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What you should know about six sigma

Manufacturers are constantly seeking to improve quality and production in their companies.This is mainly because higher quality and production will mean higher profits.However, with the many different quality improvement methods available to manufactures, choosing the right one can be a daunting task.Here is what manufacturers should know about one popular and often successful method of quality improvement known as Six Sigma.

History of Six Sigma

Six Sigma was developed by the Motorola Company.Motorola developed the method from earlier models such as Total Quality Management which had been developed years previous.Motorola claims that the implementation of six sigma has saved them a total of 17 billion dollars as of 2006. Other manufacturers have also found improved quality of production after implementing six sigma.

Six Sigma Model

Six sigma is a popular method because it allows for both business process improvement along with an improvement in both product and product production.Six sigma must be implemented on ALL levels of a manufacturing company in order for it to be effective.If the method is applied only in parts of a company, it is possible to create an imbalance or to miss essential opportunities for improvement.Through six sigma a mathematical approach is taken to improve quality to a higher standard than was previously experienced on such a consistent level.

Many manufacturers have forfeited the use of the TQM model entirely in order to substitute the six sigma model.While this may or may not have been successful, many manufacturers believe that a combination of both methods is necessary in order to achieve optimal quality in production and business process.The decision to use only six sigma or a hybrid of six sigma is most definitely that of the manufacturer and has to be based on the unique nature of each company.Manufacturers who have seen success through a previous model may be uneasy about changing a method that is working, and others may wish to implement only parts of six sigma to an already functioning and successful method.

Drawbacks to Six Sigma

Manufacturers who are impressed with the potential of the six sigma method of quality production may be tempted to implement it as quickly and as strongly as possible in order to benefit from that potential.This can be a dangerous move on the part of the manufacturer.One draw back that has been recorded regarding the six sigma method is connected to just this type of application.When the method has been implemented too strongly, often different parts of the manufacturing process rebel.Whether that rebellion occurs in parts of management, individual employees, or entire departments, any resistance to the application of six sigma can make it unsuccessful.

Manufacturers should consider creating a plan that will allow for the gradual implementation of six sigma in order to assure a smooth transition and avoid possible rebellions inside of the company.

Manufacturers have experimented with many methods of quality management throughout the years.Some methods have drastically improved production and business process quality extremely effectively, while others have cause confusion and an actual loss in production.Six sigma has been based off of other successful methods, and has saved Motorola large amounts of cash.When implemented properly, six sigma has the potential of creating a similar improvement in business process, product, and product production quality.

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