Are you considering your supply chain and wondering if it is time for a change? As complexes and strategies continue to change and grow, many organizations are looking for ways to improve. There’s a greater need than ever for efficiency, transparency, and cost-effectiveness. For some businesses, the best route to achieving this is through the installation of a new process, such as Six Sigma. But, how do you really know if this is the right move for your organization? What differences can it make within your company? David Kiger wants to know.
Can Six Sigma Work for Moderately Sized Businesses?
A good place to start is in a close look at how Six Sigma can work within your organization. It is a long-held method by many of the world’s largest manufacturers. But, can this methodology really apply to small or moderately sized businesses? Can it truly help you to achieve your business’s goals?
Ultimately, to be worth your investment it has to help you, in some way, to improve your bottom line. There are plenty of reasons to believe this method is ideal.
First, consider what it is. It is a management method that allows businesses to focus on the use of data to reduce defects in any application of its processes. To achieve this goal of Six Sigma, the process does not produce any defect, which is loosely defined as anything outside of what the customer specifications are. It needs to achieve this goal more often than 3.4 times per million opportunities. Without getting into specifics of how Six Sigma works, take into consideration the benefits it can create for your company. This is perhaps the best way to see what type of a difference it can make within your operations.
Improvement in Time Management
A simple way it impacts business operations is through improved time management. Employing these methods can help each of your employees to better manage their time – you may realize just how valuable this is already. Ultimately, better time management means more efficient business processes and higher productivity. When the principles of Six Sigma are applied to their created goals, it is possible to see areas of potential improvement including in the area of learning, fulfillment, and performance.
For example, an employee may be asked to determine how their practices are helping them to personally reach their goals in their professional lives. This means the creation of an action plan. This provides better insight into their needs and allows them a better focus. As a result, this can create a 30 percent improvement in their efficiency while also directly impacting their satisfaction and creating a better balance within their lives. David Kiger is all about improving a business from the employee level.
Improvement at the Customer Loyalty Level
26Six Sigma can also impact your ability to retain your customers. How much do you invest in attracting those customers in the first place? Improving the number of customers that come back to you, time and time again, is a key factor in determining your company’s success. Customer loyalty is the result of high levels of customer satisfaction. Dissatisfaction in customer experience even at the manufacturing level can impact the way a customer makes future decisions.
How can Six Sigma help here? It can reduce the risk that your customers will have this negative experience. Once training of your employees or representatives is complete, such as through running a voice of the customer study, you can pinpoint areas of concern and adjust processes to accommodate needs.
Direct Impacts to Supply Chains
Of course, Six Sigma directly can impact all components of the supply chain, not just outside components related to customers and employees. In this area, supply chains can use this method to reduce the amount of risks presented within the supply chain. For example, using this method, it is possible to reduce the number of companies or components within the supply chain because at each step, there is a higher level of potential risk involved of mistakes occurring.
Supply chain management implementation of Six Sigma is fairly well documented and it can apply to any scale of any company. However, to see the benefits to your organization, utilize data and statistics to showcase how the process might work to handle existing problems specific to your organization. The key to this application is to pinpoint that one mistake that happens within the process that creates a ripple effect over the entire supply chain, David Kiger says. Take the time to embrace this method of manufacturing and business organization to see how it can impact your bottom line.
How can the implementation of Six Sigma impact your business’s bottom line? There are various ways it can improve your functionality including in these three, less known areas.