LSS North Carolina-What Is Lean Six Sigma

What is Lean Six Sigma in North Carolina?

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Before making a decision about integrating a methodology into your company or dedicating your time and efforts to learning and getting trained in it, make sure you have basic knowledge of what it is and how it works. This is why when it comes to this, it is important to start by knowing what is Lean Six Sigma. Otherwise, how can you know if it is something you need for your business or new knowledge that will be of value for your career and opportunities?

Of course, methodologies involve a lot, and it is impossible to understand all their extension unless you get properly introduced and trained in them. But starting with answering simple questions about them and getting to know the basics with some research can help you a lot to determine if they are the best approach for your business or your personal career. Now, focusing on Lean Six Sigma, what is it?

LSS North Carolina-What Is Lean Six Sigma

A methodology? Check. Then, the question is what type of methodology it is. Lean 6 Sigma is a process improvement methodology that focuses on reducing waste, the rate of variations, and making sure a company focuses on its clients and problems as well. Unlike other methodologies, Six Sigma is not aiming at a unique area in the company. What do we mean by this? That instead of focusing on, for example, reducing waste alone, its objectives establish many areas and needs in a business.

This is why companies in North Carolina prefer it before any other process improvement methodology: because they are able to bring more benefits than just improving processes. Now, what makes it possible for Lean 6 Sigma to greatly contribute to organizations, companies, or businesses? The fact that it is formed by two main methodologies in the same category.

What is Lean and Six Sigma?

Following the previous idea, these are the two methodologies that were combined to create Lean Six Sigma. Each method contributes with tools, principles, and steps to guarantee the success in improving processes but also making the company more efficient and boost its performance. What tools and principles come from each one?

In the case of Lean, it is a methodology that focuses on reducing waste by allowing companies to identify it in the production processes. For it, it is crucial to understand the value, map the value stream where all processes will be viewed in detail and the waste and unnecessary processes will be eliminated. Once this is done, the company must focus on the flow of the remaining processes and maintain them free of any type of waste.

Finally, businesses must rely on the pull and seek perfection, which is a result where a company is able to deliver valuable products that are perfect in quality and the delivery time is appropriate for the customers. You can summarize these steps in value, value stream map, flow, pull, and perfection. Now, while you are working in identifying waste and eliminating it, you must understand “waste” not only corresponds to the materials but rather anything that makes processes inefficient, which Lean classifies into 8 types:

  1. Defects.
  2. Overproduction.
  3. Overprocessing.
  4. Waiting.
  5. Transportation.
  6. Inventory.
  7. Motion.
  8. Non-utilized talent

With Lean clear so far, what is the role of Six Sigma considering waste and defects are covered? 6 Sigma is a method that does not aim for waste but rather variations and reducing their rate. To understand what variations are, let’s give you an example. Imagine that you own a company that manufactures medical smartphones and there is a client that wants you to deliver 1,000 products of the same model in a specific timeframe and following certain requirements.

Usually, smartphones are more predetermined, but let’s suppose the customer is requesting certain features. Based on this, your company is able to manufacture all 1,000 of them but you need to dispose of 100 in the process. Those 100 smartphones were disposed of because they did not meet the customer requirements and are unable to make it to the final delivery. This means you spent more money and time due to these 100 smartphones that go to waste.

Six Sigma aims to reduce these variations by determining the problems in your processes and what is making the company obtain way too many results and products that do not meet what the customer wants, making it lose money and resources. The rate 6 Sigma aims for variations is 3,4 out of a million, which means it is almost zero or a very low rate most of the time. How does it make it possible? By following the 5-step method: DMAIC, which stands for Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control. Also, it has 5 principles that Lean 6 Sigma adapts to its final ones:

  • Focus on the customer.
  • Reduce bottlenecks and variations.
  • Find problems and focus on them.
  • Improve employee involvement.
  • Aim for flexibility and change.

How Can You Work with Lean Six Sigma?

We know that anyone who gets to know a bit about the methodology is eager to start working with it, either because this person owns a company that can obtain many benefits from its implementation or because he or she wants to learn and know how to implement LSS to offer future services. Whatever your goal is, our company Lean Six Sigma Experts of North Carolina is here to offer you the services and solutions for it. If you need and want to integrate the methodology into your company, we have our Lean 6 Sigma consultants ready to deliver results.

While our LSS training is available for anyone in the state that is interested in developing new skills and working with Sigma. Other services such as certification, belts, and even programs for students, are offered in our company and all it takes to access them is a call, email, or visit. Make sure to let our team know what you need and for more information about us and our services, feel free to have a look at our website and service pages.


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