Lean Six Sigma has improved manufacturing processes and quality controls at hundreds of companies, but what exactly is it?
Productivity at the workplace is especially essential to the lifeline of any company. Achieving peak productivity and efficiency certainly isn’t always easy to achieve. As the person in charge, it is your job to find ways to streamline your business processes.
To get your plant to operate at optimum efficiency, consider applying a myriad of philosophies whose aim is to get you the kind of results you desire. After decades of research and implementation, one of these philosophies has markedly stood out.
What Is Lean Six Sigma?
Simply put, Lean Six Sigma is the integration of two different productivity methodologies. These are Lean and Six Sigma. Combining them causes a single modus operandi that aims to reduce waste while increasing effectiveness and results.
While the two methodologies are excellent when independent, the combination is a powerful way to improve efficiency. To deploy it, however, you’ll need a workforce with a clear understanding of their roles, responsibilities, training requirements, and structures.
Lean methodology focuses on optimizing organizational systems by removing common types of waste. The process achieves this removal through improving throughput and cycle time. Lean considers anything that does not otherwise add value as waste.
In essence, the Lean methodology helps you achieve the following:
- Reducing lead time
- Increasing throughput
- Eliminating waste
- Providing value to customers
- Creating greater profitability
- Improving delivery time
This half of the methodology intensely focuses on first identifying and meeting your customers’ needs. Anything else your business needs is therefore secondary. When put this way, you achieve a revenue increase, cost reduction, and results improvement.
Six Sigma measures whether you attend to what is critical to the customer. The resultant analysis helps you note whether there are variations in your process and where you can polish up.
Benefits of Lean Six Sigma
This methodology is essential for any organization that wants to improve the quality of its output and minimize overall costs. The general idea is to enhance the value and end-user experiences. For this to happen, Lean Six Sigma provides five benefits. These are
- Strategic Planning: A company’s mission and vision statements drive it forward. Strategic planning implies translating the mission and vision into measurable objectives. These objectives include boosting the bottom line or market share.
- Productivity: Decreasing waste and variations from a company’s processes ends up in a marked improvement in employee productivity, as there is less re-work or wasted effort.
- Employee satisfaction: Increased productivity directly impacts employee motivation, which in turn enhances employee satisfaction. Because your workforce doesn’t have to fight red tape and other poor processes, all their efforts are spent working on value.
- Customer Loyalty: Reduced defects and variations in your products show that customers can learn to depend on your reliability. Add affordable costs and upgraded delivery speeds, and you have a recipe for customer loyalty.
- Supply Chain Management: Lean Six Sigma encourages companies to ameliorate their processes continuously. The reduction of waste and variation in your processes has an upstream effect on your supplies and downstream on your customers.
Obtaining Lean Six Sigma Certification
You can obtain a Lean Six Sigma Certification based on your level of mastery. There are six levels by order of complexity, which are referred to as belts, similar to martial arts. You can start your certification process by enrolling in an independent learning program affiliated with an accredited university.
Because this methodology is significantly tied to manufacturing, many of its materials will deal with manufacturing. You can, however, get some specialization in various other industries.
At Proto Plastics, we pride ourselves on using Lean Six Sigma to significantly streamline our processes. Get in touch with us to learn how we can work together.