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The Six Sigma Process isn't Just for Big Businesses

Aug 17, 2007
Many small and mid-sized business owners are under the impression that the Six Sigma Process is not for them as it has a reputation to cost a prohibitive amount of money for companies of their size. Though this was true when the original Six Sigma Process came to be, as it continues to grow and evolve, many smaller companies are now quite capable of affording to implement the latest development of its strategy.

This more affordable Six Sigma Process is commonly called Generation III. It has been developed specifically for small to mid-sized companies who are seeking to improve their profitability through performance. Its affordability has been made possible by way of the internet which now offers online training technology, as well as new smaller-scale "live" training options for reducing training expenses.

Naturally, there are a few differences between the original, Generation I Six Sigma Process and the new Generation III for small and mid-sized businesses, however, this is what makes it so beneficial to these smaller businesses - it functions with them in mind. Primarily, these differences are made up of the following:

* Generation I focuses primarily on defect, while Generation III focuses on value.
* Generation I places emphasis on the provider, while Generation III places emphasis on both the customer and the provider.
* Generation I expert consultants and trainers are referred to as Black Belts, while Generation III expert consultants and trainers are referred to as White Belts.

Instead of making its primary focus the reduction of costs, Generation III of the Six Sigma Process now involves the creation of value. This is an enormous step in the strategy's outlook. Its aim is to have businesses provide goods and services of the highest possible value. In terms of Generation III, value means that the product or service is provided at the right location, on time, in the right amount, and at the lowest possible cost.

To reduce costs, Black Belts of Generation I who train in costly classroom settings leading to a relatively long development before actual results are seen, have been traded in for the Generation III White Belt. White Belts of the Six Sigma Process provide results much more quickly with less overall training. This is possible due to the White Belt's narrower focus.

Ultimately, this means that companies, no matter their size, are now ready to take advantage of the benefits and potential offered by taking on the Six Sigma Process.
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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