Why Six Sigma Has Become the Most Powerful Improvement Tool?
Today’s corporate world is witnessing stiff competition among the organizations that intend to outwit each other in terms of growth and development. Companies now focus on the following points that have become part of their organizational strategy:
• Global competition
• Accelerating pace of change
• Adoption of new technologies
• Meeting customer satisfaction
• Reducing costs
• Delivering quality
It is not easy for the companies to meet the above challenges. To meet such demands, Six Sigma methodology has become the most important corporate initiative. Experts believe that there are only a few companies that have not taken any initiative on Six Sigma implementation. Now the companies focus on retaining old customers rather than wooing new customers. Six Sigma plays an important role in meeting the standards of customer satisfaction and thus, retaining the customers who bring benefits to the company.
Are you Ready For Six Sigma?
This question is aimed at business enterprises that have not implemented Six Sigma methodology in their organizations, but planning to do so. Six Sigma has been touted as a powerful quality improvement method that boosts employee job satisfaction and increases profits. Although many shops strive to improve operations and profits have adopted lean production and other quality improvement methods, only few enterprises have implemented Six Sigma techniques. There is a presumption that only large companies can implement Six Sigma in their organizations. This is true to some extent.
Implementing Six Sigma requires a considerable financial investment. In addition, dedication of resources and employee training are part of Six Sigma implementation. The benefits of Six Sigma allure companies of small and medium size. However, they do not have the time or the financial resources to invest in the long-term benefits of Six Sigma.
If your company is planning to implement Six Sigma, you will need to make an analysis on cost factor. The short-term costs for training and the length of time to complete projects can heavily affect small companies. It is true that Six Sigma will bring greater benefits to your company. However, you must prepare to handle the situation aftermath Six Sigma implementation.
Salary Survey on Six Sigma Professionals
We always discuss the Six Sigma methodology, its concepts and the implementations in the organizations. Until now, we focused on the benefits Six Sigma for the organizations. Now it is time to analyze the benefits Six Sigma brings to the professionals. The Salary.com survey announced in July gives a clear picture of the Six Sigma Compensation structure. According to the survey, there are seven key Six Sigma jobs. They include the following the important jobs:
• Top Six Sigma Executive
• Director of Deployment
• Six Sigma Master Black Belt
Compensation levels for the top three jobs depend on the revenue generated by the company. They earn a significant premium as compared to other Six Sigma professionals. Interestingly, pay levels for Six Sigma professionals working in the northeast and west coast are higher than those in other parts of the United States. Don’t you think that with a greater pay structure, Six Sigma profession is very lucrative? However, the job is very challenging, as the professionals take the responsibility of improving the quality and productivity of the organization.
Batch of 44: Six Sigma black belts in the Navy
First the army, now the navy. The armed forces certainly seem to have caught on to the benefits of Lean Six Sigma in a big way. It almost seems like a policy move to inculcate Six Sigma practices in the men in uniform.
Lean Six Sigma black belts were presented to 44 Naval service personnel at the Pentagon in the presence of Ronald D. Atkinson, president-elect of the American Society for Quality (ASQ), and Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter. The certifications are part of the collaboration between the Department of Navy and ASQ to develop a testing standards program in the Navy. Reliable Plant reports:
The Navy and Marine Corps Acquisition Enterprise that designs, develops, builds, and supports the U.S. fleet of ships, aircraft, and combat systems, recognizes the importance of providing certification through an authoritative third-party source such as ASQ. Multiple Navy commands were involved with development of this process.
The black belts will certainly have the added edge in interacting with other personnel in the Navy, and will hopefully pass on their learning experience. That apart, there are about 750-800 budding black belt experts in the Navy.
Six Sigma – No Longer Limited to Manufacturing Sector
Six Sigma concepts have traveled a long way. The decade-old manufacturing theory has been replaced by business-process strategies. The global economy forced organizations to focus on areas that have been neglected for long. Customer satisfaction and process improvement have become the most focused areas. To achieve faster and accurate result in those areas, companies have deployed Six Sigma methodology. Not surprisingly, the result is overwhelming.
Six Sigma is a highly disciplined, project-based methodologythat can help companies focus on developing and delivering near-perfect products and services. Six Sigma concepts are proactive tactics based on customer-service and ensure zero defects in the organizational functioning.
Six Sigma indicates how a process has deviated from perfection and fix the problems accordingly. Now Six Sigma methods have become essential for the organizations that wish to improve their business and catch up with their rivals. We are in a business world that heavily relies on quality rather than quantity. That increases the importance of Six Sigma.
Six Sigma Goes Corporate
Six Sigma evolved as an important tool in manufacturing process over the past few years. Now it has become a key player in the corporate world. The dream of perfection and flawless business is no longer a dream for the corporate world. For all good reasons, they have found, implemented and acknowledged the potential of Six Sigma in their organizations. It is true that Six Sigma minimizes the errors and defects in business processes. However, there are still some questions that remain unanswered. How can you really measure success with Six Sigma. Can it play an important role in improving the performance of your organizations? It is up to the companies to find those answers themselves because we can only speculate about the outcome.
Six Sigma: The buzzword in the U.S. armed forces to reinvent “business” processes
First, it was the 96th Regional Readiness Command in Utah (see earlier post); now, it is the U.S. armed forces in Korea. Lean Six Sigma continues to touch the administration in the U.S. army. The very fact that the Six Sigma principle is being pursued across boundaries confirms the success of the initiative.
Not only is Six Sigma enabling the army to cut costs, but it is enabling the army to reinvent and re-engineer processes within the army that remove wasteful steps and increase productivity.
As part of its business transformation efforts, the U.S. armed forces in Korea will graduate its first batch of Lean Six Sigma black belts on July 28. The graduates will be much better equipped to improve business practices within the army, particularly in the important functional areas such as reset, repair, manufacturing, and administration.
The following half year will see the army push through several more black belt and green belt training courses to imbibe process improvements. Army Public Affairs quotes Secretary of the Army Dr. Francis J. Harvey:
Lean Six Sigma empowers people and helps them see the possibilities. People learn that they can document processes that haven’t been documented, quantify work activities that haven’t been quantified, and measure results that haven’t been measured.
Army gets high payback because of Lean Six Sigma
The army and a business unit seem like the two ends of a pole. When you talk about the army, it is easy to build an image of a regimented life straightjacketed in a sense of duty and stringent rules and regulations.
Think of a business enterprise, and you can conjure up an image characterized by spot decisions, money matters, and a perennial struggle to cut costs and increase returns. All in all, you would think that running the army could not be farther away from running a business.
But it is a fact that the army goes through several of its processes from a business standpoint; there is buying and selling within the army, and money is exchanged for purchase of equipment, payment of pay packages, and for improving processes. So there is scope for business processes like Lean Six Sigma to be implemented in the army.
At the 96th Regional Readiness Command in Utah, Lean Six Sigma is not only a reality, but it has yielded positive results. According to depot commander Col. Douglas J. Evans, the Command has used Six Sigma principles to save precious dollars and increased the number of vehicles available for needy soldiers.
The U.S. army has also extended application of Lean Six Sigma to its Recruiting Command to significantly reduce the time cycle for applicants to get through the recruitment process. The army has also successfully used Six Sigma at the Army Material Command, which saw $110 million in savings and cost avoidance.
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CIGNA Launches Innovation Lab To Provide Six-sigma Service
CIGNA Corp. has announced the release of an Innovation Lab that is designed to develop integrated Six Sigma end-to-end service for medical, dental, pharmacy and other health care providers. CIGNA is a provider of employee benefits offered through the workplace. The company said that the Lab would have 100 specially trained consumer advisors representing CIGNA’s service and product teams to discuss health benefit and related financial information with consumers. It will help them optimize their health, benefits and plan selections.
According to Trading Markets –
The company’s first customer for the product is Big Y Foods in Springfield. Big Y is one of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England and currently operates 54 stores throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts with over 9,000 employees.
TechMatrix Releases WeldWorks Software Suite
TechMatrix has released its WeldWorks Software Suite, which has been designed to work with their RSX Series automated weld platform. The software suite enables manufacturers to achieve Six Sigma quality initiatives and control their resistance spot weld process. It will automatically monitor every weld’s key process parameters. The software suite will also track this information against individual parts. TechMatrix is based in Minneapolis, USA. The software architecture is built on Microsoft.NET technologies. The Windows client application controls the welder and collects data.
Manufacturing Talk reports that –
The WeldWorks web services provide extensible middleware to store and retrieve information anywhere on the internet. While the Microsoft SQL Server database stores weld recipes and all runtime electronic records, which help ensure compliance with FDA, ISO 9001, and military regulations.