Six Sigma at Small vs. Large Manufacturing Companies
Nguyen Duc Anh – EMBA 8C
1. What is Six Sigma?
Six Sigma is said to be a philosophical approach that demands the effective use of data to analyze business issues. The American Society for Quality website (ASQ, 2004) provides a large amount of information on Six Sigma and its impact on industry. Their website states that “the simplest definition for Six Sigma is to eliminate waste and to mistake proof the processes that creates value for customers”. They describe Six Sigma as “a business strategy focused on variation reduction and defect elimination”. ASQ states that Six Sigma provides a method to learn about processes so that sources of variation can be identified and eliminated to enable the organization to ultimately exceed customer expectations.
By definition, Six Sigma is less than 3.4 defective parts per million opportunities (DPMO), or a success rate of 99.9997%. It is a disciplined, data-driven approach and method for eliminating defects (or deviation). A “defect” is described as anything outside of customer expectations. Six Sigma has been defined as a tool kit or a set of techniques based on statistical process control (SPC) that can help companies make major improvements in product quality.
Many measurement standards (Cpk, Zero Defects, etc.) have been developed in the area of quality processing, but credit for coming up with the term “Six Sigma” was given to a Motorola engineer named Bill Smith. “Six Sigma” is currently a federally registered trademark of Motorola. A Six Sigma quality program was established at Motorola in 1987. This program was developed by Mikel J. Harry, and gained publicity when Motorola won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1988. Today many companies have adopted their own Six Sigma methodologies and programs.
3. How Six Sigma works
Sigma (ϭ) is a character of the Greek alphabet, which is used, in mathematical statistics to... [continues]
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