Factoring in six sigma
Every manufacturing company is worried about their quality, no matter what department it is. The reason for this is that your overall quality can actually affect your relationship with your customers and in manufacturing your customers are everything. Basically in manufacturing if your customers are not happy with your quality they are not going to use your company which means you are going to suffer when it comes to sales and overall profits. But if your customers are happy with your quality then they are going to come back over and over again, not to mention refer you to other companies, which can in turn increase your sales and improve your overall profits. And because manufacturing plants are concerned with their quality they factor in six sigma to help improve that quality.
But in order to get a better understanding of why manufacturing plants factor in six sigma we should take a closer look at six sigma. Six Sigma is a method or a set of techniques and in the business world it has become a movement that is focused on business process improvement. Six Sigma is a quality measurement and improvement program that is designed to focus on improving the capability of a company's business processes. Which is the same thing that total quality management is designed for, but six sigma requires you to take a look at one section at a time and to actually look at your quality standards to see if they need to be improved, total quality management only requires that you keep your existing standards.
Here are some of the steps you are going to need to take in order to factor six sigma into your manufacturing plant.
The first thing that you need to do is to understand your company's performance. The reason for this is that six sigma focuses on improving profitability rather than just improving quality. And knowing the cost of poor quality is a great starting point because you are able to see just how much money is being wasted.
The next thing that you need to do is to see if your company would benefit from six sigma.In order to determine if your company will benefit from six sigma you need to look for some of the following characteristics:
- Quality focus and objectives are not clearly defined or communicated
- Upper management thinks that quality has nothing to do with business and profitability
- Levels and trends to track operations performance are not in place. Some of these measurements are: cost of poor quality, design effectiveness, inventory levels, etc
- Because there are no measurements or there are very few measurements all of the decisions are made by upper management with no other input
- Upper management is busy trying to look busy and bugging employees rather than getting stuff accomplished
- Employees so not like management and are afraid of them, feel like nobody cares about the employees
Once you decide that six sigma will benefit your company you are going to need to train upper management in the six sigma methodology, which means teaching upper management what six sigma is all about. What the executives need to understand is the concept of six sigma, the steps, the requirements, the expectations and that management must actively participate in order for it to work
Once the executives have been trained in six sigma they are going to need to hand select some employees to train in six sigma. These employees should share certain characteristics such as: passion for improvement, success oriented, positive attitude, and be a person of action just to name a few.
After training everybody who needs to be trained your company is finally ready to implement six sigma. In order to implement six sigma a series of additional steps must be followed.