December 02, 2006

Does Six Sigma Pay?

-- By Pushpa Sathish, Staff Writer

Ever wondered if those obscene amounts spent on improvement operations such as Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing ever paid off? Looking at the pioneers in these technologies like Motorola, Toyota and Ford, one would assume that they did. But what about the average-Joe companies those embark on these ventures?

A survey of 1,500 professionals from a wide spectrum of organizations conducted by iSixSigma found that the dollars poured in did reap in the expected rewards. Among those companies that already had Six Sigma efforts going on:

  • Nearly 50 percent said they would continue at the same level of training and staffing next year.
  • More than 33 percent said they would boost investment for training.
  • At least 44 percent said they would increase investment for staffing.
  • Only 17 percent said they would reduce training expenditure.
  • Just 8 percent felt the need to decrease staffing levels.
  • As much as 46 percent said they had enterprise-wide Six Sigma deployments in place.
  • More than 43 percent said they were expecting enterprise-wide implementations of Six Sigma sometime in the near future.

Of those who had yet to test the Six Sigma waters:

  • A little more than half, 53 percent, said that Six Sigma featured as part of future plans.
  • The other 47 percent had no intentions of going anywhere near Six Sigma.

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