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Alastair Muir

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Design of Experiments/Conjoint Analysis in Marketing

The application of Six Sigma to marketing should be the most obvious use in the world. Where else does there exist such a direct connection between the wants and needs of the customer and the products or services a company offers? However, at first glance, there would seem to be very little hard reliable data…


Trusting the Data: Gage R&R in Transactional Projects

An essential component of any Six Sigma project is the gage R&R step conducted during the Measure phase. Traditional training will cover the full analysis of variance (ANOVA) of a set of continuous data, an attribute gage R&R for discrete data and the destructive gage R&R. Since it is sometimes difficult to apply these tools…

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Six Sigma Projects in the Human Resources Department

Human resources is no different than any other aspect of a business in being able to deliver Six Sigma projects with significant financial benefits to the company. Projects are directed toward the internal customer by conducting human resources functions faster and more efficiently, or toward the external customer by contributing to the ongoing transformation of…

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The Customer, Trust, Quality and the Bottom Line

The link between individual Six Sigma projects and the ultimate customer is sometimes difficult because of the separation between the two, and sometimes because of the vagueness of statements at the strategic level. It was interesting and relevant to see the results earlier this year from the annual Edelman Trust Barometer, a survey of nearly…

Process Capability Calculations with Non-Normal Data

During a Six Sigma project, the defect rate of the business process is calculated twice, first during the Define phase to show the impact of the problem and again during the Control phase to show how the process has improved. Although effective analysis of data that is not distributed normally is possible, completing one of…


Calculating Process Efficiency in Transactional Projects

The principles of Lean manufacturing are applicable to any business process. This article reviews some of the common problems seen in transactional projects and outlines an example where simple graphical methods are used to interpret cycle time data. Identifying and characterizing the non-Lean processes facilitates the application of 5S, brainstorming and other improvement tools with…


The Impact of Control Strategies on Z Shift Values

When the principles of statistical process control (SPC) are used to manage a business or manufacturing process, any indication of the process going out of control will prompt some action on the part of the process owner. When it is well used, SPC will detect shifts in the process due to issues such as tool…

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