The Lean Sigma approach in its most basic terms is about identifying where defects or problems are occurring in the manufacturing process and then identifying how these happen and more importantly, how they can be reduced. Any manufacturing business should be considering how they can reduce their defects to improve not only the quality of the item they make, but to also increase profits by reducing returns or scrapped products.
When you look at it like this, you can clearly see that if, as a manufacturer or producer you can reduce the amount of defective items you produce on a daily basis, your profits will increase, because you are not losing money because of defective or unsellable items.
By reducing defects you can then save money by:
- Reducing wasted materials
- Increasing the amount of products that you can sell
- Increase brand quality reputation which in turn helps increase sales
Every company in the current climate needs to reduce costs and if you can start to implement the Lean Sigma approach, you will then reduce the amount of time, money and effort you spend on producing and then rectifying unsellable products, which in turn will help you to produce more of the products that are sellable.
When Motorola developed the business management strategy which has since become known as Six Sigma or Lean Sigma, they did so because they knew that if they could reduce products that were defective then they would increase profits, because badly made products that you cannot sell can just eat away at your income and reduce the viability of the products.
By improving the quality of the process outputs you then begin to make the manufacturing process more fluid, consistent and reliable, which essentially means that if you can implement this strategy throughout your business you can end up with a better quality product and less problems, something any business will strive to achieve.
Lean Sigma begins at the top, with the Managing Directors and then the managers, because the approach is all about management methods and how to make sure the quality management is perfected.
By identifying the people who will be in charge of implementing and tracking the approach, you will then develop “classes” of people within the organisation, which are known as Black Belts, Green Belts, Yellow belts and so on. Each “belt” has their own set of responsibilities to make sure that the approach is implemented and followed throughout the whole manufacturing process, so that from start to finish, the errors are reduced and the product is perfect when it comes off of the manufacturing process.
The ultimate aim of this approach is to aim for a six sigma process which is 99.99966% of your products manufactured are defect free, which means that once you have hit this “goal”, you will be able to earn more from your products because you will not be dealing with so many returned or unsellable products, which is vital for any manufacturing industry in this day and age.