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Six Sigma - A Breakthrough Strategy

• 400 State-of-the-art training slides on concepts of Six Sigma, implementation methodologies, tools for achieving Six Sigma and training of black belts. • Self assessment utility package.

• Quality promotional posters.

1. Basic concepts of Six Sigma
Six Sigma is the most effective breakthrough strategy ever devised. It enables companies to make substantial improvements in their bottom-line by designing and monitoring every day business activities in ways which minimizes all types of waste and non-value adding activities and maximizes customer satisfaction.

Limitations of other tools
Many organizations have earlier tried Downsizing, Outsourcing, Activity based costing, Business process reengineering, Just in time, Kaizen & TQM for improving quality and business results. While all these tools are useful in their own ways, they often fail to make breakthrough improvements in bottom line and quality. Kaizen, for example, means doing little things better and continuously reaching for better standards, work well till 3 or 4 sigma in specific processes. These small improvements may not necessarily translate into overall business improvement. This is because Kaizen only uses basic tools. For reaching 5 or 6 sigma standards, the organization will have to use sophisticated tools like Quality Function Deployment (QFD), Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) and Design of Experiments (DOE) to achieve optimum throughput at minimum cost.

What is Sigma
The term ‘Sigma’ taken from the Greek alphabet, is used to designate the distribution or spread about the mean (average) of any parameter of product, process or procedure. In the context of business or manufacturing process, Sigma capability is a metric which indicates how the process is behaving. Higher the Sigma value, better the capability of the process to produce defect free work and vice versa.

Six Sigma and error or defect rate
At present most companies, when their processes are under control, are able to achieve 3 sigma capability which represents 99.7% performance i.e 3 defects per 1000. With rapid technological advances and development of complex products, this level of quality is no longer acceptable. As manufacturing of most of the products involves large number of processes and if each process has a maximum quality capability of 99.7%, the quality of finished product would be considerably less. Therefore, if the companies have to compete in the global markets, they have to achieve a much higher level of quality capability.

Levels of Sigma and defect rate

|Quality Level |% Quality |Defective PPM* | |3 Sigma |99.73 |66807 | |4 Sigma |99.9937 |6210 | |5 Sigma |99.999943 |233 | |6 Sigma |99.9999998 |3.4 |

Old concept of quality
Past concepts of quality focused on “conformance to standards”. This definition assumed that as long as the company produced quality products and services, their performance standard was correct regardless of how those standards were met. Moreover, setting of standards and measurement of performance was mainly confined to the production areas and the commercial and other service functions were managed through command and control.

New concept of quality
In Six Sigma, the concept of quality encompasses manufacturing, commercial and other service functions of an...
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