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How Lean Six Sigma Can Bring Quality And Efficiency To Firms

Nov 26, 2007
To ensure the success of lean Six Sigma implementations, the project manager should not only have the requisite Six Sigma qualifications and training, but should also have knowledge about the basics of Lean 6 Sigma. Given below are some of the basics of Lean 6 Sigma, which are applicable to manufacturing firms that are in the process of implementing Lean Six Sigma.

Data Authenticity

Even the most advanced computerized systems installed in an organization will not be effective as long as the data or information that is used as input is incorrect. This is why it is necessary to concentrate efforts on gathering genuine data relevant to the needs and requirements of a particular Lean 6 Sigma improvement initiative.

Managing Performance

Lean Six Sigma implementation projects require team effort. If a team were strained with the personal egos of individual team members, it would become quite difficult to achieve the desired results in time. The project manager should continuously try to motivate team members to contribute their efforts towards the achievement of common Lean 6 Sigma goals and objectives.

Production System

Lean 6 Sigma lays stress on employing sequential production techniques, rather than depending on the obsolete shop scheduling production technique. The fact that sequential production techniques are quite effective is easily evident from the use of such techniques by manufacturing behemoths. This however does not imply that this technique is only beneficial for large corporations. Small and medium sized enterprises can also derive the same benefits from this new production methodology.

Effective Logistics

Lean 6 Sigma stresses building a simple yet effective logistical platform that helps in reducing inventory-carrying costs, while improving efficiency at the same time. Such a logistical system is characterized by continuous flow of raw materials and finished goods from point A to point B.

Cycle Time Management

Lean 6 Sigma methodologies stress reducing long cycle times, which are a reflection of inefficient manufacturing processes and excessive non-value-added costs. The focus is on eliminating the root cause of extended cycle times, rather than devising short-term solutions.

Linear Production Model

Lean Six Sigma stresses designing a production model that can be configured as and when needed, depending on the existing demand. It should be flexible so that the production can be decreased or increased according to seasonal variations, without affecting the quality of the end product.

Timely Decisions

To make the most of what the market has to offer, manufacturing firms need to be proactive in making essential strategic decisions, such as when to downsize and when to start recruiting. A timely decision is one of the main factors that make the difference between a lost opportunity and increased profitability. Lean Six Sigma is beneficial because it helps in making timely business decisions.

Having knowledge about the above stated Lean Six Sigma basics will help project managers to complete the implementations successfully and within the specified planned period. It will also help in ensuring the long-term sustainability of the implemented Lean Six Sigma project.
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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