Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control and Replicate (DMAICR).Replication is the differentiator in ServiceMaster’s Six Sigma Initiative.Launched in November 2001 with the appointment of John Biedry as Senior Vice President, Continuous Improvement/Six Sigma, ServiceMaster’s Six Sigma initiative focuses on making processes efficient and then replicating the improved processes across thousands of branch locations and franchises.(Sounds like something McDonald’s would want to try to replicate).

The article”Replicating What Works in ServiceMaster: Using Six Sigma to Standardize Best Practices” published in KMWorld on January 10, 2005 is a must read to learn the details around the success ServiceMaster has had using Six Sigma.John Biedry is candid in his remarks about the reasons they have been successful as well as a few barriers they faced in the beginning.


Savings and Benefits


“As of July 2004, the organization estimates that it has realized more than $50 million in savings. Considering the initial investment of $12 million in each of the first two years of the Six Sigma effort, the effort has more than paid for itself. Moreover, in the first year, there were approximately 3,500 replications, and as of December 2003, there have been approximately 11,000.” Replicating What Works in ServiceMaster: Using Six Sigma to Standardize Best Practices, KMWorld , January 10, 2005

“This effort is driven by project teams across the Company relying on Six Sigma to help improve how we service our customers. In 2003 every business unit exceeded its Six Sigma savings goal, and while these are very impressive results, this year, our focus will be to maintain this momentum and leverage Six Sigma to focus on the heart of the business – productivity, timeliness, pricing and problem resolution.” 2003 annual Report


“We introduced the Six Sigma methodology across all of our businesses in 2002. Thousands of employees from technicians to senior leaders have been trained and are now using utilizing Six Sigma solutions to serve our customers each day. More than 3,000 replications have been installed, and we are targeting over 10,000 by the end of 2003. The Six Sigma Program became accretive within the business units in the first quarter of 2003 – an achievement we are extremely proud of. The bottom-line benefits of Six Sigma, from now on, will far outweigh our investments in it.

“Beyond the financial return, the Six Sigma methodology is bringing new discipline to our work. Six Sigma demands that we base decisions on data, guides us to turn that data into actionable knowledge, and helps us develop processes that can be powerfully replicated across the enterprise, benefiting our customers and employees.” 2002 Annual Report

“Our company-wide adoption of Six Sigma will drive us to find and develop best practices through process discipline and fact-based decision making. Then we’ll replicate those best practices across branches, regions, and businesses. Our shareholders, customers, and employees will all benefit from the improvements.

“This outlook includes an estimate of $20 million for the implementation of Six Sigma and initiatives to measure customer and employee satisfaction.” 2001 Annual Report

Articles and Links

Six Sigma for Service, Microsoft Momentum, May 17, 2005

ServiceMaster: Communication Fuels Six Sigma Results, Chief Learning Officer, Sept. 2004

Voice of the Customer says “it’s OK to increase prices”, V-RATIO, June 3, 2004

Implementing Six Sigma for Results, ASQ Quality Conversations, October 10, 2002 (John Biedry was a participant in the discussion)

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