There are many benefits to Six Sigma. This Lean method works to rid your facility of one of the costliest wastes: defects. Defects plague manufacturing businesses because defective products cost companies in both expensive resources and workers’ time. Bill Smith, one of the engineering consultants that helped create Six Sigma, understood that the key to successfully quality management wasn’t something you could slap a Band Aid on—QA needed to be rebuilt from the ground up, and need to be reprioritized within a company’s culture. For defects to be reduced drastically, production needed to be reimagined.
When a company is willing to do that, the benefits are huge:
Eliminating Errors—The end goal of the Six Sigma strategy is reducing defects and irregularities in production down to 3.4 per million units.
Sustained Quality—The methods of Six Sigma help companies find a root problem, then revise strategies to improve overall quality and avoid such defect-causing problems in the future.
Compliance—Six Sigma has a strong focus on quality standards, including standards that line up with OSHA and other regulatory bodies responsible for monitoring companies and products.
Training—Like many Lean manufacturing methods puts great emphasis on continuous education. The Six Sigma certification system also requires people at various levels mentor those at earlier stages of the certification process. Training is paramount to the success of any company, and Six Sigma stitches this value into the company culture.
Six Sigma is driven by the following principles: Process improvement, process design (or re-design), and process management.
Six Sigma’s unique edge comes from the emphasis on improving processes on a continuous basis, focusing on reaching specific goals, and in-depth team participation. This devotion to the little things allows Six Sigma to be so successful, and it’s this quality that makes Six Sigma so much more effective than other QA and quality management methods.