What is Six Sigma?
Six Sigma is a structured problem solving methodology using statistical tools to focus on cost improvements in process and product development. Six Sigma was developed in 1986 by Motorola, and used throughout the world by different industries, governments, and applied research. The use of six sigma methods and tools has resulted in significant savings to businesses globally. Company-wide breakthroughs in productivity gains, quality improvements, and in-cycle time reduction are most commonly experienced with the use of six sigma thinking and techniques.
Six Sigma methods deliver businesses the analytical tools to improve process capabilities - leading to defect reduction and vast improvement in profits. Analytical and descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, and design of experiments are only a few of the tools used to make these improvements.
Companies that adopt six sigma thinking and methods consistently out perform their competitors in process and cost improvements year over year.
So What Does Six Sigma Mean?
Six Sigma is a statistical measure for how likely a process is to meeting its intended outcome. A process that is “six sigma” capable will only miss its target 3.4 times in one million attempts, compared to the typical process running at a three sigma capability with 66,800 possible misses in one million. Consider the improvement opportunities this represents for your operations from how they are running today.
Benefits of Six Sigma
Six Sigma methods have consistently demonstrated benefits to companies:
- Improved customer satisfaction
- Reduced cycle times
- Increased productivity
- Improved process flow, capacity and output
- Reduction in total defects
- Increased product reliability
- Decreased work-in-process (WIP)
- Decreased inventory
- Increased Profits
Applying Lean & Six Sigma Strategies to Medical Device Manufacturing
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Six Sigma Deployment
Six Sigma deployment is a company-wide application of techniques to achieve these breakthroughs using a structured program. Successful implementation is a certainty with Omnex’s experienced six sigma consultancy in six sigma training, coaching, and project execution. The training however, is in no way just statistical training. To graduate, Six Sigma Black Belt Trainees must effectively apply each of the techniques taught - in the real world - in their own project. It's hands-on application to complete a project delivering savings greater than $125,000. A core belief in the Omnex deployment strategy is; the creation of sustainable Six Sigma thinking within the daily operations of the business. To accomplish this, Omnex leads the implementation with your team ensuring focused project work aligned with company objectives in the “daily path of work” of the six sigma practitioners, i.e. the trained black belts and green belts.
Six Sigma Belts
There are three types of trainees in the Six Sigma method, all designated as “belts” in Six Sigma parlance.
Six Sigma Green Belt
An employee of an organization that can lead a process improvement or quality improvement team. Green Belts are supporters of the Six Sigma process, thinking, and certain projects within the scope of their influence and have been trained in the basic statistical tools to analyse data and make evidence based decisions in their jobs.
Six Sigma Black Belt
A managerial/supervisory level or technical specialist assigned to apply and implement Six Sigma throughout their daily business.
Develop, coach, and lead cross-functional process improvement teams that may include green belts.
Mentor and advise management on prioritizing, planning, and launching Six Sigma projects.
Use, teach, and disseminate Six Sigma tools and methods to Green Belts and team members.
Through training and project work, Black Belts have an in-depth understanding of Six Sigma philosophy, theory, strategy, tactics, and quality management tools.
Six Sigma Master Black Belt
Master Black Belts are company-wide Six Sigma or quality experts. The Master Black Belt is qualified to teach other Six Sigma facilitators the methodologies, tools, and applications in all functions and levels of the company. In addition, the Master Black Belt is able to provide leadership integration of the Six Sigma approach into the business strategy of the company, and contribute to creating and carrying out the organization's strategic business and operational plans. A Master Black Belt has personally led several successful project teams and has deep knowledge of the Six Sigma tools and methods.
Master Black Belts are qualified to teach the Green Belt and Black Belt curriculum.