Understanding The Reach
Are there hidden Six Sigma Benefits in your program? Most people understand that Six Sigma is a management methodology which allows companies to use data to eliminate defects in any process. For a process to have achieved Six Sigma benefits, a process must not produce a defect – that is anything outside of customer specifications – more often than 3.4 times per million opportunities. Organizations believe that the benefits are fairly black & white. Improvements traditionally are considered to be related to quality, customer service, employee satisfaction and revenue streams. These are also the main areas that organizations target and focus their Six Sigma efforts on. The question is, what are the unique benefits that Six Sigma programs can produce?
Unexpected Six Sigma Benefits
Let’s expand the vision a moment and look at 6 unexpected Six Sigma benefits:
- Improved Customer Loyalty – We often don’t know we have customer service issues until after the customer leaves. Run a Voice Of the Customer (VOC) study which helps your business understand which of your products attributes are critical to the customer’s perception of satisfaction. Hear what you are missing.
- Time Management – Employing a Six Sigma methodology at your business can help employees manage their time effectively, resulting in a more a efficient business and more productive employees. Isn’t this what we all are seeking?
- Reduced Cycle Time – You can set up a team of experienced employees from all levels within the organization and from every functional department. The team is then given the task of identifying factors that could negatively affect the project leading to long cycle times.
- Employee Motivation – They say the concept of motivation is simply creating an environment for success. Organizations who are willing to fully engage with employees have consistently demonstrated 25 – 50 percent increases in productivity.
- Strategic Planning – Actions without plans are nothing but dreams. Six Sigma can play an integral part in any strategic vision. Once your business has used a created a mission statement and carried out a SWOT analysis, Six Sigma can then help you focus on areas for improvement.
- Supply Chain Management – One of the possible ways to reduce the risk of defect is to use Six Sigma to drive down the number of suppliers your businesses has, as this in turn reduces the risk of defects. The most successful organizations drive their Six Sigma improvements as far up the supply chain as possible.
Cast a Wide Net
When implementing a Six Sigma program in your organization, don’t limit your organization to the traditional. Cast the widest net possible when searching for improvement. Look for those hidden or understated opportunities, for which in the end, could make a big difference!