Lean Six Sigma Raises Productivity

Lean Six Sigma is all about improving quality and minimizing errors. It can help to speed up manufacturing and most any other business process. This is mostly because it creates an infrastructure of people in an organization that are experts at their given level of Six Sigma knowledge. They have a specific job, know how to carry it out and will help reduce cost and increase profit. This is their main mission.

Since 1986, this method has been working. There are six steps to the process that have to be carried out exactly for it to work properly. These steps concentrate on getting more out of less work and eliminating the defects that exist in product development. It basically accelerates the decision making process within the company. In today’s economy, that is priceless. Most companies these days could use more production with less pay.

With big companies like Toyota adopting this philosophy, its success is easy to recognize. By identifying waste, transportation issues, inventory issues and equipment failures, companies can significantly cut costs and speed up production. Many times it can cut costs by 50%. In this economy, that is amazing. It can actually help to eliminate layoffs. Employees find that adopting this methodology a much better solution to declining sales, especially when they get to keep their jobs.

Since Lean Six Sigma focuses on management, it works. The employees will not only accept the changes but will be less frustrated in the end. They will be able to do their job and do it much easier. In fact, using the Six Sigma process will end up creating stronger communication between management and the employees. When tensions are very high, this can really be a blessing. No company really likes to have problems with communication between management and employees.

The strategies are simple. They include defining, measuring, analyzing, improving and controlling for process improvement. This is otherwise known as the DMAIC method. When these elements are attended to, they can be powerful tools for identifying and eliminating waste in process and productivity. This method minimizes inputs and wasteful outputs, and will result in overwhelming inventory at lower cost.

When productivity is low and stagnate, a new way of management needs to be developed. That is just the way manufacturing works. Changing things up can accomplish a lot and sometimes be so vital that the future of the company may be in jeopardy without it. Having the proper training and implementing a new process can take time and money, but in the end it is very much worth it.

While the Lean Six Sigma is a great theory for most companies, it is very important to get the proper training before implementing it. A company needs expert advice and training or it will not work properly and will not be affective. Shortcuts are not encouraged, implementing this process properly is vital for a successful result.

Experience Enhanced Productivity With Lean Six Sigma, Here Is How

As the name suggests, lean six sigma methodology integrates the principles of lean manufacturing with those of Six Sigma. Many manufacturing organizations that have implemented the methodology have experienced enhanced productivity with a significant reduction in human resources, time and capital resources.

But why are organizations of all shapes and sizes want to adopt the method? What advantage does the method offer? In this article, we have attempted to answer these questions.

Let’s first understand what exactly lean methodology is

Lean is basically a process aimed at continual improvement based on increasing the value for customer. The main objective of the methodology is to eliminate everything that does not contribute to what customers exactly want.

Lean manufacturing methodology comprises of a number of principles and methods such as:

  • Kaizen – It aims at continuous improvement based on employees’ suggestions.
  • Kanban – It is a ‘pull’ system aimed at pushing inventory into warehouse for “safety stock” in order to deal with any change in demand due to changing forecasts.
  • TPM – Total productive maintenance reduces equipment downtime.
  • TQM – Total quality management emphasizes on improving quality of products and services being offered.
  • 5S – It aims at improving quality and efficiency through cleaning up and getting organized.
  • SMED – The principles of Single-Minute Exchange of Die minimize the time needed to change a machine or production line for production of different products.
  • Poka-yoke – It is used to eliminate the possibility of errors.

Lean is primarily used to streamline manufacturing and production processes by cutting out unwanted steps involved to add value to the production and services.

Approach a consultant for intense lean manufacturing assessment.

What exactly is Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is a quantitative method aimed at improving quality in manufacturing using data collection and measurement. The method basically addresses errors involved in both the production and design of a product or service. It consists of two approaches named DMAIC and DMADV.

Let’s understand both the approaches.

DMAIC

DMAIC refers to a five-step process used to improve an existing product. The five steps are given below:

Define the Project – At this stage, goals, resources, and limits of a project are determined.

Measure – Then, data about the current system or process is collected.

Analyze the Data – Data collected is analyzed to find the root cause of the error.

Improve – Design and implement changes (poka-yoke and standard work) are introduced to the process to address the error found. Some techniques that are used include design of experiments, poka-yoke and standard work.

Control – It refers to providing a system to monitor and adjustments to maintain and improve on what was attained.

Another approach is DMADV which is embraced to improve an existing product or service’s quality. The major steps involved in DMADV include:

Define – Establish the methods that are needed to be used and the goals are defined of the project.

Measure -Characteristics that are critical to quality (CTQ), production process capabilities, capabilities and limits, and potential risks are determined.

Analyze – Develop and test design alternatives.

Design – The best alternative based on customer requirements is determined.

Verify – Authenticate the design in harmony with the goals of the project and make adjustments on the basis of feedback and new data.

When both the methodologies are integrated high level of customer satisfaction is aimed to achieve.

Consult a Lean Six Sigma Manufacturing Consulting firm to know how lean six sigma can improvise your manufacturing process.