Lean Six Sigma is a business management strategy that has evolved from the combination of two different set of strategies i.e. the Lean Manufacturing and the very famous Six Sigma System. The former takes care of eliminating the waste from every process thereby refining the product. The latter focuses on detecting and eliminating the defects in the product development process. As a result of this blend, the end product is filled with value addition.
Lean Six Sigma has been successfully implemented in various services and transactions including various processes like financial process improvement, recruitment process designing, purchasing procedures and enhancing the educational program process. The end result has been very encouraging with considerable amount of positive outcome in various aspects.
It gives emphasis on the process of identification of defects and wastages instead of inefficiencies and ineffectiveness because the wastage part is found to be more on the higher side but in an invisible manner as compared to the loss by way of visible inefficiencies.
In total eight types of wastages with higher impacts have been found so far which are Inventory control, transportation, unnecessary and avoidable motion of persons, documents and equipments, faulty time management leading to a longer waiting period in one or more aspects like approval, material arrival, equipment, etc., overproduction, over-processing, product defects and unutilized or underutilized creativity and skill. As each one of these wastes involves a certain amount of cost, they together contribute to unwanted increased in the cost of production, which is directly passed on to the consumers.
If these wastages are eliminated, the cost of production comes down to a considerable level and thus, the end product can reach the customer at a much reduced cost with more of value additions to the product. This increases the customer satisfaction as well as customer utilization. As a result the demand would increase and so does the manufacturing leading to more profit and a complete positive cycle is carried on.
As the application sectors began to expand, newer tools have been developed to aptly fit into the various services and for maximum benefits. But, a puzzling factor has erupted while implementing the Lean Six Sigma Strategy and that is the fact that the so much talked about product and procedure gains diminish gradually even though it took off well.
Why is this so? Is there a hype in the results about Lean Six Sigma? No, it is not hyped rather consistency is not maintained. What generally happens is that the strategy is very enthusiastically introduced and there is mixed response but gradually people’s behavior tends to change. While some accept and adopt the new strategy with enthuse, some begin to resist on it and some take the middle road and would want to simply be neutral and watch the effects of it.
As a result of this mixed behavior, the strategy doesn’t get applied properly thereby leading to a subdued result. On the contrary if Lean Six Sigma is well utilized it would lead to a perfectly streamlined day to day operations which would automatically take care of serious issues like quality speed and the cost factor