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Why choose Six Sigma over other manufacturing options

Six Sigma is a set of methodologies, originally developed for manufacturing processes by Motorola, which are used to reduce the number of defects through statistical analysis of process data. This set of methodologies can also be applied to other types of business processes. For your manufacturing plant, or other type of business to effectively evaluate whether or not the business process is effective or not, you need to use the Six Sigma methodology or a similar one.

There are other manufacturing methodologies out there similar to Six Sigma that can help improve the quality of manufacturing. Total Quality Management (TQM) and Lean manufacturing are some of the other popular quality control methodologies. Is there a clear cut, superior methodology? Is Six Sigma the way to go? What about TQM and Lean?

In order to answer these questions, we need to know a little bit about each methodology. First, they all are there to help you do basically the same thing, which is to improve manufacturing and business processes so that they are more efficient and error free. There is considerable overlap between the different philosophies. In the end, the most important component to your success in using these methodologies will be your implementation of them. When you look at it that way, it really doesn't matter which one you choose.

However, let's look at some of the reasons that you may want to consider Six Sigma as your manufacturing process improvement guide.

  • Six Sigma has a large following. There are many companies who have successfully improved their products and processes using ideas from Six Sigma. Because the measurement of the results can be measured, a company can accurately estimate how much money they are saving by implementing Six Sigma.
  • Training is readily available for Six Sigma. The employees of your organization can take online courses, classes, study from books, or from an onsite instructor.
  • Many feel that the Six Sigma methodology gives superior results. The measurement and analytical approach of Sig Sigma using data driven methods give the analyst the best information possible. What a great feeling that you will be able to have when you can put an actual value to your Six Sigma implementation!
  • There are at least a dozen off the shelf commercial analytical and management software packages available. You trained analysts and managers can hit the ground running by not reinventing the wheel by taking advantage of the work that others have already done. During your training sessions, your instructor or training materials will guide you into some pros and cons of different software options.
  • The Six Sigma methodologies are not just a bunch of pie in the sky hype, but are based on real science, math, and a lot of work by smart people. There are five basic common sense principles or laws that make up Six Sigma: The law of the market, the law of flexibility, the law of focus, the law of velocity and the law of flexibility. When a business bases its processes and practices on proven principles, and executes them effectively, that organization will have no choice but to improve.

Six Sigma is not the only set of manufacturing process improvement methodologies to choose from, but a case can be made by the number of manufacturing companies that have adopted Six Sigma, and by its proven results that it is the best choice among the different methodologies.

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