-to-day basis, some that are even beyond control.

If you want to remain competitive, you should mitigate these challenges as soon as possible. One way to do this is by implementing Six Sigma, a tool that is used in businesses for quality improvement. Its main objective is to design and systematize different process within a company or business in order to get rid of defects and inefficiency.

Most businesses have been struggling with the problem of defects and inefficiencies.

Six Sigma was initially invented by Motorola in the 1980s and gained popularity due to its effectiveness and proficiency. Six Sigma concepts can be implemented in all types of organizations. This means that you can implement it in your small business and even in large corporations. It can be used in finance and accounting, sales, shipping and warehousing, product design, among other industries.

There are several factors to consider before you start implementing Six Sigma.

These include: 

1. Leadership support and commitment: If you want this to be successful in your company, the top management has to embrace it, offering support and commitment in terms of time, effort and even resources. If the top management does not support the vision and process, implementation will fail.

2. Data-driven approach:  Six Sigma quality improvement techniques usually make use of statistical tools in order to provide accurate results. This approach helps to reduce the dependence on the human experience. This can help to prevent errors that might emanate when dealing with complex business processes. The good news is that the statistical tools used at every stage of the implementation process can help to eliminate these errors in the long run.

3. Training: If you want to succeed, you have to train your employees. This way, you can be assured that that will be able to carry out the implementation more effectively. You should train all types of personnel in your company so that you can achieve good results. In addition, you should make your employees aware of the changes that are bound to take place in the workplace. You should make them understand how these changes will help them in reducing their workload and increase their overall efficiency.

4. Ensure that you set clear organizational goals: You should consider setting goals that are clear. You should get rid of ambiguity that might lead to confusion in your workplace. Employees can remain focused on these goals as they will know what to achieve at each particular time.

5. Analyze the current system: The current system might have some defects. This can be detrimental to your organization or company. You should identify these defects as soon as possible. A good way to do this is by asking your customer if they are happy with the services they receive. Once you are able to identify the defects, you can come up with amicable solutions to those problems.

6. Consider benchmarking: Benchmarking is a tool that can help you improve the operations in your business or company. In this case, you can select a team to benchmark how six sigma is being implemented in order companies and try to use the insights gained from other related companies out there. This can play a major role in ensuring that the company uses the best available methods in order to prevent defects.

7. Communicate effectively: Communication is important in your company. You should ensure that you communicate your business goals more effectively. You should be able to communicate the expectations, tasks lists, goals and targets.

Benefits of Six Sigma

1. Improve customer loyalty: A business that retains its customers for a long period of time is deemed to be successful because this means customers are satisfied after using the product and services. Six Sigma tends to come along with that added benefit after successful implementation.

2. Time management:  Wasted time is detrimental to your company. Your employees end up not being efficient or productive enough. Six Sigma helps employees manage their time properly.

3. Strategic planning: When a business has created a mission statement and has carried out SWOT analysis, it can determine the areas that require improvements. Six Sigma can help you focus on those areas that need improvement and eliminate unnecessary complexities, improve internal process and even lower the supply costs.

4. Further supply chain management:  The main objective of Six Sigma is to reduce the defect rate. In this case, a business should have a defect rate of less than 3.4 per million. Six Sigma will help to reduce the number of suppliers your business has.

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