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Battling Inefficiencies With Six Sigma

Mar 19, 2008
However, that should not cast doubt on the effectiveness of Six Sigma - because the truth is that there are many instances where this process has proved its worth in the non-corporate business domains. For better understanding, let's discuss the above proposition with the help of a case study.

Six Sigma Implementations in Canada Post

Prior to implementations, Canada Post was finding it quite difficult to remain profitable mainly due to the rising competition from courier agencies and the archaic systems and processes being used by the organization. The situation was getting so worse with every passing day that many experts prophesized that the organization will never make it to the 2010 Christmas celebrations.

This prophecy may have very well proved right had it not been for the some eminent organizational members who stressed on the need and paved the way for Six Sigma implementations. From the time it was implemented, Canada post has witnessed significant improvements in recent years, evident from the millions that the organization has banked in terms of both savings as well as operating revenues.

How Did Six Sigma Help?

Since the main bottleneck for Canada Post was the increasing inefficiency, the implementation team first concentrated all its efforts on improving the organizational efficiency. In the first stage of implementation, all the main processes were identified and categorized into different groups based on their relative importance to the overall delivery system. In the second stage, efforts were made to chalk out the necessary changes or alterations that were required for achieving the desired results. For this, employees were asked to provide their input, feedback and suggestions, which they believed might help the organization to overcome the rising inefficiency.

After reviewing and further testing, the improvement measures that seemed to have the most potential were then selected for final implementations in the third stage of the implementation process. Based on actual results, the teams continued to make further changes in the reengineered processes until Six Sigma efficiencies were achieved. This was done with the help of automated as well as manual control systems that were put in place for measuring the real progress as might have been contributed by the effected process changes, alterations and tweaks.

This one case study is certainly not enough to certify the applicability of Six Sigma implementations in the non-corporate business domains, but since it does shed light on it's virtually hidden potential, we can say that it has achieved its main objective (i.e., proof that Six Sigma does help in battling inefficiencies even in non-corporate business domains).

Now it is up to organizations to decide whether they will continue with their inefficiencies or battle it out by implementing Six Sigma.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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