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What Is a Six Sigma Company?

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  • #30995

    Ropp
    Participant

    I have been hearing alot about “Six Sigma companies”.  Whay qualifies a company to be a “Six Sigma Company”?  Is it that they do six sigma projects?  Is it that they incorporate six sigma throughout the company?  Is it that they have saved money by using the six sigma method, GE has?
    Dave 

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    #81423

    Ron
    Member

    Mostly the phrase is misused. To be a six sigma company every process in the entire organization would hace to operate at 3.4 defects per million or less.
    It is abused when people refer to a sinlge process or output of a company for example the airline industry is said to operate at better than 6 sigma, however, only the deaths per passenger mile is what is being discussed.
    Hope that helps.

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    #81431

    Donta
    Participant

     Good question and good reply!  I was also wondering about that as I am doing research on that topic.  There is another discussion question about six-sigma companies on this site.  Several replies have listed the companies of about, fifty or more.  I noticed that Polaroid was one of the companies listed.  However, I do not see much about six-sigma in their annual report or web site.  If you look at the annual reports and websites of certain companies, they list six-sigma several times such as; GE, Motorola, Raytheon, Honeywell and Ford.  They all write about six-sigma and I think it would be safe label those companies as six-sigma companies.  What other items would define a company to be a six-sigma company????? 
     

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    #81434

    swaminathan
    Member

    It is very difficult ,infact wrong to say ‘we are a six sigma company’ , what we can probably say is ‘we are a six sigma practicing company’.To my knowledge in no company all the processes are at six sigma.

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    #81436

    anon
    Participant

    A Six Sigma company would necessarily mean where at least the critical processes are 6s level and all these processes are periodically / randomly audited and certified to be at 6s level.
    No point in launching 100 projects and claiming to be 6s, whereas the reality is that you have only just begun the journey.
    Regards.

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    #81444

    Niranjana K.R.
    Participant

    What are those critical processes which qualify a company as a six sigma company? Is it project wide deployment approach or organization wide implementation approach?
    best regards,

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    #81449

    Pier Giorgio
    Participant

    Starting from a generic six sigma definition:
    ‘Six sigma is to ensure total customer satisfaction through defect free performance’
    in my opinion the critical processes are those ‘in touch’ with the final customer (i.e. billing, distribution, customer service, product development)
    So a Six Sigma Company has to consider, first, the above mentioned processes.

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    #81451

    varanasi Subrahmanyam
    Member

    Just final customer satisfaction cannot achieved unless internal customer requirements are fulfulled. So it should consider all the type of customer both external and internal customers and indirect customers also.

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    #81455

    anon
    Participant

    I do not believe that ANY of the major “Six Sigma” companies are running at that level on a constant basis.
    No doubt there may be select processes that have acheived and maintained those levels, although there are no doubts that new processes and continual improvements continue to strive for 6S.
    I believe, like others on here that any company can be a “six sigma” company as long as efforts are sustained to try to acheive results and demonstrate success. It is different to say that your company “operates” AT six sigma.
    Good luck.

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    #81456

    john beaudoin
    Participant

    Don’t listen to Ron, he has apparently been crunching numbers in a whole somewhere for too long.The fact is people in the real world here the term 6-Sigma.  It has gained a lot of popularity with GE and is expanding to more and more companies across the country.  Some Universities are even starting to teach classes about 6-Sigma.Ron is correct in that the mathmatical/statistical definition of 6-Sigma, which includes a 1.5 Sigma shift that I won’t go into at this time is 3.4 Defects per Million opportunities.  However, you are talking to someone that says “My company is a 6-Sigma Company”, It does not and is not intended to mean that everything my company does is at 3.4 defects per million opportunities.  It simply means that somewhere down the line, someone at Motorola that believed in reducing variation in processes that came up with a methodology for achieving the goal of 6-Sigma needed something to call their program.  Boom! Let me call it “6 Sigma!”.  Thus projects directed toward process improvement can be called “6-Sigma Projects”, etc.To your point:  6-Sigma companies do 6-Sigma Projects, Successful 6-Sigma companies do incorporate 6-Sigma training (Greenbelts, Blackbelts, Master Blackbelts, Champions, and sometimes Yellowbelts) and objectives throughout the whole company, 6-Sigma projects do save companies money like GE.  6-Sigma is the name of the philosophy to use Design, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (DMAIC) to strive for continuous improvement in all of a company’s processes.  The objectives are the reduction of waste and the fullfillment of all customer needs.

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    #81463

    Charles H
    Participant

    I think it is important to remember that you can go broke achieving six sigma on all processes.  There are diminishing returns.  Often times, with continual improvement, we encounter a barrier around the 4 to 5 sigma level, where further improvement in sigma level will cost more than it is worth.  We then have a decision to make.  Do we live with what we have or take a reengineering approach wherein we use DFSS and other reengineering tools to come up with completely new processes / products?  Customer requirements, market conditions and cost/benefit analysis will determine our choice.  Not all processes can or should be at a six sigma level. 
    Charles H.

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    #81470

    Daryl M.
    Participant

    I agree with the last few posts.  Six Sigma is truly about improving processes (transactional and non-transactional) within an organization, in order to improve customer experiences and the company’s bottom-line.  But, putting aside the statistical aspect, Six Sigma is more about adopting it as a corporate culture…constantly looking at how we go about doing things within our organization and striving to reach lofty goals of continuous improvement.  Should a company ever be statisfied with achieving its goals, whether it’s Six Sigma or others?  No, we should always consider striving to improve.

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    #81481

    Tony M
    Member

    John B. hit the nail right on the head. The term 6-sigma is misused today. As far as I can remember, we had been using 6-sigma terms in SPC (Statistical Process Control). Someone came out with another continuous improvement idea and gave it the 6-sigma name. It sounds impressive and now they can sell it to large corporations who have been pissing money away.

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    #81482

    heydar amiran
    Participant

    but your answer
    I belive six sigma impelementaion is easy and hard.
    but,important requisition for six sigma is normality and stability in your process.do reach to this condotion?if yes then you ready for six sigma.
    best regards
    amiran

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    #81483

    Niranjana K.R.
    Participant

    In an software service organization what are the key areas I can consider? How do I apply six-sigma concepts in those areas?

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    #81484

    Niranjana K.R.
    Participant

    I think I agree with Tony there. Like CMM this is also becoming another hype without clear guidelines and leaving to the Interpretation of the organizations and persons who guide for deployment.

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    #81487

    Satya Gopal Kalluri
    Member

    The answer is simple as far as I am concerned:  A ‘Six Sigma Company’ is one that derives its targets from ‘Customer Requirements’ and deviates from those targets by not more than 3.4 in a million.  This stems from the philosophy that meeting customer requirements is the best way to achieve sustainable and rapid growth in sales / profits.
    Having said that, we find that the journey to reach that number of ‘3.4’ is not an easy one.  For a start, we must have an answer to the question, “Who is the customer?”.  In places that I have worked, one finds that the answers to this simple question are either “My boss”, “The Department Head”, or “The CEO”, or “The owner of this company”.  And if this question is asked to the top most person in the company, then again, more often than not, the answer to this simple question is “I am the customer”.
    So, I believe that the answer is a bit more subtle and deeper than the number of ‘3.4’ or the number of projects, or the number of black belts, or the financial savings achieved etc.
    Regards,
    Satya

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    #81496

    Deets
    Participant

    You can certainly begin w/ those processes most critical to your market success.  Put yourself in the customer’s shoes (or better yet ask your customers) to determine what makes you a viable supplier to them.  Is it quality of software (delivered bugs, operational uptime, user satisfaction), speed of service, time between upgrades, etc.?
    From there you can compare your performance to these requirements / specifications…and you’re off to the races!  To understand your capabilities will allow you to go above and beyond expectations and react when expectations or market conditions shift.
    Once you feel you’ve got a handle on the things external to the business, look inside at the processes that comprise the “stream” of production / service delivery that the customer ultimately receives.
    Good luck!

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    #81497

    Ronald
    Participant

    I would rather be a profitable, growing company using 6-Sigma, than a company sinking money into all my processes to get them to 6-Sigma level.
    The true goal for an company should be better business through quality, not quality for quality sake.  There is an optimum place to run each process in terms of cost/loss and quality.  Those who ignore this and drive to a “6-Sigma” company will find out they spend money on fixing processes that had little impact on the customer or on the business performance.
    I would never call the company I work for a “6-Sigma Company”.  It is in reality a company utilizing the philosophies and goals of 6-Sigma to improve the way in which do business in order to grow (by better meeting customers’ needs) and to become more profitable (by reducing cost and waste in processes).

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    #81505

    Kim Niles
    Participant

    Good question Dave:
    There is no regulatory body that approves what is or isn’t a Six Sigma company. Therefore, the only obvious criteria for being a “Six Sigma company” is to say that you are one.  Beyond that it’s all assumptions.
    Until recently the only criteria for being a Black Belt was to say you were one…. things change, slow but sure.
    KN

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    #81506

    P.S. JAWADEKAR
    Participant

    Dear Friends, No co in the world is 6 sigma co, where all the processes and transactions related to internal and external customers leading to total satisfaction are within 6 sigma variability, means practically zero defect.Doubt ,whether GE , INFOSYS , WIPRO, ALLIED SIGNAL  ETC are 6 sigma cos,from this point of view. These are 6 sigma practicing co,ahead of others,going nearer to the target,but not reached fully in all the processes. This is next to impossible.Even nature’s processes are not 6 sigma. Sun and Moon vary over the 365 days their timings of appearence and dis -appearence.

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    #81555

    Charl J van Rensburg
    Participant

    What a interesting point for discussion! The question that came to me is what is the company’s definition of Six Sigma. If Six Sigma is defined as a methodology of management that are based on facts derived from data (Making Six sigma last – Eckes) then the practice is what will define the company as a Six Sigma co and the proof is demonstrating the use of Six Sigma methodologies in decision making. However, if the co’s definition of six sigma is the pure statistical one that is

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    #81891

    Reinaldo Ramirez
    Participant

    You can meet the Customer Requirements without 6 Sigma…and you get the registration from an accredited body…
    Most 6 Sigma co, don’t take in account the people in the really bottom line…the worker!

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    #81905

    Norman Kinsey
    Participant

    To my way of thinking, a Six Sigma Company is one whose management has committed the company to meeting the customer’s critical quality issues. If I am a customer, I want the product from you to be exactly as I ordered it, on time when I say it’s on time, accompanied by the necessary documentation for receipt and implementation, and for follow-up documentation so I can pay my bills without having to “fool with It”. To “fool with it” is an East Texas expression that says you have not done all that I need and I have to make up the difference with my personnel and resources. Thus you are not meeting my quality requirements. As it has been said, a television set sitting on the dock in Tokyo is not what I ordered. What I ordered is for a television set sitting in my Game-room turned on with a properly working remote accompanied by work instructions in the user-friendly language so my wife can use it at her desired time on a monent’s notice.A Six Sigma Company will deliver consistent products that meet these criteria. Whatever the tools needed to get to that point are inconsequential to me. Six Sigma is not a magic wand to end all problems with the product. If not used properly to remedy problems with the product and its delivery to the customer then it is no better than any other poorly used tool.
    The “proof of the pudding” is not in a bunch of charts that tell me how proud you are of your people’s abilities and charting techniques but DOES THE THING WORK, CONSISTENTLY, IN MY LIVING ROOM WHEN I PUSH THE “ON” BUTTON?

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    #82319

    Tony M
    Member

    Six Sigma is easily defined as:
    1. Defining & Prioritizing problems
    2. Measuring and collecting data.
    3. Analyzing Data and Identifying Root Cause
    4. Improving Processes
    5. Controlling Processes
    First and foremost is that your company becomes and maintains a LEAN mentality. Rule of thumb is that you can not be a Six Sigma company without being a LEAN company. You can be LEAN and not be a Six Sigma type company.

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    #82322

    iddharth suri
    Participant

    Hi,
         First of all I would request you to understand the term SIX SIGMA

    What is Six Sigma?
    v      Six Sigma is a statistical measure of process capability that lets you measure the quality of your business’ products and services. A level of Six Sigma (about 3 defects per every million) represents the highest quality: virtually all products and business processes are defect-free. But most companies today function at only 3 to 4 sigma and lose 10-15% of their total revenue due to defects.
    The processes you have set should be 100% correct in throughout the company to have certifiacation of Six sigma.Yes you have to incorporate six sigma in the company.
    Please learn DMAIC,DMADV,KANO’s MODEL and then you would be able to understand ..
     
    Please feel free to contact me …
    regards,
    sid

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