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Eliminating defects - key to six sigma

No matter what your place in the business world happens to be, at some point you will probably want to try new methods of improving your product and service for your customers.Perhaps you are trying to improve your customer relations.Perhaps you want to eliminate all possible defects in your company.Well, if you haven't heard of it already, there is a simple six point format that will help you to eliminate these defects in your company.This article will help you to mold your business after the "six sigma."

What is six sigma?Six sigma is a system of practices created by Motorola to eliminate defects in a company (you may be wondering what we mean by defects, but be patient.We will discuss it further on in this article.To many companies six sigma symbolizes a striving for perfection.It is a disciplined, data-driven approach towards driving six standard deviations between the mean and nearest specification limit in any process-from manufacturing to transactional, or from products to service.Six sigma is able to effectively describe how a process is performing.

Well now that we generally know what six sigma is, let's review what we consider a "defect."For our purposes here, a defect is anything outside of customer specifications.In other words, they are "units" of a product or service that are not part of the intended population.

As an example, let's create this scenario: you own a company that produces kitchen supplies.You've been trying to create a new product for the past few months, listening to the "voice of the customer" by sending surveys, doing interviews and examining criticisms of already marketed products.From this information you've gathered, you determine that there is a need for a new type of ice trays (maybe it freezes on its own, or has a "no spill" guarantee).So you and your company create these ice trays and finally put them on the market.Once they've been in circulation for a few weeks, you realize that no one is buying your product.In reality, there is no market for revolutionary ice trays.People don't care about them and don't want to spend their money on them.What you missed was that your customers really want better egg beaters.Your ice trays are the example of the defect.They were not part of the intended population.

Now let us move on to the particular aspects of six sigma.There are six (surprise!) key concepts that when followed will greatly help your company avoid defects:

1. Be critical of quality: these are the characteristics that are the most important to a customer-the things they're looking when deciding to buy your brand or another.
2. Beware of defects: which is failing to deliver what the customer wants.It is your job to discover what exactly the customer wants
3. Improve process capability: what your process can deliver to the customer, in a timely, affordable manner
4. Constant variation: what the customer sees and feels may change very rapidly.You must be ready for sudden transformations
5. Continue with stable operations: you want your company to produce consistent, predictable processes to improve upon what the customer wants
6. The overall design for six sigma: scheming to meet customer needs and process capability

In following these suggestions put forth by the six sigma, your company will be able to begin to eliminate defects, making you and your business much happier.Your customers will be better served by you and therefore continue to use you for your service or product, which will keep everyone happy.

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