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How to implement six sigma policies into your manufacturing business

The Six Sigma process has caught fire with many top companies such as AlliedSignal, GE and Motorola. It is a process that involves a lot of time and a lot of manpower in order to achieve results. Successful implementation is done on a project-by-project basis and will result in continuous improvement of processes. Successful implementation also depends on many factors like the company's culture and the commitment and conviction of its leadership. Without these factors, the Six Sigma process can fail, however successful implementation into your manufacturing business is not as hard as it seems. Below you will find some steps for successful implementation.

The Company Culture
If this is the first process improvement program you have implemented to your company; it may be a little challenging. Organizing the process and having commitment from everyone involved is not always simple. Many times companies find themselves trying new strategies so often that employees don't take them seriously and are resistant to change. This is why the leaders of the process highly influence the company culture. The leaders need to buy in and commit themselves to Six Sigma and their examples will trickle down to everyone in the organization.

Dedicated Personnel
Management must delegate lead projects to managers and help others who are working to make the process improvements. The Six Sigma approach focuses on complete dedication to the process improvement. Many times employees are distracted with day-to-day problems and tend to put the Six Sigma method on the back burner. Delegating their responsibilities to others will help solve this until you have found results with Six Sigma.

What can you do to motivate the companies employee's to accept this new initiative? GE used a financial advancement strategy. The CEO told employees that promotions and raises depended upon their commitment to the Six Sigma process. This motivated everyone to work harder at implementing the process. Management must sit down and decide what road is best for the company. If management doesn't employ tactics, it will not be embraced by the employee's.

The Speed of the Process
Six Sigma has always been adopted by manufacturing firms, as they have seen the most significant results come from implementing the process. Since you are in the manufacturing field, you are familiar with statistics, mathematical modeling and metrics. This is often referred to as Statistical Process Control to Total Quality Management. Six Sigma can be applied to many fields, but it was designed with manufacturing firms in mind. Therefore, successful implementation has proven to be effective in your field. Taking your time to plan out the process will result in immediate and long-term benefits for the company.

Training is an essential process to Six Sigma. It must be planned out and a training session must be practiced on management before sent down to the rest of the company. Taking into account several types of questions will help to evaluate the training plan. Some of the questions are as follows:

- What are the training objectives?
- Who will receive training?
- How long is the training?
- What methods will be used?
- Who will be qualified to conduct the training?
- What criteria is there for instructors?

A number of projects will be created for each level in the process. It is important to access which projects should be selected first and will be directly tied to immediate results. Once employees see results, the impact of projects will be engaged by everyone and they will work harder to create a lasting program.

Clear Communication
Just like any process, clear communication is a must! If leaders are not reporting to managers, there is no way to track what is really happening. Each division should be reporting the progress they are having with Six Sigma so others can learn from results.

Lastly, a company will not be guaranteed results without working hard as a team. If everyone in the company follows the above mentioned steps, the chances for success will increase.

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