Six Sigma Methodology
Six Sigma is a statistics-based, data-driven, quality improvement methodology that is used to eliminate wastage in a production process. In the article “BRM Implements Six Sigma to Reduce Waste,” Wilson (2019) talks about the implementation of a Six Sigma methodology at Bally Ribbon Mills (BRM), a woven fabrics manufacturer. According to the article, BRM has experienced a 30% reduction in its waste in just two years of Six Sigma training. This company began its quality management many years ago but has just recently implemented a company-wide lean methodology. The company decided to go the Six Sigma way after applying it in the production of one product and seeing a 77% reduction in production waste. As a result, they decided to invest in this methodology for the entire company. The company gradually expanded the Six Sigma program by first training some personnel as green belt, black belt, and Lean six experts.
Additionally, they invested in Six Sigma software licenses to evaluate the production in all the company’s areas. The result of this investment has been an increase in the production efficiency and success of quality assurance efforts. The article summarizes Six Sigma methodology as the use of data to drive manufacturing and fully eliminate defects. The main principle of this methodology is that statistical data can be used in manufacturing to achieve sic standard deviations between the mean and the nearest specification limit. Businesses that assess the production process with statistical representations have greater productivity, improved efficiency, cost savings, and minimized defects.
Comparison to Zara’s Production Methodology
According to Reid and Sanders (2016), Six Sigma is a methodology associated with approximately 3.4 defective parts per million. To achieve this, Six Sigma relies heavily on data and statistical tools, which are used to improve the operation of the entire organizational system. This definition is similar to the process changes that were applied at BRM to achieve a 30% defects reduction in just two years.
Zara uses a lean production methodology, which is slightly different from the Six Sigma applied at BRM. Both of these methodologies focus on waste minimization. Both methods have demonstrated that quality can be significantly improved by improving the processes of production. The main difference between Lean and Six Sigma is that the former analyzes the workflow to reduce cycle time and waste. On the other hand, the latter methodology strives to achieve near perfect production results through the reduction of costs and improvement of customer satisfaction. Therefore, the methodology used by Zara to ensure quality is very similar to the Six Sigma concepts, but they differ slightly.
Reid, R. D., & Sanders, N. R. (2016). Operations Management, Binder Ready Version: An Integrated Approach. John Wiley & Sons.
Wilson, A. (2019). BRM Implements Six Sigma to Reduce Waste. Inside Composites. https://www.insidecomposites.com/brm-implements-six-sigma-methodology-to-reduce-waste/
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Six Sigma Methodology
Find a current article (something within the last 3 months) on Six Sigma. This can be from business journals, trade magazines, or a web site. Summarize the article and compare it to readings in the book and to your company. Does your company have similar processes in place? If so, how are they similar? How are they different? What could your company incorporate from the article that would help them improve their quality? Your initial posting should be approximately 300 to 400 words.
- Read Chapter 6, “Statistical Quality Control,” in the Reid and Sanders textbook.
Six Sigma Web Sites
- Review the following Web sites to gain more information about Six Sigma and its uses:
- GE Six Sigma Web site.
- Six Sigma.
- International Society of Six Sigma Professionals.
- Six Sigma Systems.
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