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Topic Companies implement Six Sigma

Companies implement Six Sigma

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Heebeegeebee BB 15 years, 9 months ago.

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    I’d like to have the information about the companies that already implemented Six Sigma, how much they can achieve ??? 4-sigma / 5-sigma / else ??? Also the average Sigma value for the American industries. 


    Hi Ira,
    Most US companies are at 3 sigma for most of their core processes. Some are higher if they’ve actively worked on improving their processes with a quality system (not necessarily Six Sigma).
    Companies that are implementing Six Sigma Quality (see http://www.isixsigma.com/library/content/c010204a.asp#who for a list) typically increase (from what I personally have seen) to the 4-5 sigma range. Some go higher based on the product, but there’s usually a cost / benefit breakeven point of going higher and it’s just not worth it in most cases to go 6 sigma. Airlines, car safety, baby safety — yes, 6 sigma is worth it. But the cost of getting our US Mail system to 6 sigma would be exhorbitantly high!
    Most companies focus on their “main” processes, or core processes for implementation of Six Sigma. Not every process within a company implementing Six Sigma is 6 sigma (again, because of the cost). Also, most companies look to ABC (Activity Based Costing) to determine what to attack first with Six Sigma.Others look to customer complaint logs and calculate the COPQ associated with them. There are many ways to successful project selection. There’s a whole section in the Methodologies category of the links (to the left).


    Thanks for replying my question about “companies implement Six Sigma”, but I wonder what sigma had Motorola Achieved ????? also what Sigma had GE achieved so far ????


    How can you imply the sigma values of most coompanies without data?  I personally now that Motorola has some processes operating at or very near sixsigma they also have some operating a 1 sigma.
    Making a statement that most companies operate ate 3 sigma is pure speculation and unfounded.


    It is accepted that most Companies that bother to start measuring themselves avg 3Sigma (+/- 1.5Sigma shift).   Is it cannon?   No, but it is pervasive enough to be used with confidence.
    You are right about particular process Sigma ratings though.
    I worked for a division of a Fortune 100 that had several 5-6Sigma processes, but the site as a whole avg’d 2 sigma.
    my $0.02


    Maybe I missed something but I thought Bob’s answer was a good one.  Perhaps the inference of 3 sigma is a stretch – I’ll give you that one – but Ron, really, who cares?  Bob’s point was that there’s a cost/benefit tradeoff to consider.  His ABC costing comment was a good one.
    Your feedback is precisely the type of  “terd polishing” behavior that turns most business people off to Six Sigma purists.  You do not demonstrate a basic understanding of materiality and context.  Just my opionion – could be wrong.


    When I went through SS BB training they taught us the same thing.  “If you don’t know what your current sigma level is, you are probably at 3 sigma”
    We are starting out with SS and have completed several projects in different areas (manufacturing, transactional, etc.)  For each project when we ‘measured’ the process, the most frequently observed sigma value was 3 (give or take 0.5 sigma).  Yes some were higher and some lower, but usually we were at 3.
    So, based on ‘my’ data, I agree that 3 is a good estimate.


    You make a vary valid point.  While it is acceptable for the Wall Street types to hype their companies sigma scores to the unsuspecting masses I think it critical that we in the sixsigma business make sure we are talking a common language.


    Your comment about the cost benefit ratio is rubish. Show us your data and then send it to companies like Toyota that continue to prove that continuing to improve will dominate markets and give customers a better value. By the way they don’t do Six Sigma, they are just the closest to achieving Six Sigma.


    Are you willing to pay $1.35 per US postal service to ensure six sigma delivery instead of the $0.37 that you pay now? How many pieces of mail do you get from your neighbors? How many pieces of your mail do you think you neighbors receive that some how don’t make it to you mailbox?
    I don’t have any data to back up the $1.35 number — it’s just presented to make a point. I don’t believe that the cost/benefit issue is rubbish either. At some point, customers are not willing to pay for higher service or to fix a broken process as long as it works good enough.


    rubish? C’mon, that’s not nice.  Here’s some data.  I received a phone call last night from Bank of America (a company aggressively pursuing Six Sigma).  They were conducting a customer survey, mostly dealing with how people use check cards or debit cards.  At one point, I was asked if I’d be willing to PAY for the convenience of having a key ring check/debit card.  I said no. 
    Now I’m no wizard but that sounds to me like a cost/benefit discussion.  I accept the current “sigma level” of convenience and am unwilling to pay more for it.
    Here’s another one for you.  If United Airlines said that it could guarantee a 6 Sigma or better baggage handling process but would need to charge an extra $100 a ticket to do so.  Would you pay?  I wouldn’t.  The fact is that I have other CTQs related to air travel that are more important.  Again, cost/benefit.
    I could keep going but what’s the point.  Your comment about Toyota is valid, I have a friend in senior management at the Georgetown plant.  He and I talk about it every time we see other.  Their push for continuous improvement is impressive, but are you implying they aren’t concerned with cost/benefit analysis?  Do you think they push as hard at continuously improving their billing processes, or other transactional processses? I doubt it.  And, by the way, since you feel the need to ask for data please share the data that says they are the closest to achieving Six Sigma.


    You don’t get the basic premise of Six Sigma. Doing things wrong cost more money. Period, end of discussion. Why don’t you get it?
    Toyota is well documented. Best inventory management, best delivered quality, best reliability.
    Your made up costs are bogus, the real question is what does it cost you today for your current level of poor performance?


    Doing things wrong costs more money…I agree.  But spending $1M to fix a $10K problem is what this chain is referring to.  The practical reality of Six Sigma is that choices are made based on ROI.  My envelop stuffing process is not as important as my delivery process – I accept a lower capability in that process because I’m making a business decision that fixing it isn’t worth it…right now.  Maybe once everything else that my customer really cares about is running at a 6 sigma level then I’ll look at envelop stuffing.  Are you not required to submit a business case for projects in your business?  I do get it; but Stan, doing some things wrong costs a lot more than doing other things wrong.  Your statements are correct and I agree with them but you do not provide the proper context for your assertions.  Toyota: best inventory management, best delivered quality, and best reliability…probably true.  Do you think they have the best payroll? best legal? or best HR?  Materiality Stan, materiality….that what folks in this chain are talking about.  Why don’t you get it?


    Amen Paul!
    ROI drives prioritization and deployment of finite resources.   We won’t spend 1 million to save 10 bucks.
    Common business sense…

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