Top 7 Six Sigma Methodologies for Business
By Grant Webb
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Today’s business owners and executives know that running a successful business is more challenging than ever. With global competition, economic uncertainty and rapid changes in technology, it takes solid business strategies and proven techniques to not only survive, but to turn a profit and sustain your business model. Six Sigma training and certification offers these proven business improvement techniques, with a focus on eliminating defects in processes throughout an organization. Six Sigma can improve everything from product design to packaging, purchasing and delivery, safety, inventory, and countless other aspects of a business. Here, we’ll highlight 7 proven business implementations of ways Six Sigma can improve your organization’s processes.
- Cost Analysis: Using proven Six Sigma techniques to perform cost benefit analysis can bring a number of advantages to organizations of any size. As the name implies, a cost benefit analysis assesses both the costs and potential benefits of various options available to solve a problem or make a decision. For example, making the decision whether to switch to a new supplier for a major component of a manufactured product can be made more easily and precisely with this tool. Through Six Sigma training, managers can gather and analyze real data and test their assumptions to make fact-based decisions. Choosing the right vendor through cost benefit analysis can result in time and cost savings, as well as product improvements, such as reduced defects.
- Risk Mitigation: In business, nearly every process and operation involves risk. New competition, a changing economic environment and even Mother Nature present constant uncertainties – with the possibility of significant impact. Since the risk of potential loss is just around every corner, continuous risk management and/or mitigation is important. While Six Sigma was developed to reduce manufacturing defects to near perfection, its data-driven methodologies can be used to address risk, as well. Risk mitigation relies on business processes and data interpretation – cornerstones of Six Sigma. The proactive, scientific approach of Six Sigma offers new ways to identify, assess, rank, measure, analyze, plan and control problem areas.
- Safety: Reducing safety hazards and on-the-job injury rates can ensure that organizations stay in compliance with regulations, while improving employee morale and reducing expenses. Using Six Sigma techniques can facilitate new ways to measure and analyze hazards, as well as develop new programs to address safety priorities. Six Sigma strategies can also be used to track data on worker’s compensation premiums and insurance loss ratios, to determine where costs can be reduced.
- Staff Scheduling: Methodologies gained in Six Sigma certification can be applied to company staffing. With too few staff on hand, customer expectations may not be met; with too many, expenses skyrocket. Six Sigma tools such as defining, measuring and analysis eliminate the guesswork, and provide a framework for proper coverage when demand is highest, and lighter staffing whenever possible, to manage labor costs most efficiently. With Six Sigma, it is possible to increase customer satisfaction while maintaining the optimum level of staff, thus achieving the goal of maximum productivity and minimum expenses.
- Product Redesign: In manufacturing, product redesigns are sometimes required – but they can be very costly. It’s important to first determine whether or not a redesign is truly needed. That’s where Six Sigma training can help. It provides a data-driven way to measure, analyze and test assumptions, such as customer expectations, and potential increases in manufacturing or labor costs. Six Sigma training can also give product designers new ways to reduce defects to near perfection, thereby cutting expenses and improving satisfaction.
- Improving Marketing Efforts: Six Sigma training can even be applied to your organization’s marketing initiatives to lower expenses and improve the efficiency of marketing strategies. Six Sigma focuses on continuous improvement and waste reduction, thereby cutting costs and improving customer satisfaction. Six Sigma tools can help a company improve marketing efforts by identifying new markets to add new customers and finding ways to increase sales to existing customers. By defining problem areas, gathering data to measure and analyze, and determining which improvements will bring about the desired results, Six Sigma certification can once again improve a distinct process in your organizations.
- Validate Investments: When your firm is considering an investment, such as new construction, an updated communications system or technology upgrades, Six Sigma training will empower project managers with tools to precisely measure the outcomes and overall value. Six Sigma methodologies can measure how well current assets are performing with regard to errors and customer satisfaction, run assumptions on the various upgrade options, and determine whether the investment will meet the organization’s benchmarks for return on investment and other operational objectives.
Business professionals are choosing to obtain Six Sigma Training for the vast benefits it offers in the form of process streamlining and error elimination for their specific businesses.
Article Submitted On: January 11, 2012