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Integrating Lean/Six Sigma and ISO/TS 16949:2009 Implementation

Are your customers demanding price reductions, better quality, and ever-shorter delivery leadtimes? In these very difficult economic times customers are not only requiring their suppliers to get better, faster and cheaper today, they are expecting that they will make significant improvement in these areas year after year.

David Littman, Chief Economist for Comerica Bank, in an interview in The Detroit Free Press said, "Detroit's auto companies will merge, fail or be swallowed unless they can get management focused on increasing quality and reducing costs faster."

The challenge today is to make significant improvements in quality, speed and price as quickly and consistently as possible. What you need is a method for achieving these improvements throughout your company on a rapid and continuous basis. That method is Lean/Six Sigma. Lean means speed. Six Sigma means quality. Together they mean rapid cost reduction and improved customer satisfaction.

Six Sigma is the process created at Motorola and popularized by Jack Welch at General Electric; in fact, Welch has called Six Sigma the "the most important initiative that G.E. has ever undertaken." General Electric reported that Six Sigma produced over two billion dollars in savings in 1999 alone. Six Sigma achieves "order of magnitude" improvements in process and product quality.

The problem with Six Sigma is that it does not directly address the issues of process speed. Companies who have adopted Six Sigma have shown relatively little improvement in leadtimes and inventory reduction. Lean methods alone are not the answer either. Many firms attempting to apply Lean have not achieved the significant improvement in leadtime or inventory reductions that Lean can deliver. Many of the people in these firms understand the Lean methods--they just haven't been very effective in deploying the improvements across the corporation at a rapid rate. These companies typically show remarkable results with Lean; however, only in small "islands" of improvement.

What has been missing from Lean is the leadership and organizational infrastructure of Six Sigma. Significant improvements in all areas are achieved much more rapidly when Lean/Six Sigma and ISO/TS 16949:2009 are integrated. Lean/Six Sigma can serve as the cornerstone for the continual improvement process.

Those making the transition to ISO/TS 16949:2009 should consider integrating Lean/Six Sigma into their business management system. Lean/Six Sigma will satisfy TS requirements: 5.2 Customer Focus, 5.4 Quality Planning, 8.4 Analysis of Data and 8.5 Continual Improvement. In addition, the cost savings generated through Lean and Six Sigma will more than pay for the cost of the transition. Some automakers are even making Lean/Six Sigma a requirement. Ford Q1 2000 for example, requires suppliers to adopt a Lean/Six Sigma continual improvement process. In order to better serve our client needs, Omnex, the internationally recognized leader in quality standards, quality systems and quality management training and consulting, is proud to announce the availability of a new set of services for our worldwide clients: Omnex Unified Lean/Six Sigma® Training and Consulting.

Omnex Unified Lean/Six Sigma® Services include: Leadership Education and Training, Unified Lean/Six Sigma® Champion Training, Lean and Six Sigma Black Belt Training and on-site consulting and implementation assistance. The Omnex Unified Lean/Six Sigma® System will take your company "From Concept to Continual Improvement."

Our Lean/Six Sigma System is a structured process that standardizes the training and deployment process so you can be assured that people in multiple plant locations will be learning the same thing the same way, even while we customize the implementation to meet the specific and unique improvement needs at each site. Our Lean and Excelerated Six Sigma® Black Belt Training Program is the foundation of our approach. This training includes a series of workshops in which Lean/Six Sigma Black Belts apply the improvement technologies they are studying to your processes as part of their education and training. We have found that this approach significantly increases the depth of understanding while also creating real savings for our clients. We expect each Black Belt team to produce minimum savings of $150,000 to $250,000 through completing the improvement projects identified during their training. Having successfully completed this program the Lean/Six Sigma Black Belts will then be qualified to plan, organize and lead future Lean/Six Sigma improvement projects throughout your company.

To find out more about Omnex's workshops and consulting services in Breakaway Lean�, Excelerated Six Sigma� or Unified Lean/Six Sigma� please contact:

  Omnex Business Development


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