Lean Sigma is a combination of two process improvement philosophies stemming from Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma. Lean Manufacturing aims to reduce process waste, improve process efficiency, and reduce defects. It was made famous by Toyota who used the methodology to streamline their production and make cars faster and cheaper than their competitors. It was so wildly successful they coined it Toyota Production System.
Six Sigma aims to reduce process variation, improve quality, and reduce defects. It was made famous by General Electric and Motorola who used the methodology to increase their quality levels so high it’s almost the point of no defects produced. To achieve Six Sigma means that there are only 3.4 defects in a million opportunities.
As a former Quality Engineer and Manufacturing Engineer I’ve experienced both sides first hand. While I was a Quality Engineer, the focus was on Six Sigma and the thought was if we improve quality, reduce variation, we will reduce defects, and thus make the process more efficient. As a Manufacturing Engineer, the focus was on Lean Manufacturing and the thought was if we improve efficiency, reduce waste, we will reduce defects, and thus make the quality better. So which side is right? Well they are both right. But why does it have to be one or the other? Why can’t they work together and get better results than working alone? Lean Sigma is the combination of these two methodologies to address both inefficiencies and variation which lead to lost time and money.
If you believe your business and business processes are perfect and doesn’t need any improvement then maybe you don’t. If you are like most businesses that have competition, you need to continually improve to stay ahead. Most businesses are in business to make a profit. The levers to profit are income, and cost. If you can sell more you can make more profit. If you can save more you can make more profit. Lean Sigma process improvement lets you achieve those higher profits. When you use Lean Sigma to improve your quality, your products have higher value and improve your ability to make money. When you use Lean Sigma to improve your efficiency, your products get to market faster and lower your cost of operation to save money. Status Quo, not continually improving leads to stagnation. Stagnation leads to complacency. Complacency leads Mediocrity. All for-profit businesses must continually improve to stay in-business. The best method to continually improve is Lean Sigma. Lean Sigma Pros is here to help your business be more profitable. We make process improvement easy and affordable. We offer a free, no obligation initial consultation. Make an appointment today.
-Thomas Warren, Founder Lean Sigma Pros LLC
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Lean Sigma Pros LLC 2019, Founder Thomas Warren