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Six Sigma with relation to smaller organisations

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  • #26959

    Neil Gray
    Participant

    Does anyone have experiences of implementing Six Sigma in an organisation as small as 250 employees? If so did it work and what were the problems?

    Thanks

    Neil

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    #65547

    howe
    Participant

    Yes, it will work. The major hurdle is allocation of resources. With a company that size, resources are usually spread thin. Its best not to follow traditional deployment strategies (Champion, Master Black Belt, Black Belts & Green Belts). I suggest training one or two waves of process owners (engineers, front line supervisors) from several areas with Black Belt Training (but deviate from traditional definitions of Black Belt and have them maintain their present positions, similar to Green Belts). Again, training periods will be tough on them and the company (I suggest off-loading students at least 50% during the 6 months of 1st project and training period, projects that follow will take less and less of their time). From my experience, project leaders who have a vested interest in the outcome achieve better and longer results than a Black Belt moving from department to department or plant to plant. If you are interested, I can pass along some information about a consulting firm that specializes in small to medium sized business Six Sigma deployment at a very reasonable price.

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    #65557

    Hogg
    Participant

    I am currently providing (external consultant) support for a BB going through training in a manufacturing company of just 80 staff.

    With strong buy-in from the MD and senior staff, a few carefully chosen early projects, and time and effort with good support, and the Six Sigma initiative is going well.

    The key issues are committment, time and effort, good project selection, and support from someone like myself who has done it all before. Be positive and keep the pace going! Small companies need Six Sigma!

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    #65701

    Jean Perron
    Participant

    Geoff,
    How does a small organisation deal with the ressource allocation? It can’t have full time Six Sigma staff like large companies? What about job titles: I know that some companies are affraid to loose employees if they are able to stick a “black belt” title in their resume.

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    #65712

    Hogg
    Participant

    Some organisations allow up to ten percent of staff time to be allocated to ‘quality’ generally. For Six Sigma initiatives, full-time practitioners ultimately need to number between two and four percent of all staff. Only if a company is below 30-50 in number will you have problems with the concept of full-time staff. You may want to consider using part-time contract services of an external Master Black Belt, to support perhaps more part-time (20-40%) Green Belts rather than full-time Black Belts.
    The use of ‘Black Belt’ etc is not compulsory, and a number of organisations are avoiding the use of the term, for various reasons. The disadvantages will be seen if you want to recruit people with Six Sigma skills in future – you might want a person for a new role with Green Belt skills as a subsidiary requirement. Also, if you want to train people internally, then denying them use of the ‘standard’ titles may breed resentment.
    If you are worried about loosing people because of the title you give them, try changing the CEO’s title and see how he/she likes it! What you call people is an outward sign of an internal skill set, and BBs are in demand because they are well-rounded and able people, not because they are called Black Belts! It is more important to provide good career development and appropriate reward and recognition, than to worry about names. The IT/IS environment has suffered for years from a shortage of skills – and has exacerbated the problem by failing to train, failing to reward and recognise, and actively poaching from other companies rather than investing internally. The Six Sigma job market is going down the same road, and will suffer as a result.
    Black Belts should be the very best people you have – train them and they become even better. If they were likely to want to leave before, then they have more chance to do so now. In one of the funniest ‘Dilbert’ cartoons I ever saw, Catbert (evil HR director) renamed everyone’s job titles to prevent them from getting jobs elsewhere. Wally had his job re-titled as ‘convicted felon’ if I recall correctly! Imagine that on the resume!

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    #67087

    Marv
    Participant

    Yes, while our corporation is about 500 in 4 locations, we have 120 employees at my plant. We are still trying to change the culture and struggle with a small overburdened staff. Nonetheless, gains are being made during our implementation and I believe Six Sigma is the only path to success.

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    #67160

    P .S JAWADEKAR
    Participant

    FOR EVERY ORGANISATION, SMALL OR BIG ,SIX SIGMA IS THE LAST STAGE OR MILE TO BE REACHAED IN THE JOURNEY TO REACH DEFECT FREE QUALITY GOAL, LEADING TO CUSTOMER DELIGHT AND SUSTAINED INCREASE IN SHAREHOLDER VALUE.FOLLOWING STATIONS NEED TO BE REACHED ON THE WAY (1)DEVELOPING VISION STATEMENT AFTER DELIBERATING WITH ALL (2)CONSTANTLY COMMUNICATING AND RELATING VISION TO ALL PLANS AND ACTIONS TO IMPROVE STAKEHOLDER DELIGHT(3)MAKING PEOPLE UNDERSTAND EXTENT OF COST OF QUALITY,15TO 25%OF SALES ,CONSIDERING ALL FUNCTIONAL AREAS MANUFACTURING AND NON-MANUFACTURING.(4)MAKING PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THAT MAKING COST OF QUALITY NEAR ZERO GUARANTEES SUSTAINANCE OF CUSTOMER DELIGHT AND ENHANCEMENT OF SHAREHOLDER VALUE.(5)DECIDE ON VALUE SYSTEM TO MAKE BEHAVIOUR AND WORKING OF PEOPLE STAKEHOLDER ORIENTED.(6)DRAW A BUSINESS PLAN FUNCTIONWISE WITH ACTIONS TO IMPROVE COST OF QUALITY.(7)IDENTIFY TRAINING AND EDUCATION NEEDS AND START IMPLEMENTATION(8)MAKE ORGANISATION LEARN TO COLLECT AND INTERPRET DATA IN TERMS OF ITS VARIABILITYA AND ACTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT THROUGH SQC.(9)DECIDE SIGMA LEVEL OF ALL PROCESSES IN ALL FUNCTIONAL AREAS,TAKEN FOR COST OF QUALITY REDUCTION AS PER BUSINESS PLAN(10)LASTLY DECIDE ON HOW TO REACH SIX SIGMA LEVEL,TIME PERIOD,CROSS FUNCTIONAL TEAMS AND ITS ALIGNMENT WITH VISION AND VALUE SYSTEM.
    MAKE SURE THAT ALL PLANS AND ACTIONS ARE LED BY CEO, OTHERWISE EXPECT FRUSTRATION ON THE WAY.

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    #68795

    chew
    Participant

    Neil,
    go ahead and implement six sigma no matter how small your company is. 6 Sigma is a methodology, is a systematic way of solving problem and is the ultimate way to produce quality products.
    The only different between a large and small firm is the way they implement it. Instead of engaging world famous consultancy house, you can hire a good master black belt to help you launch this program.
    Remember, lauching six sigma is something like you are changing the company’s culture. It will not be successful if the top management don’t understand and don’t honestly support this initiative.
    A good way to compete with large firm is to produce better quality product with cheaper cost. The solution is….Six Sigma. A real six sigma practice.
    Good Luck……Chew

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    #68841

    Niraj Goyal
    Participant

    Hello,
     
    I had wriiten on this subject before. The problem in small companies is not the learning of techniques but the cost of creating a mindset change, This takes time and as was mentioned on this site needs external consultants who are very expensive (respondents had indicated $3000-4000 per day)
     
     
     
    We are doing this kind of work and have set up a company based in India called Cynergy Creators Private Limited.  We help train companies it six sigma and also JIT/Total quality control /total employee involvement. The name Cynergy connotes out phlosophy – S(C)ynergy between people and techniques.
     
     
     
    We then facilitate cross functional teams to build a few success stories of major improvements, helping cascade the process down to the operating levels.
     
    We currently have at least one client based in US.
     
    Being based in India our rates are a fraction of those given by the respondents.
     
     
     
    Regards
     
    Niraj Goyal
     

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    #68847

    Gary Wadhwa
    Participant

    We are a very small health care organization, Adirondack Oral & Maxillofacial surgery with only 22 employees. We are implementing Lean and six sigma technology and seeing some success in customer satisfaction, flow of patients through the organixation and improved cash flow.
    Gary

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    #70295

    Ashman
    Member

    Gary, do you have any specific advice that you would give to a small business owner with 15 employees in order to embark upon this process? Thanks in advice.

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    #70976

    Albert Lau
    Participant

    Dear AllHow about 6 sigma in small(15 to 20 people) trading firms? Do you think it will work with just small improvement or have the same kind of result as large manufacturers? And How?

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    #73858

    Alexis
    Participant

    All
    I am trying to research the implementation of Six Sigma in small to medium enterprises and have found very little literature, also I am trying to develop a Six Sigma Assesment / Planner, any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks Alexis

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    #75837

    Terry
    Member

    Hi
    I am in the same boat as Alexis. I am  also trying to research the implementation of Six Sigma in small firms and have found very little literature. Any help and advice on this matter would be much appreciated.
    Thanks in advance
    Terry
    Final  Year Student
    Mechnical Engineering / Commerce
    The University of Western Australia

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    #84386

    MoonDoggie
    Participant

    What about an org with 12 employees. Is six sigma effective for an org as small as mine? We are in the process of defining a dashboard for our org. Is it overkill? Is there a simpler way to measure success?

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    #106947

    Gary Kasper
    Participant

    Mike,
    Would you be kind enough to pass along information about Six Sigma consulting firm(s) that specialize in small to medium sized businesses?
    You had mentioned this in your 11/13/00 email.
    303-690-0278

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    #106954

    John J. McDonough
    Participant

    Gary
    That phone number is like throwing red meat in front of a pack of hungry wolves.  I’ll be good — I won’t call you.
    Take a look at “Consultants” over on the left of the page.  There is a list there, quite a few, but not an unreasonable number.  Peek at their websites and see if some of them seem to fit your needs.
    You are in sort of a rough spot if you are in the 250 employee neighborhood that OP was.  As Mike points out, you probably don’t want to engage the larger consultants, but it’s pretty tough to get good, credible information on smaller consultants.  If you have some peers that have done something similar, talk to them about their experiences.  That way you can get at least some indication of the issues in terms that you can relate to.
    One poster suggested hiring an MBB.  Trouble is, a decent MBB is very expensive, and a full time person on that sort of pay scale is probably more than you can reasonably afford.  Better to find a consultant who can be flexible enough to work with you to find the path that is best for you, while not being overly focused on generating huge numbers of billable hours.  Six Sigma consultants are amazingly expensive, so you really want to make the best use of a small number of hours.
    –McD
     

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    #115109

    mdprasad
    Participant

    hello i am also doing my project on six sigma in small organizations i have very less information with me if any one can help me i will be very greatful its very urgent
     
     

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    #115111

    ankur raj
    Participant

    though its not easy to do it.
    but atleast an attempt can really pay u in long run.

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    #115112

    mdprasad
    Participant

    i did not understand what u said please give a detailed information

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    #115239

    D.D.
    Participant

    I am the owner of a small business (< 2 yrs).  More specifically I own a modeling agency.  There are 4 owners, 2 interns and 3 aesthetics related associates.  We manage approximately 50 – 80 freelance and/or exclusive models per year.
    In addition, I also work in the corporate industry for a HR BPO.  Our company has recently started pushing Six Sigma approaches to the way we do business.  Based on some introductory reading that I’ve reviewed, I feel Six Sigma should definitely be considered a beneficial way to manage the structure of a company to achieve excellence particularly in a corporate environment.  On the other hand, the business that I own is within an industry that is “whimsical” and there is generally not a “structured” corporate approach to the way of managing a business.  Presently our agency is at a critical point in trying to establish ourselves in a very competitive industry in which branding and “who’s who” is so important in building clientele (paying clients), attracting the right models no matter what experience level and maintaining our stand-out models as well as increasing the number of models we manage exclusively versus non-exclusively/freelance.  Obviously no one wants to commit to a long-term exclusive contract if you cannot regularly get them booked for paid work because your clientele is limited.  Not to mention our limited budget for marketing and advertising.
    Do you believe a Six Sigma approach would benefit an industry such as the modeling and other related entertainment industries?  Is there a modeling agency officially organized based on Six Sigma Methodologies?
     
    Thanks.
     
     

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    #115240

    Stevo
    Member

    Double D, being one of the pretty people myself, I will get the ball rolling.
    SS can work for a  small company.  My view of  modeling is:  You are selling yourselves to the models and you’re selling the models to your clients.  SS has been very successful in Sales and Marketing orgs. 
    I’m assuming that you also have a model training program (process).
    Everthing is a process, and any process can be improved. 
    If you need help screening the models, let me know.
     
    Stevo
     

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    #115241

    Dayton
    Member

    While I don’t know whether or not Six Sigma has been successfully applied to the modeling agency business, I would be pleased to assess your models for current state variance – which, per the DMAIC process, is the next essential step after your eloquent problem definition.
     Vinny

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    #115277

    MudaSensei
    Participant

    One is lead to believe Six Sigma can be applied to any process in any field and when implemented properly benefit all…….so, I guess that would also apply to the “cat-walk process”, too…… tried looking up and as yet not found a suitable SS implementation in your chosen field.
    One is always up for a challenge and DOing an Éxperiment on all “Models” sounds intellectually stimulating…….although, unlike the 2 more distinguished and learned gentlemen……..one might have to try the full frontal approach and sweat it out in a “Gemba” environment……the academic and statistical approach might not deliver a quantified ROI, one might get lost and side tracked in all those mathematical equations !!
    Ps: Stevo, Thx for getting the ball rolling

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    #115280

    Markert
    Participant

    D.D.:
    Aside from all the fun I’ve had thinking and extrapolating on your question, as well as comments from the other highly creative members of our forum, you pose a unusual question and circumstance.
    I believe that you may be able to use some tiny aspects of Six Sigma in your business. But, it is also my belief that the entertainment area, like the government work and military, has far too many opportunities for behavior which would make your efforts unsuccessful. Let’s call it lack of stakeholder buy-in.
    Your people are paid most likely for simple cosmetic features and their time, not for the results of innovation, process improvement, or being a high-level thinker.
    Someone who is attractive may not see the benefit of using the tools you supply them. People like this often have other issues with their personal life which make them difficult to train. And behavioral problems as well. A nice paycheck for a little work may be enough to satisfy them until they wise up.
    The industry’s photographers and paying clients also have clients, behaviors, and ways of getting what they want. You can’t avoid or control all of them. 
    Besides, modeling can be inconsistant work, and who’s hot may not stay hot. Do any of your client’s or models have integrity problems? The industry is full of those people, I would imagine? Integrity problems, bad data, and bad attitudes spell the end of Six Sigma in any organization because people see the truth, and will act accordingly to satisfy their own needs. 
    A book you may enjoy, as it is simply an idea that real quality comes in bits and pieces everyday from our attention to how we act, is called “Quality is Personal”, by Harry V. Roberts and Bernard F. Sergesketter. Robert W. Galvin of Motorola wrote the forward for this book. ISBN 0-02-926625-4 in paperback. Might be out of print, but check on-line or at a university library.
    Spend some time reading and thinking if you can attract the type of model/client who will think, act, and retain ‘a bias for action’ in the way that benefits your business. (Acting with integrity, responding to your communications in a timely manner, being a high-performing member of your organization, are loyal to you, and are professionals in what can be a highly unprofessional business, lead lives that are free from trouble which create problems for you, tell you when they have a problem with a client honestly, etc.). I think that this would make a difference you can see.
    In fact, it may make a difference in any small organization looking to improve personal behaviors as part of an improvement journey.
    I would start here, with this simple book, rather than looking for some complicated magic in Six Sigma.
    My opinion.

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    #187568

    deepthy
    Participant

    need a questionnaire to study the applicability of six sigma in a small manufacturing firm

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