What the six sigma process, and how has it helped organizations improve their quality and profitability
Six Sigma (6σ) is a set of techniques and tools for process improvement. It is a rigorous, disciplined, data-driven methodology that was developed to enhance product quality and company profitability by improving manufacturing and business processes. It seeks to improve the quality of the output of a process by identifying and removing the causes of defects and minimizing variability in the processes. It uses a set of quality management methods, mainly empirical, statistical methods, and creates a special infrastructure of people within the organization who are experts in these methods.
By using Six Sigma approach organizations get benefitted in quality and profitability in the following ways:
- Processes that operate with “Six Sigma quality” over the short term are assumed to produce long-term defect levels below 3.4 defects per million opportunities. Reduced defect reduces cost and increase profitability.
- In order to improve the entire process, Six Sigma does the required things better and faster, that too at a much lower cost.
- The best part of adopting Six Sigma approach is getting a clear focus on quality improvement methods that are extremely crucial to the valuable customers.
- It eliminates the process variation and also inconsistency thus reducing defects that causes rejection and rework. Eventually the production cost and hence the product cost reduces and the profitability increases.
- It brings about active participation of top management.