Six Sigma is a business strategy that uses data and statistical analysis to increase a company’s efficiency significantly. When applied at its best, Six Sigma processes allow businesses to produce less than three defects per every million operations.
Businesses implement this management system to improve customer satisfaction while decreasing costs for their own companies. Even though Six Sigma can be difficult to understand, its value is obvious.
Six Sigma allows companies that implement it to compete with their counterparts. But, what is Six Sigma, and how does it benefit your organization? Let’s find out!
Six Sigma: A Definition
Six Sigma is a philosophy that focuses on achieving near perfection in all business practices. The technique measures the number of mistakes generated by every million operations to complete a task with fewer than three errors for every million operations.
To achieve this level of success, Six Sigma requires total compliance from everyone involved in a company’s business processes.
It includes employees, managers, and even board members. In other words, all parties must be committed to finding an efficient, streamlined way of completing each task.
However, businesses need to remember that Six Sigma isn’t just about eliminating errors. It also focuses on ensuring customers are satisfied with the product or service they receive — regardless of whether or not any mistakes were made during its delivery.
Six Sigma: The Benefits
1. Reduced Costs
Six Sigma allows businesses to decrease costs by minimizing waste. The Six Sigma philosophy states that any company that fails to monitor its business processes properly creates waste. For example, a company might create extra work if it needlessly duplicates an operation or performs a task twice. It is because the process requires two separate operations instead of just one.
By reducing the number of errors made in each business process, Six Sigma allows companies to eliminate much of this waste. It also helps them provide better service to their customers while keeping costs down for both parties.
2. Improved Service
As mentioned above, Six Sigma is designed to reduce errors and ensure that customers are satisfied with the service they receive. When businesses are committed to Six Sigma, employees can’t make mistakes when interacting with their clients. The program ensures customer satisfaction and high service delivery for every client. Companies that have used this methodology have been proven to achieve a higher customer satisfaction level.
Six Sigma encourages businesses to communicate effectively with their customers. It also enables them to provide a much higher level of service than ever before.
It is because employees need to know precisely what they’re supposed to do for their company to achieve success within the Six Sigma framework.
3. Improved Focus
With pressure to perform efficiently during every business process, it’s nearly impossible for businesses to focus on anything outside of the task at hand. When employees understand what is Six Sigma, they can avoid making mistakes and stay focused on completing each operation as quickly and accurately as possible.
It doesn’t mean that workers don’t take breaks or aren’t allowed to take time off. It simply means that they can’t perform unnecessary tasks while working toward the ultimate goal: near perfection and a more streamlined business process.
4. Improved Communication and Company Culture
Six Sigma doesn’t just affect individual workers — it also affects the organization as a whole by encouraging better communication between employees and managers and among team leaders.
Working toward Six Sigma requires employees to work closely with one another to complete every task efficiently and without errors. And if it means saving time, money, and resources while providing better service for customers, it’s something everyone in the company will want to be involved in.
5. Improved Data Analysis Capability
Six Sigma proponents believe that businesses should continually use data to improve their processes. Because every decision must be backed by hard evidence, Six Sigma allows companies to better analyze the information they collect.
Every business decision is a risk — and one that could negatively affect the entire organization if it’s done in haste or without enough knowledge. But when companies are committed to Six Sigma, they have the data to help them make better decisions.
6. Improved Employee Morale
When management is committed to Six Sigma, employees are committed to their work as well. It, in turn, helps create a happier and more productive workplace overall because everyone knows how they fit into the big picture.
Employees are encouraged to do their part to succeed, and managers are committed to leading by example.