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The advantages and disadvantages of Six Sigma

concernedman19185284.jpgImplementing any kind of manufacturing process is a very important decision for your business and should never be treated lightly.Many companies choose to use a particular method because it is the latest trend or because competition is doing it.But weighing the advantages and disadvantages for your business is one of the most important steps you can take to feel right about your decision to implement Six Sigma or not in your own business.

Many advantages are cited about Six Sigma as a great way to run a business in general and especially for a manufacturing plant.One of the best things that Six Sigma does for a business is to get people at all levels of the business thinking about ways the company as a whole could be improved.The more ideas there are about improving processes and actions there are floating around in a company, the more likely that the one that would make the biggest difference would actually be found.When everyone in the business is thinking about ways to improve the business, there is a natural passion that is born and people are more committed to the company.This in and of itself cuts costs for the company and reduces employee turnover while increasing loyalty.

Six Sigma also puts goals at the forefront of the minds of everyone in the organization, which almost always results in the achievement of goals.Many people have said that you become what you think about most and if you are always thinking about your goals, then you are much more likely to achieve them.When everyone in the organization is focused on the same goals, things just seem to click together more often and the life of the business just seems to be much better overall.

Six Sigma definitely has its place in an organization and there is no denying its potential for doing great things to improve the efficiency of your operation and give you a better idea of just how well you are doing.Unfortunately, no process is perfect and there are plenty of instances when utilizing Six Sigma projects are not right for your business.Six Sigma projects are generally most beneficial when applied to manufacturing processes that are complex or that involve a fair number of steps to get from the idea board to the production line and ultimately into the hands of the consumer.If your organization is a small business or your production line is very simple, you could easily spend more time and effort on working to improve processes that may not be costing you very much at all.In fact, you may be wasting time by trying to perfect steps in your process that really do not need perfecting.Due to the nature of an ever-changing market, it is virtually impossible to create a process so perfectly in tune to the customer that no change is ever needed.Additionally, when your Six Sigma improvement processes involve making changes to better the product, unless you are investing money into marketing those changes that you have made, the customer will not perceive an increase in value and you will have trouble getting a higher price for what may be an improved product.Another major argument that many agree is a disadvantage to using Six Sigma is that major decisions are being based on data that may or may not be entirely accurate.After all, you are assigning numbers to processes and trying to make qualitative data into quantitative data.In some cases, new ways for assigning numbers to data are simply created from best guesses.Gathering data and finding ways to manipulate that data definitely comes at a cost to the company.Some would argue that those costs simply do not justify any possible changes that may be made.

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