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Black Belt Strategies For Small Businesses

Aug 17, 2007
Utilizing The Skills Of Black Belts

Most people believe that Six Sigma is for large organizations and is not cost effective for small businesses. However, this is just a misconception because 6 Sigma concepts and methodologies can be tweaked to make them deployable in small business organizations as well. Deploying 6 Sigma in small businesses has been made possible with the development of new tools and techniques that can be altered to suit all types of processes, be it a simple process involving just two to three steps or a complex process having numerous sub-processes.

Small businesses just need to hire the services of Six Sigma professionals such as Black Belts who have the requisite qualification, skills and experience to handle Six Sigma implementation projects. Small businesses that do not have the requisite funds to pay for the services can opt for providing Black Belt training to existing employees. This is often more beneficial for small businesses because once the employees are trained, the organization will never have to pay for the services of Six Sigma professionals hired from the outside.

How Black Belts Are Effective

Black Belts can implement 6 Sigma concepts and methodologies in all types of small businesses, be it a manufacturing unit or a services company. During the initial phase of any 6 Sigma implementation program, the belts assess existing quality levels, which may be 1 sigma, 2 sigma, 3 sigma or 4 sigma. The aim is to make consistent improvements in quality until Six Sigma quality levels are achieved. In small businesses, the savings derived through Six Sigma implementations may not match the multi-million dollars savings generated in large organizations, but are certainly enough to make the small business more competitive in the marketplace.

Additionally, quality improvements help small businesses to offer cost-effective products or services to their customers, which ultimately leads to increased customer satisfaction. It helps them to develop customer loyalty and increase customer base, both of which are necessary for the long-term success of any business organization. It also provides a level playing field to small businesses, allowing them to compete with large business organizations that might be offering similar products or services.

Six Sigma implementations do help in increasing the efficiency of existing business processes, but before implementing the various concepts and methodologies, small organizations need to assess the monetary value of derivable benefits and compare it with the implementation costs. Implementations should be undertaken only when the benefits outweigh the implementation costs. Small businesses that follow this procedure are most likely to succeed in their Six Sigma initiatives and maintain competitiveness in the marketplace.
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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