Lean Six Sigma is now more important than ever

Posted by Marbenz Antonio on July 20, 2022

What is Lean Six Sigma? Definition, Benefits and Levels

Why is Lean Six Sigma still a significant business model in 2022?

Think it’s become even more essential in the 25 years since it was initially formed. Initially, the concept gained momentum in manufacturing as an effective way of eliminating waste and improving quality; but, as Lean principles were more integrated into it, it was subsequently adopted in service industries as well.

Today, as our world evolves, it gets more competitive through innovation in products and services, platforms, and distribution systems. As a result, having a process in place to address continual improvement is important.

Finding a Reason for Lean Six Sigma

What are the criteria for implementing Lean Six Sigma if an organization or individual professional has yet to dive into it? Do you, for example, have dissatisfied customers? Do you have any product returns? Is it necessary to rework your outputs at the end of a production cycle?

These are just a few of the reasons why you should have a system in place to identify specific problems in your organization. Finally, you want to be able to give customers what they want at the lowest possible cost to you by employing an organized, methodical approach to problem-solving.

The five-step DMAIC process is important to the Lean Six Sigma approach:

Define: that includes everything related to a process, beginning with what the customer needs, identifying what is important to the job, and defining each stage in the process, including who, what, which materials, and outputs.

Measure: what are the important characteristics along the process, such as inventory, time, defect counts, time spent on reworks, and so on?

Analyze: what does the data indicate? Where is the production process paused? What elements could be affecting output quality?

Improve: how do you make things better? How can you improve process flow? How do you keep track of your inventory?

Control: what procedures do you need in place to collect input and ensure that the fixes stay in place?

This procedure has a significant impact on quality and efficiency in a production context.

Siemens Automotive’s plant in Mexico, for example, assembles instrument panels for different cars and experienced a recurring fault on the assembly line. Circuit boards were failing when put in vehicles; utilizing Lean Six Sigma, we assisted them in identifying the issue: human mistake when installing a device, which caused the electronics to short.

Service industries can increase quality while reducing waste

Although many of the concepts in Lean Six Sigma originated in the industrial industry, the methodologies are still applicable to service businesses, whether you work in accounting, mortgage processing, or coding. People in these surroundings must nevertheless go through some processes to perform the task.

For example, obtaining a mortgage loan necessitates an application, data collection (credit reports, etc.), and the creation of approval for the customer. In one real-world example, we worked with a mortgage company to investigate their processes and cut the decision-making duration by three weeks, enhancing corporate productivity and producing better customers.

Even if the business does not produce a physical product, there are opportunities to improve where there is a step-by-step process. We’ve sometimes questioned businesses, “Why do you do that?”. Rather than articulating client demands and doing everything possible to accommodate them, they prefer to say, “We’ve been doing that forever.”

Lean Six Sigma as a Career Development Strategy

Lean Six Sigma is a skill set that is employed by virtually every major and mid-sized company in the world. Whatever function you work in today or in the future, you should be aware of the methodology’s capabilities.

Combining a Lean Six Sigma certification with your degree or other academic studies could be the differentiator in a job interview for professionals earlier in their careers – having another element that makes you different/better than the other contenders.

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