How to make Lean Six Sigma works for sales operations?

Over the years, a wide range of organizations and industries have been effectively executing Six Sigma and Lean in engineering, manufacturing, as well as business processes such as customer service, administration, and finance. Sales departments are the latest addition to the lot. Even though it is the last business area to be added, it is already turning out to be of great value.

Many businesses have now been successful in executing Lean Sigma in sales and gaining benefits that have been obvious only in case of organizational processes and functions.

In addition, success stories of innovators and industry leaders prove that this methodology is not only effective but also helpful in providing practical guidelines for employing Lean Six Sigma in sales operations.

Selecting an Appropriate Project Focus Area

Many organizations are clueless about applying Lean Six Sigma principles and ascertaining the right type of project for sales operations. Based on experience and best practices of companies like Xerox, Honeywell, Johnson & Johnson, GE, and others, six types of projects signify the productivity for early projects.

  1. Generation of Leads
  2. Sales proposal procedures
  3. Sales predictions
  4. The launch of New products
  5. Effectiveness and efficiency of the sales force
  6. VOC, or Voice of the customer

These project areas can be classified into two types or categories. The first four project areas are included in Category 1. These project areas primarily concentrate on improving sub-processes in favour of or related to field sales. Very often companies find it easy, to begin with, Category-1 projects, as they are easy to map, identify, and visualize. Moreover, metrics and data based on the process performance are easy to gather and classify. The processes included are can be repeated in a coherent manner.

Although Category 1 projects create improvements in the effectiveness of internal processes, they may not be able to solely produce revolutionary results that attribute Lean Six Sigma initiatives. The projects included in Category 2 are much more capable of generating revolutionary results as they are considerably more challenging and complex when it comes to gathering dependable quantitative data, distinguishing reliable processes, gauging root causes, and employing solutions.

Nonetheless, since Category 2 projects have a greater impact on selling processes directly and the field sales force, they bring about resolutions and enhancements that make marginal growth and sustainable and significant revenue.

Sales Force Efficiency and Effectiveness (SFE&E) Projects

Companies with sales forces that call upon numerous customers and signify standard services and products are appropriate contenders for sales force efficiency and effectiveness (SFE&E) projects. These companies usually deal with hospital products and medical devices, pharmaceutical, information technology, and, financial services.

Even though sales representatives working for these companies have approximately the same customer and market opportunities when it comes to competition, products to sell, local territories, etc., there is a sizeable difference in the functioning and end results of every representative.

In Six Sigma language, if a considerable amount of process variation is eradicated, it will result in a revolutionary improvement in the income.

Voice of the Customer Projects

Voices of the Customer (VOC) projects are usually favourable to companies that have a strong customer segment and market. These companies function in industries like automotive, household appliances and aerospace, and have a small, consultative sales force, that is systematized around a few key accounts. The projects are aimed at dynamic market penetration or customer share by identifying every customer requirements.

These requirements could include the measurable standard of products, relationship and service quality that a supplier should achieve for remain continuing business with an account holder. Certainly, meeting these requirements is not sufficient for ensuring continued customer share growth and sales, particularly in view of the fact that competitors in the same account could similarly try to increase customer share.

Lastly, Lean Six Sigma in sales projects should concentrate on growing profitability by running the topmost line of the business, rather than slashing expenses. As the profits escalate, the cost-to-revenue ratios and productivity of the sales force will also improve.

 

Lean manufacturing transforms businesses from stem to stern

If lean manufacturing is implemented to a tee, you can sustain-or maybe even raise-the current levels of salary. Plus, with the implementation of these concepts, you can do away with your worries about fixed costs as well.

Many product manufacturers have cut down their production cost by incorporating lean principles at their workplaces. Every leading production house has carried out numerous lean manufacturing assessments that help it to make the most of its available resources.

The origins of the lean concept

In the middle of the 20th century, Toyota-the Japanese automaker-introduced lean manufacturing. To eliminate diverse waste types, the automaker introduced three broad categories-mura, Muda and muri. (The lean principles were built from these three concepts only.)

  • Muda-it primarily refers to the seven waste forms.
  • Muri-it includes the modifications (in a production process) to get rid of the identified wastes
  • Mura-it comprises the steps that have to be taken (proactively or in response to a completed process) for eliminating unforeseen wastes

The seven waste types

Analyzing the working of lean principles begins by knowing muda (the seven waste forms) that is generally found while product manufacturing is underway.

Overproduction

This specific waste is of two types. First-if there is a manufactured product that is (or must be) sold at low rates, it can easily distress the company’s bottom line. Second-if there is a product that is manufactured before its buying needs arise, resources must be earmarked to store the merchandise.

Inventory

Having an excess of inventory requires the additional money that is spent on storing it.

Conveyance

If you will unnecessarily move apart during a manufacturing process, you are likely to damage it and delay the entire production process too.

Correction

This, by and large, refers to the correction made in a work that has already been done. By doing so, you can incur heavy costs because you will have to check the production process from the beginning.

Motion

The term “motion” consists of all the body movements that are made by a worker during the manufacturing process. Motions sometimes include the body movements that cause stress and lead to possible injuries as well.

Processing

If you are confused about the product’s working or the wants of the customers, that confusion can result in the waste generation.

Waiting

Any delay that is encountered in the manufacturing process can waste a lot of time; this can increase the worker’s downtime, too.

Benefits of being lean

A product manufacturer will benefit the most from implementing the lean principles; by doing so, the manufacturer will be able to cut down these waste types easily and quickly.

Apart from product manufacturers, every second service-oriented enterprise is also leveraging the expertise of lean manufacturing consultants to generate value from its internal processes. Some of the most cherished benefits of going lean are:

  • Flexibility
  • Waste elimination
  • Greater productivity
  • Enhanced quality
  • Reduced operational cost

Which is why it has now become important to implement lean in the workplace. Owing to their expertise, these lean manufacturing consultancies empower any company-regardless of its nature-to deploy lean principles at its workshop.

 

Six Sigma Best Practices Improve Revenue: A Case Study

Six Sigma was developed in 1986 by Motorola and later, gained popularity with companies when Jack Welch implemented the business practices in General Electric. These best practices will reduce the number of defective products produced by companies and improve the efficiency of business practices. Six Sigma has increased the revenue of many companies.

Here is one case study example that can help companies learn how Six Sigma best practice can be applied:

One unnamed cellular service provider was experiencing a problem with their DMAIC process and online top-up system. The service provider was also experiencing low registration rates and top-up rates. Before Six Sigma was implemented, the registration success rate was approximately 80 per cent, and the top-up success rates were approximately 60 per cent.

The customer service centre did not operate efficiently. The company invested a significant amount of time and money into the company because of the inefficiencies. The company found that many customers switched to providers with efficient online top-up systems.

A team worked together to increase and improve registration rates. Hypothesis tests were conducted to find significance. The Chi-Squared test is commonly used for this purpose. Studies showed factors that traditionally do not have an effect on output actually had a strong correlation. Without conducting this test, the company would have never revealed this information. This information indicated to the Six Sigma Black Belts that there was an inconsistency in the current system that should be modified for improved efficiency.

New rules were created to follow logical decisions regarding accepting and rejecting a simple transaction. The criteria for defining a fraudulent transaction were updated. IP addresses were reviewed to determine which were blacklisted and how to prevent the common practice.

When the evaluation was complete, Six Sigma leaders noticed that the success rate of registration increased by 11 per cent to 91 per cent. The success rate for Top-Up increased to 90 per cent. The company increased revenue by $300,000 by following and implementing Six Sigma best practices.

This is just one example of how Six Sigma helps companies improve. Other companies have used Six Sigma processes and got different results than expected. Some companies have increased revenue and savings beyond $400,000. This is proof that Six Sigma can help companies and organizations improve in significant ways.

Six Sigma Helps Companies Improve Business Practices

Businesses with an understanding of Six Sigma will improve significantly. Every company should consider Six Sigma training for their employees. Companies most often use Six Sigma black belt leaders to lead the projects. Six Sigma green belt leaders and Six Sigma yellow belt leaders are also effective in improving companies’ business processes. Businesses should consider integrating Six Sigma best practices in their organization to improve revenue and efficiency.

 

Lean consulting, what your consultant should not do?

Increasing numbers of companies are calling in Lean consulting firms to help them manage their work processes better and increase profitability and customer satisfaction. Lean management is widely appreciated for its ability to transform a company’s fortunes for the better.

The problem is that many companies that offer Lean consulting do not do a very good job because they have merely jumped on the bandwagon. If you hire one of these companies then you are unlikely to get the results that you have paid for. You need to ensure that the company you hire is a good one; be sure to watch out that the companies do not do the following things:

  1. Do a superficial assessment of your company. A really good consulting firm will take the trouble to study your company’s current style of operation before it offers you any suggestions. Anything less than this will be completely useless and the results it offers will be short-lived.
  2. Hand you a Lean plan and expect you to do the rest. Keep in mind that one Kaizen event will definitely spark interest but will not be able to help your company make the necessary changes that will ensure success. The consultant ought to work with your people in order to chalk out a detailed plan for change.
  3. Limit interaction with a few people in the organization only. Your business cannot become Lean only on the efforts of certain people; say senior or middle-level management. This concept will only succeed if all levels of people in your organization participate willingly in it.
  4. Keeps you dependent on it for guidance. If the Lean consultant does not work to develop Lean teams in your organization then you’ll have to keep going back to it for consultancy. A good consultancy firm will mentor your company and provide sufficient training so that you can manage this independently.

The right consulting firm will ensure that your organization is well on its way to becoming Lean. You will find a significant improvement in the way your company functions and also in the way that customers respond to your products and services. The changes will be gradual and in small increments but will have a long-lasting impact on your company. Not only will your company be able to save a great deal of money this way but it will also be able to stay well ahead of the competition.

 

How Six Sigma gets bottom line business result?

Many companies have gone down the path of continuous improvement only to be discouraged by the lack of “breakthrough” results. All of the texts on Total Quality harp on the need for strong commitment from senior management for these initiatives to be successful. What is it that motivates these business leaders? The answer is straightforward; Business Leaders are motivated and driven to achieve bottom-line results and increase value to shareholders. Six Sigma provides a structured and rigorous approach with a customer focus that drives benefits to the bottom line.

What is Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is a program that follows a structured and rigorous approach to process improvement and is applicable to all Business Processes. Projects are identified and prioritized based upon “Bang for the Buck.” The key drivers for selecting projects are customer focus and potential for bottom line impact. The prioritization process facilitates allocation of a business’s “scarce” resources to the projects with significant business importance, thus separating the “Vital Few” from the “Trivial Many.”

Specific targets for improvement are baselined and then monitored over the project’s life to demonstrate the achievement of goals. Tracking may include Cost (hard, soft, and cash flow), Cycle Time, Non-Value Adding Activities, Rework, Failures, and Defects.

Teams utilizing the five DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control) Phases of the Six Sigma Improvement Process can deliver breakthrough improvements to a business’s processes.

How Do Six Sigma Efforts Impact the Bottom Line?

Income Statement Elements affected:

Reduces Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)

Increases Gross Margin

Reduces Operating Expenses (OE)

Increases Net Income

Positive Impact on Profitability Ratios

Increases Return on Sales

Increases Return on Investment

Balance Sheet Elements affected:

Inventory Reductions Become Possible

Impacts Activity and Efficiency Ratios

Increases Asset Turnover

Increases Inventory Turnover

Decreases Inventory on Hand

Reductions of 10%-30% in both COGS and OE are common, with most companies averaging 20% reductions.

Consider this example:

$200M Sales

$100M COGS

$90M OE

$5M Depreciation and Interest

Return on Sales ratio of 2.5%

$100M Total Assets

Asset Turnover Ratio is 2.0

Given a conservative reduction of 10% in both COGS and OE from a Six Sigma implementation the Return on Sales increases from 2.5% to 12%.

Without any balance sheet improvements, the Return on Investment Ratio increases from 5% to 24%.

Inventory is generally addressed after processes have been improved and the need to carry excess inventory to meet customer demand has been reduced. A project to reduce the cycle time on the accounts receivable process is often addressed early on in Six Sigma implementations.

The key to Six Sigma success at achieving bottom-line results is following the Structured and Rigorous Improvement Process that is Customer Focused. Six Sigma is not just another “Quality” program like Total Quality Management or Quality Circles, but one that has teeth rooted in the financials of the business.

Analyse phase criteria for the DMAIC improvement process

The DMAIC Improvement Process comprises five phases namely, Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. The Analyze Phase is where the data collected is analyzed to determine root causes of problems being addressed. In this phase we are going to answer the question, “Which variables in the process make a difference, or not?” The key is to identify and validate root causes of issues and determine their impact on the process performance metrics that were established during the Measure Phase. The following article outlines Analyze Phase Objectives, Tools to Apply, and Deliverables to be achieved.

The overall objective of Analyze is to test and evaluate all of the process inputs to determine if changing from their current levels, or settings, will have a positive, negative, or no impact on the process key performance metrics. Process inputs include tools, materials, work instructions, policies, measurements, process settings and controls, software and systems, and even communication methods.

The point is to determine the best set-up for the process so we can predict what the outcomes will be. Analyze Phase aims to determine what causes the variation in the process outcomes. Outcomes, or performance metrics, include cycle time, lead time, processing time, inventory levels, quality of products and services, and customer requirements. The process comprises both Internal and External Customers along with your Suppliers, all of whom have requirements that must be met.

Objectives:

  1. Develop theories or hypotheses about the root causes of the process problems.
  2. Test the hypotheses with data to determine if there is a difference.
  3. Answer the question, “Which variables in the process make a difference, or not?”
  4. Identify and verify the root causes of the process problems.
  5. Determine the best Set-Up for the process that makes all outcomes predictable.

Tools to Apply:

  1. Brainstorming
  2. Affinity Diagrams
  3. Tree Diagrams
  4. Cause & Effect, or Fishbone Diagrams
  5. Process Control Charts
  6. Histograms and Pareto Analysis
  7. Data Collection Plans, Sampling Plans, Check Sheets, and Forms
  8. Detailed Process Maps with Current State Cycle Times, Yield, Processing Times, and Inventory
  9. Process Activity Analysis of Value Adding and Non-Value Adding
  10. Statistical Analyses such as Hypothesis Tests, Correlation Studies, Regression Analysis, and Design of Experiments

Deliverables that Signify Phase Completion:

  1. The complete list of the Identified Potential Causes.
  2. Details about the criteria used to narrow the focus of the causes for further investigation.
  3. Data and Results from Statistical Analysis used to Verify the Root Causes of the issues.
  4. Documentation of how Analyses were Interpreted.
  5. List of Verified Root Causes and How they Impact the Process Performance Metrics.

At the conclusion of Analyze phase, the team has a thorough understanding based upon data analysis of what makes the process tick. Many solutions for improvement have been uncovered and the team is prepared for the Improve Phase where the pilot testing is conducted to validate the achievement of the project goals outlined in the Define Phase.

 

Why Six Sigma is essential to reducing your aircraft maintenance cost?

You and I can agree that accurately forecasting aircraft maintenance cost is a job for a mathematician. From statistical analysis and exponential smoothing to extrapolation and the econometric forecasting, it’s a world of its own. While focusing on your aircraft maintenance cost, there is one proven method that can help regain control of cost variation and waste.

The method which I am talking about is Lean Six Sigma.

This methodology is known all over the world so I can be safe to say that I don’t have to define it here. Instead, let’s discuss its implication and how it can help you control your maintenance activities.

Key Principles of Lean Six Sigma And Your Aircraft Maintenance Cost

Lean Six Sigma is a proven method for improving your maintenance efficiency and effectiveness. Here are 6 principles to follow when implementing Lean Six Sigma:

-Identify your value stream and how the work gets done.
-Manage, improve and smooth the process flow.
-Remove waste. Non-Value-Added steps increase cost.
-Reduce variation by managing by fact.
-Involve the right people in the process who are fully equipped.
-Engage in improvement activities in an organized way.

These 6 principles are vital to a successful Lean Six Sigma team. The key is to reduce waste and focus on value-added activities. If a technician is running around to multiple projects, there is a possibility they may miss an important aspect of the inspection. In order to accomplish this, you must also implement a framework that can help with this process.

For improving activities in your maintenance processes, you’ll need to employ the useful framework of DMAIC.

Use DMAIC In Lean Six Sigma

To undergo improvements in regards to your aircraft maintenance processes utilizing Lean Six Sigma, you will need to use the framework of DMAIC.

Define: All projects start with a problem. This problem needs to be defined and everyone involved knows their role. Think about why you’re doing this project and what you’re trying to achieve.

Measure: The Define stage is what you “think” the problem is. Through the measure stage, you’ll need to be clear by coming up with how the work gets done and how well once finished.

Analyze: Now that you have an understanding of what is happening, it’s imperative to find out why. Never jump to any conclusions. Manage by fact and narrow down to the best possible causes. Once the possible causes are identified you can pinpoint the root cause.

Improve: Now that you’ve identified the process and the problem, here is where you identify a solution to the root cause. Come up with various ideas and select the best one. Once the best one is selected, test it out.

Control: You need to control the gain you’re trying to achieve. Come up with a control plan so the process is carried out consistently.

Utilizing DMAIC is imperative to the success of your Lean Six Sigma and cost control endeavours. Here is an easy way to identify your wastes.

By utilizing Lean Six Sigma within your aircraft maintenance process you’ll ensure that the varying cost can be reduced in one aspect or another. Don’t let the wasteful process deplete your bottom line. I encourage you to implement the Lean Six Sigma way and to reduce aircraft maintenance costs throughout your organization.

 

Dashboards and scorecards in Six Sigma

Monitoring the critical Key Performance Indicators are vital to Continuous Improvement sustainability. This article describes how dashboards and scorecards differ and how they can be used for the effective and ongoing monitoring of the health of a process.

Dashboards, as they relate to Six Sigma, are brief summaries illustrating the health of a process or operation at a glance. Just like the dashboard in your vehicle, the viewer can quickly determine if the indicated values are within the targeted operating range. The indicators that are displayed on a dashboard are fed by a roll-up from the detailed scorecard.

A dashboard should not be confused with the more detailed scorecard. A typical scorecard will present all the critical measurements of day to day operations and is the mechanism that drives the dashboard. Both tools serve a viable function in our process measurement and the resulting reporting. They inherently have a degree of overlap but are not the same tool.

Dashboards that are laden with all the reporting of a scorecard can easily become too cumbersome for upper management and customer use. A scorecard presented as a dashboard will likely display too much information and hinder a quick review. Scorecards are more commonly internal management tools, whereas the dashboard reporting tool is frequently shared with the external customer. Most often, it is a version of a dashboard that upper management and our customers prefer to see during their high-level reviews of the operation.

During the course of a Six Sigma project, the team will identify the critical few root causes that are influencing the objective (y) of the project. In the analyze and improve stages, the team gains clear insight into the drivers known to influence the performance of the objective. Finally, in the control stage, it is possible to measure the success of the implemented changes. These key influencing drivers are the critical process measurements to be monitored through the effective scorecard and later rolled up into the dashboard. A vital component in our Six Sigma process is the identification of the critical measurements and the established means in which to capture and report them in the scorecard. Once the correct measurements are in place, a dashboard can then be added with little effort and will report the successes and/or issues of the process to management and customers.

Scorecards function as early warning systems in depicting the real-time measurement of the critical drivers. The real-time nature of the scorecard tool will enhance the process manager’s ability to monitor the process performance and intervene quickly if necessary. The detailed nature of the scorecard will facilitate his ability to identify in what areas he first should focus his attention. Scorecards enable a fast response to process related failures if designed properly and monitored frequently. Process owners often utilize their scorecard as the guiding light for the implementation of focused and successful process adjustments as the operating environment evolves following the Six Sigma project conclusion. They can then use the dashboard to report the overall progress and the health of the business to their internal or external customer.

 

Tips to green your lean and Six Sigma events

Applying lean and six sigma into your company can have considerable environmental benefits, even if that is not the original intent of the event. The elimination of waste can have a positive impact on the environment through reduced materials, reduced travel distance, less overtime (reduced lighting and equipment use) and right-sized containers for material and chemical use (just to name a few).

You can make an even bigger impact by making sure your event (value stream mapping, 5-S, kaizen or radical process improvement (RPI)) is conducted as “green” as possible. A green event as one that is organized with the goal of minimizing waste and promoting sustainable actions.

Handouts and facilitation materials

  • Capture notes using a computer and overhead projector, instead of writing on flip charts and easel pads
  • If you need to write on paper pads, use static cling reusable easel pads instead of large post-it notepads and flip chart paper, to reduce paper consumption
  • Email files and handouts to attendees before the event, so they can review on their computer, and avoid printing the files
  • If you must print paper for handouts, consider the following (tips provided by Harvard):
  • Order Post-it Sticky Notes made from recycled paper, instead of those produced from new trees
  • Print on paper with recycled content (100% ideal)
  • Print only what you need before each day, as things change and may not be needed
  • Print double-sided to reduce paper usage
  • Reduce font sizes, margins and line spacing to reduce paper (while making sure it is still legible)
  • Use print preview options to make sure you don’t print pages that are not usable
  • Use soy-based ink to minimize chemicals and toxins
  • Print black and white instead of colour, to reduce ink usage

Food and drinks

  • Cater food to avoid having participants leave the event and drive to get food, which also takes longer to get everyone back and started in the event
  • When selecting food options, consider the following:
  • Choose local food catering options, to minimize “food miles” and support the local economy
  • Offer organic food options to minimize fertilizers and chemical usage
  • Offer meat-free (vegetarian) options to reduce the environmental impact of raising livestock
  • Offer buffet style catering to minimize packaging from individual serving options
  • If you order individual packaged items, select options with compostable or recycled packaging to minimize trash to the landfill
  • Provide healthy snacks in bulk to reduce packaging, instead of individually packaged items, and to keep the energy level high during the event (not a sugar “crash”)
  • Provide a water cooler for people to refill their water bottles, instead of ordering bottled water, which reduces plastic bottles made from oil
  • Provide real silverware and plates instead of disposable and flimsy plastic silverware and styrofoam plates
  • Provide cloth napkins to reduce trash, or napkins made from recycled paper
  • Provide recycling containers in the room for bottles, cans, cardboard and paper
  • Provide a compost bin for leftover food

 

Room Selection

  • Select a meeting location with natural light to reduce lighting (electricity)
  • Select a room with updated temperature controls and newer HVAC equipment to reduce energy consumption
  • Select a room with energy efficient lighting (CFL and LEDs) to reduce electricity usage
  • Select a location that minimizes the distance travelled for attendees
  • Encourage attendees to carpool, walk, bike or take public transportation to the event in order to minimize vehicle emissions and gasoline usage
  • Make sure lights and projectors are turned off when not in use

Most importantly, explain the “green” benefits you have integrated into the event on the first day. You don’t want to assume they will notice the recycling bins or recycled post-it notes. This will also encourage them to think about meetings and events they need to set up in the future, and they will be more likely to implement these same ideas.

 

Lean Six Sigma training for a better inventory

One of the most common reasons that lead to piling up of outdated and excessive inventory is the wrong forecasting of requirements. The other important factors are bad quality and extended lead time. On ordering large-sized lots, there is an increase in lead time also. It can also go up when the schedules are not met with. If there is a mismatch of demand and supply due to inaccurate sales projections, the inventory is bound to go up.

Reducing waste

Lean Six Sigma is useful for reducing the waste or redoing the job, continued processing for reducing inventory and piling up of outdated stock. It is also possible to use this for improving the quality of production, which eventually leads to a reduction of rejections, and thus wastage.

How Lean Six Sigma can be applied at root levels

On making use of the DMAIC method, teams using Lean Six Sigma can know the basic reasons responsible for causing the pile-up of extra and outdated inventory. Taking a cue from an Excel-based inventory model, the team should not find it difficult to assess the main causes on following the Six Sigma root cause philosophy of Y=f (x) to scrutinize and recognize the fields having problems. These may also be employed to indicate marketing, sales, manufacturing and such functions in the supply line that can cause high lead-time, and therefore develop demand management practices.

Improve projects

When looking to improve projects, the team starts by studying the stocks and defining the goals of that project. The team uses the defined goal as a guideline for system operations. Input data is derived from the questions, and IT systems are employed to fabricate an inventory model for locating the main reason for piling inventory.

Data collection and measurement

The subsequent phase involves the designing of plans for data collection and a measurement system. It also involves taking a physical counting off on the spot inventory and making an analytic report for the management to find out the correctness of supply chain metrics, like lot size and lead time. The significant input variables, which could affect the management of inventory, are identified during the Analyze phase.

Inventory balance

A usual inventory balance can also be employed to work out lead time, service levels and demand variation. This proves helpful in identifying the items and locations that have too large or too small inventory. This kind of input helps to establish the main causes of trouble.

Improve phase

In the Improve phase, the steps needed for overcoming such difficulties are recognized and used to introduce modifications in the system. During the course of identifying and executing such projects, others problems too get identified. Tools like 5S are found helpful during the Control phase for the continued development over a phase of time.

Supply chain

Inventory models may also be exploited to reveal the function of the supply chain and illustrate the effect of demand management practices on the surplus and out-of-date stocks.

Companies can utilize Lean Six Sigma to decrease and remove waste in inventory and reorganize their entire operations.