Six Sigma is a customer-focused management philosophy that focuses on improving the quality of the products and services provided and the related business processes.
The key element of this philosophy is the knowledge of the client’s requirements and the ability to translate them into measurable parameters that allow to control the processes and the quality of delivered products and services (specifications). Understanding the factors that negatively affect the processes and quality of products and services is the starting point to ensure their control in such a way as to reduce or completely eliminate the negative impact of these disturbances on the quality and the customer. In this way, Six Sigma also focuses on reducing variability and any disruptions in processes and ensuring a stable and repeatable quality of manufactured products and services despite changes taking place in the company’s environment, in the enterprise, technology, human resources, suppliers, materials, etc.
Six Sigma is also a method in which statistics has been applied, primarily used to detect, understand the causes and control changes in key parameters of processes and products and their deviations from the customer’s specifications.
The ideal is to obtain a process with a 6 Sigma quality capability – that is, a process where the chance of a failure is 3.4 per million possibilities, so it is extremely small. The 6 Sigma process is shown in the graph below. The range of values between the Upper and Lower Specifications Limits is the Customer’s acceptable tolerance, which should include the controlled parameter of the process or product. With the ideal centering of the process, as shown in the graph below, there are 6 standard deviations between the arithmetic mean and the limits of the customer specification. A common mistake is also confusing the control limits used to assess the stability of the process with the limits of the Customer’s specification, which determine the tolerance range allowed by the Customer.
Six Sigma is often treated not only as a management philosophy but also as a problem solving methodology. It is primarily about problems whose causes are not obvious, and their identification, impact assessment and solution requires the use of additional analytical tools and the use of data. The procedure depends on whether we want to design a new process to provide the customer with a new product (service) – or whether we want to improve the existing process. When designing a new process, the approach defined as DFSS (Design for Six Sigma) is used, while when improving the existing process, the DMAIC approach (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Improve) is used. Control). These terms cover activities aimed at: defining improvement goals, measuring current parameters, analyzing factors influencing the process,
Problems in the just do it category do not qualify for a solution using the DMAIC or DFFS cycle because it would be an obvious excess of the company over content. Since the mid-90s, the Six Sigma method has also been successfully used in services and combines this methodical approach with the Lean philosophy. Both philosophies complement each other perfectly – Six Sigma focuses on reducing variability and improving quality, and Lean focuses on fighting waste.
Benefits of using Six Sigma / Lean Six Sigma in the enterprise:
- Spectacular improvement in the level of adaptation of processes, products and services to customer requirements
- Reduction of the level of shortages and defects in products
- Better investment decisions, and better money and resources spent addressing the real causes of data-backed problems
- Radical improvement in the efficiency of the use of resources and materials, including human work and machines
- More efficient introduction of changes in the enterprise
- Making the company’s effort and implemented improvements noticed by customers
- Shortening the time of customer service
- Increasing the throughput of business processes
- Reduce the time from obtaining information about a problem to the moment that root causes are identified and understood
- Transparency of information about ongoing processes and transparency of information as well as problems and areas for improvement
We offer training and professional support including:
- Advising on the implementation of the Lean Six Sigma (LSS) program in the client’s organization
- Consulting in the implementation of improvement projects implemented by the client in the DMAIC cycle
- Managing improvement projects in the DMAIC cycle
- Advice on the use of statistical tools for problem analysis
- Improving the tools and methodology of work of the Improvement Teams
- Designing process efficiency measurement systems (control cards and dashboards)
- Quality Assessment and Measurement System Improvement (MSA)
- Use of advanced tools to analyze customer needs (e.g. Quality Function Deployment)
- Coaching for Green Belts and Black Belts at the client’s
- Comprehensive training programs for employees of all levels
Master Black Belt: usually an external consultant cooperating with the company’s Management Board or a person coordinating a program covering several projects run by Black Belt.
Black Belt Six Sigma training: expert level in the field of Lean Six Sigma leading large projects improving and also acting as a coach supporting Green Belts in the field of lean six sigma tools and methodology; Six Sigma Master Black Belt Training is also a trainer conducting trainings within the company.
Green Belt training: independently conducts small improvement projects usually related to the area in which the Green Belt operates on a daily basis; often the Green Belt acts as a Team Leader in larger improvement projects.
Yellow Belt Training: an occasional role associated with a slightly broader knowledge of Lean Six Sigma tools and methodology than the White Belt; the scope of training usually covers half of the knowledge required at the Green Belt level; the requirement in the field of Yellow Belt certification is the use of a selected tool to improve processes in practice
White Belt training: basic knowledge of Lean Six Sigma and knowledge of basic tools; usually White Belt acts as part of the project team set up to solve the problem
Examples of improvement projects topics:
- Reduction of the number of defective products
- Shortening the delivery time
- Reducing the level of waste in the final assembly process
- Reduction of the share of underweight products
- Shortening the customer’s waiting time for service
- Reducing the level of incompleteness of concluded contracts
- Shortening the time of registering orders
- Reducing the measurement error in the process of inter-operational control
- Reducing damage to products during packaging operations
- Reduction of the number of defects in the product
- Increasing the level of completeness of deliveries
- Increasing the level of availability of the machine / line
- Reduction of setup times
- Shortening the time of replenishing goods for packaging
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