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Marketing Lean Six Sigma As A Profit Multiplier

Feb 26, 2008
New responsibilities may not have been conferred onto them by their organization, but on an informal level, Master Black Belts are expected to shoulder additional responsibilities such as communicating the benefits of Six Sigma so as to make way for the implementations.

They are basically expected to convince the top management officials, especially the skeptics who might not be all that enthusiastic about their implementations.

Why Communicating the Cost Benefits Will Not Help

Six Sigma certainly helps in reducing costs, but communicating this fact to the skeptics will not solve the problem - simply because this has been overly publicized and as such it may not appeal to those who might not have much faith in the process. Cost reduction benefits may not appeal to the skeptics also because on the psychological level, the thought of cost reductions seem to carry just a bit of negativity, which is often enough for the skeptics to vote against a Six Sigma implementation.

Stressing the cost benefits again and again will only make matters worse, because then even those who are in support of the Six Sigma implementations might be tempted to rethink their decision. However, since there is a direct correlation between Six Sigma implementations and professional careers of Master Black Belts, they should do everything in their capacity to convince the skeptics and make way for the implementations.

The Right Way to Market Six Sigma

There are no set standards, but if Master Black Belts want to convince the skeptics, they need to basically focus on marketing Six Sigma as a profit multiplier. While doing this, they need to choose their words properly because the fact is that it does not directly affect profitability; it is only through cost reductions and quality improvements that profitability gets improved.

If the right words are used, Master Black Belts can easily highlight the following profitability aspects of Six Sigma implementations.

1). Improved Internal Operations

Master Black Belts need to stress the fact that Six Sigma implementations automatically improve the existing internal operations of the organizations, which in turn leads to efficient use of organizational resources. For getting their point through, they can use graphs and charts, depicting the link between Six Sigma implementations and profitability. They should leave out the "cost saving" aspect as mentioned earlier.

2). Improved Quality and Competencies

Master Black Belts should also stress the fact that Six Sigma implementations have a direct impact on the quality of the final outcome. They should then communicate how improved quality helps in building a positive brand image and reputation and garnering a bigger market share, all of which lead to improved profitability. They should also not fail to highlight the fact that improved quality results in increased customer loyalty, something that is essential for maintaining profitability in the long run.

It is not being suggested that marketing Six Sigma as a profit multiplier will always convince the skeptics, but even then Master Black Belts should try this concept simply because it is the best option available. Some skeptics are adamant and may never yield, but by using this marketing technique, Master Black Belts can at least try their luck on those skeptics who might be sitting on the fence and planning to make a shift.
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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