Lean Six Sigma

Globalization continues to change the way our customers conduct business and the way we conduct business with our suppliers. Instant access to information, products and services drives a competitive environment that leaves no room for error. We must delight our customers and relentlessly look for new ways to exceed their expectations. This is why Lean Six Sigma has become a part of our culture, not just in language but in execution.

What is Six Sigma?

It is not a secret society, a slogan or a cliche. Six Sigma is a highly disciplined process improvement methodology that helps us focus on developing and delivering near-perfect products and services. "Sigma" is a statistical term that measures how far a given process deviates from perfection. The central idea behind Six Sigma is that if you can measure how many "defects" you have in a process, you can systematically figure out how to eliminate them and get as close to "zero defects" as possible. To achieve Six Sigma Quality, a process must produce no more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. An "opportunity" is defined as a chance for nonconformance, or not meeting the required specifications.

Key Concepts of Six Sigma
Critical to Quality:Attributes most important to the customer
Defect:Failing to deliver what the customer wants
Process Capability:What your process can deliver
Variation:What the customer sees and feels
Stable Operations:Ensuring consistent, predictable processes to improve what the customer sees and feels
Design for Six Sigma:Designing to meet customer needs and process capability

What is Lean?

While Six Sigma focuses on minimizing variation resulting in stable and predictable processes, Lean focuses on the elimination of waste. Lean improvements require a deep dive into the effectiveness and efficiency of our processes and that of our supply base.

Lean Basics
Value:Defined from the customer's view
Value Stream:Identify the process
Flow:Keep it moving, left to right
Pull:From the prior step in the process
Perfection:Always improve the process