Six Sigma is one of the popular process improvement techniques used in the industry. It was invented back in 1986 by an engineer named Bill Smith while he was working at Motorola. The main motive of introducing this technique was to decrease the number of defective products produced in the factory. This, in turn, improves the overall efficiency of the factory and the overall profits of the organization. The goal of reducing the defective products is achieved by following a sequence of steps and by using statistics. Let’s find out the main advantages of implementing Six Sigma in a factory.
Advantage #1 – Customer is king
This is a motto followed by most organizations. The customer gives the order for a particular set of products and the factory has to fulfill that demand. Six Sigma aims at doing exactly that but, at a faster rate. There are techniques involved that are used to exceed the expectations of the customer. The first step towards achieving this is by reducing the number of defective pieces produced in the factory as this will reduce the amount of time required to manufacture products which will ensure that the customer gets his product sooner.
Advantage #2 – Employee Encouragement
The employees of an organization will work enthusiastically only if they are driven and realize that they are making a difference to the company. The tools provided by Six Sigma aid employment development which will motivate the employees to work harder in their respective jobs. According to a survey it was found that companies that thoroughly implemented Six Sigma tools and techniques in their factories saw a 25-50 percent growth in productivity because their employees were completely engaged in their work.
Advantage #3 – Planning Strategies
Six Sigma helps in planning various strategies for the company and not only in the manufacturing process. It can help the company reach its vision and stay true to its mission. Every business carries out a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat) analysis which helps them identify their own qualities. In order to succeed, they need to focus more on their weakness and improve it instead of just focusing on their strengths and being satisfied with it. Six Sigma can help even in converting those weaknesses into strengths. For example, if the vision of a company is to sell quality goods at reasonable prices, Six Sigma can be implemented to reduce the cost of goods by eliminating complexity, improving the supply, gaining cheapest supplier agreements etc.
Advantage #4 – Supply Chain Management
Suppliers play a pivotal role in the manufacturing or assembling process of every factory. They can either make or break the productivity of the company. If the products delivered by them are delayed, it could delay all the processes of the factory. Using Six Sigma this problem can be eradicated. Using the Six Sigma methodology by which the number or suppliers required for a particular process can be reduced. This will ensure that lesser defective products are produced.
Advantage #5 – Lower Cycle time
Cycle time is defined as the amount of time taken to complete one entire cycle of an operation from start to finish. If a company needs to assemble/manufacture products at a faster rate, it first needs to reduce its cycle time. What most companies tend to do most of the time is to immediately begin the process without proper planning. By doing this, they end up crossing the deadline and straining the relationship with the customer. As per the rules of Six Sigma, the business should set up a team of individuals at all levels of the company. These individuals will have the major task of identifying and resolving the problems that are hindering the assembly/manufacturing process. Once these problems are resolved, the company can achieve shorter cycle times and deliver the product at a faster rate.
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Six Sigma is being used by many companies around the world and is popular mainly because of its success rate. The organisations that have successfully implemented Six Sigma have already achieved or are in the process of achieving their goals. If you’re interested in learning more about Six Sigma and its various principles, enrol for a Six Sigma classroom training or online training course.