What is Lean Six Sigma and what can it do for you?

Posted October 8, 2013

When you’re in the manufacturing business, you’ve heard the terms “lean manufacturing” and “Six Sigma”—maybe to the point where they sound like meaningless buzzwords. And sure, there are plenty of management “experts” out there with their own programs that they’ll claim are the best. But Lean Six Sigma has proven to be an effective means to reap the benefits of faster processes, lower cost and higher quality.

Originally developed to improve manufacturing efficiency and quality, Lean Six Sigma blends two concepts: lean manufacturing, developed to reduce waste, and Six Sigma, which helps companies reduce errors.

When you apply Lean Six Sigma principles in your organization, you’ll learn how to identify ways to improve efficiency within your business processes. This will lead to a higher level of productivity both with your staff and your products.

And don’t think Six Sigma training is only for manufacturing management and team leaders. Entry-level staff can also benefit from learning the basic methodologies and theories of Six Sigma. All of your employees can gain an understanding of how the company can achieve total success in the marketplace and how that success depends on them.  Better yet, employees who take Six Sigma courses will gain a better understanding of their role and their importance to the company—an important factor in employee retention.

What can process improvement do for you?  Lean Six Sigma provides you with the knowledge and skills that will allow you to walk on the floor and easily identify issues slowing down production.  You’ll be better able to identify ways to creatively remove the bottleneck and improve the process, increasing productivity to new levels.

Also, as a manufacturing company, you lose money when there are defects in your products. Lean Six Sigma can help you achieve fewer defects by identifying issues that are causing them—and fewer defects means more revenues.

And what do we mean by lean? Lean manufacturing means a focus on the reduction of inventory and lead times. Production is driven by real customer orders, rather than forecasts that anticipate demand. So demand pulls a product through production, rather than management forecasts “pushing” it onto the shop floor.

Many manufacturers have found that linking lean with Six Sigma is a perfect union, providing the tools needed to meet real demand with high-quality products in the shortest time possible. Lean Six Sigma has gained a following where other management theories have failed, due to industry success stories.

At Ambassador, we’re familiar with what drives a manufacturing company’s success, because we’ve helped so many of them! If you’re looking for experienced, screened employees with experience in a manufacturing environment, call or contact us!