The aim of a company or a business is to satisfy customers requirements effectively. This requires you to produce good quality products and make it available to customers at a low price. Six Sigma is a business methodology that will greatly help you in making this possible. It was created in 1986 by Motorola. It comprises of a set of tools and templates which help businesses improve manufacturing processes. It makes these processes more efficient by improving product quality and decreasing cost. It studies the available data from previous processes measures the performance. This data is used to create processes that are better and effective. The reduction in the cost of a commodity can be brought about primarily by reducing the production cost. This is done by a reduction in wastage, avoiding defects, saving time consumption and reducing human effort as much as possible.
Six Sigma is a data-driven approach and hence it relies on the data available to design the processes. This causes a reduction in production cost by ensuring that the processes designed are standardized, not subject to variation and consistent. The process of doing this is referred to as DMAIC. It stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. Let us look at each of these phases.
1. Define: Here a project is identified which can be performed by the company and will contribute to your growth. Then it is prioritized with respect to its requirement and processes involved.
2. Measure: The current performance levels are measured to know the current stance of the company and the team. The processes are studied carefully to identify appropriate metrics.
3. Analyze: Variables are identified at this phase and the possible cause of these variables. You also identify the inputs required to various processes.
4. Improve: New ideas are generated, the best among these are identified. The possible solutions to problems are evaluated and a plan is constructed to implement them.
5. Control: This is the most important phase. All the methods and documents are drawn up which records the changes performed so that it can be monitored and continued.
DMAIC is a simple, easy to follow, yet efficient method that acts as a guideline for reducing production costs. It is very important for people trying to implement these principles to have a very good understanding of Six Sigma principles and processes. In addition, the entire team or organization should be involved in working towards a common goal. A culture of continuous improvement and betterment should be set up which will motivate all employees to improve both as a team and as an individual. It is not just the senior managers or department heads who work towards these goals, but the entire team as a unified body. Each individuals ideas, contributions and insights are recognized. With these techniques in place, the product cost can be greatly reduced without compromising on product quality.