As a manufacturing company, your main aim is to keep improving and figuring out ways to make your manufacturing processes better which can be very hard. Lean Six Sigma can aid you in this process. It is a methodology that has been tried and tested for many decades and proven itself with great results. This helps you save a lot of resources, time, effort and money by reducing defects. Let us take a look at the 6 most important Six Sigma Principles that you need to know to get you started. They are:
• Always focus on the customer
• Make your processes flow smoothly
• Reduce waste and concentrate on value
• Stop defects by removing variation
• Make your efforts systematic and scientific
• team collaboration
1. Always focus on the customer
So what is your main aim as a business? It is to drive your business forward by providing good quality output in order to satisfy the needs of your customer. So you need to improve the value for the customer by delivering products that meet the expectations of the customer. You need to analyze the requirements of your customer and improve your business processes to meet these requirements.
2. Make your processes flow smoothly
In order to do this, you need to understand the nature of the problems and study these. Six Sigma suggests the use of “5 Whys” to analyze a problem. If you find a problem, you ask why the problem occurred. This is repeated 5 times until you arrive at its root cause. Then this root cause is avoided to ensure smooth flow of the process.
3. Reduce waste and concentrate on value
The best way to improve quality and at the same time reduce cost is to reduce waste. The processes are observed to find possible areas of wastage. Then we can carry out various actions defined by Six Sigma such as being conscious, measuring waste, and eliminate the waste as effectively as possible. These actions are all data driven and hence very efficient and reliable.
4. Stop defects by removing variation
As discussed earlier, defects should be reduced in your processes in order to optimize them and save costs as well as improve quality. This can be done by standardizing the processes. The key to standardization is to remove variation. By studying the previous day, one will be able to corner in on the variations causing processes and modifying them to create a uniform, standardized process that will not produce any defects.
5. Team collaboration
While leaders and managers do a great job in designing the processes and reducing possible defects, the actual task of getting this executed falls on the team. Employees who use the process on a daily basis have very useful inputs on how it can be improved. You need to encourage the team to participate actively to identify problems and formulate solutions.
6. Make your efforts systematic and scientific
Six Sigma is not just a business methodology. It has a scientific quality as it is a data-driven approach. It leverages the data to create improvements and sustain them. This makes the approach systematic in nature that further enforces reduced variations and defects. It thus improves overall quality and customer satisfaction.