Six Sigma or also written as 6sigma is one of the efficient strategy that has been developed and is proving to be fruitful in many industries. It is especially beneficial for the small and midsized organizations where financial constraints play a significant role and the organizations struggle to have more output with less cost of production.
What actually is Six Sigma?
It is a set of techniques that are used in the production and output process to identify any defects and variations and eliminating / reducing them and in the process refine the product process, enhance the quality and at the same time reduce the cost involved.
6Sigma involves various methods and requires a set of qualified and dedicated personnel who are experts in the field. Though initially it may sound that this would involve higher manpower costing and a positive end result may be hard to achieve, the Six Sigma methodology has proved to be effective in small and midsized organizations, provided they are not introduced in a tailored manner but in a customized way.
The end positive results are many that are quite crucial even to a small organization which includes –
Quality output with highly reduced % of manufacturing defect. If the Six Sigma techniques are implemented properly the manufacturing defect is expected to diminish to 3.4 defects per million opportunities (DPMO) or even below that. This means reduced rejections which would lead to direct profits.
Reduced cost of business processes.
Increased customer satisfaction
Faster addressing of customer queries and complaints.
Increased equipment efficiency
Faster and qualitative recruitment process
Quantifiable positive financial results
The 6Sigma strategy involves two major methods namely DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control) and the DMADV (Define Measure, Analyze, Design and Validation). While the former is the basic method the latter is especially used in manufacturing units where design and validation (customer feedback) is taken into account.
Despite its independent powerfulness, to make Six Sigma strategy work effectively for an organization certain factors have to be compulsorily supportive.
First of all it should have the full fledged time, support and active involvement of the organization’s management.
Secondly, the organization as a whole should come forward to accept the changes and variations. But one should ensure that the erring while implementing the methodology should be minimal as, being a small or medium size organization, the affordability of such errors is much lower.
Thirdly, the company should have back-up or spare resources that can be easily deployed or diverted to changed activities resulting from the adoption of this methodology. At the same time, the prior role of the diverted personnel should be well adjusted to ensure that it does not affect the business process.
But the major hurdle in implementing Six Sigma in small and medium scale organizations is the financial and manpower constraint. For this, if certain corrective steps are taken the strategy can surely prove to be high yielding.
For this, many companies have come up to provide backup and consulting support which includes
Providing initial Black Belt Services (so the problem of deploying a full time Black Belt, which is quite costly, can be solved).
Further extending the services on ‘as and when required’ basis.
By this, even small organizations can implement the 6Sigma techniques within affordable costs and reap the profits at a much desired level.
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