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What is a customer in context of six sigma?

Whether you are a business owner or just a customer there are certain things you should be aware of about the business world.If you are a business owner you are most likely in a constant battle to improve your business and customer relations.You may be trying to eliminate all defects in your product and services so that your customers remain content.If you are a customer, you're probably trying to make your desires known so that you are able to get the products and services you need most.Well one thing that can help both business owner and customer is called "six sigma."This article will discuss what six sigma is and how it relates to a customer.

What is six sigma?Six sigma is a method of practices created by Motorola in order to eliminate defects in a company (the term "defect" will be discussed in greater length further in this article).To many companies, six sigma symbolizes a constant striving for perfection in all aspects of their businesses.It is a disciplined approach towards driving six standard deviations between the mean and nearest specification limit in any process-from manufacturing or products to service.Six sigma is a method of describing how a process in a company is performing.

So now back to the term "defect."For the purposes of this article, a defect is anything outside of customer specifications.Or in other words, they are parts of a product or service that are 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 and help you listen to the customer:

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

To understand these ideas, let's look at an imaginary example.Let's say you own a company that produces children's toys.You've been working on creating a new toy for months now, targeting 10 year old girls.After market surveys, interviews, and comments from customer suggestions, you decide that the best product to market would be mini convertible car for girls.After the product has been on the market for a few weeks, you realize that no one is buying your mini convertibles.In fact, you're loosing money rather quickly on your product.The problem is that there really isn't a market for mini convertible for 10 year old girls.You didn't correctly "hear" the voice of the customer.What they really wanted was a doll house.If you had correctly understood your customer, you wouldn't have made a market blunder and wasted thousands of dollars.

This is where the six sigma come in.If you had followed each point of the six sigma, the chances are good that you would have realized what kind of product your customer really wanted.So if you're trying to improve your business to meet customer needs, be wise-follow the six sigma.They will lead to a happy and profitable business.

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