Lean Six Sigma

Published on 21 January 2020

What is Lean Six Sigma?

The term is derived from a collaboration of two proven business optimisation methodologies – ‘Lean’ and ‘Six Sigma.’

Lean and Six Sigma are business optimisation systems that have been used by successful Japanese, American and German companies such as Toyota, Motorola and Bosch. Lean systems educate people about process efficiency and instil a culture in the workplace that drives towards an overall growth strategy in flexibility, perfect quality, transparency, standardisation, empowering teams and Continuous Improvement. This helps your business become efficient by reducing wasted efforts and focusing on value added activities.

Six Sigma is fundamentally a business management strategy, developed originally by Motorola that is gaining worldwide attention and is being embraced by all types of organisations for its remarkable success in improving business process efficiency. Originally developed to improve manufacturing systems, for the purpose of reducing process variation and consequently reducing defects to near perfection. Since then, Six Sigma has subsequently been extended, in conjunction with Lean, for any process from manufacturing to transactional, and from product to service.

Employees who undertake Lean Six Sigma training and who achieve Lean Six Sigma Green and Black Belt status are well sought after by many organisations for their problem-solving prowess and are highly respected in all business sectors.

According to the Six Sigma Academy, Black Belts save companies approximately $230,000 per project and can complete 4 to 6 projects per year. General Electric (GE), one of the most successful companies implementing Six Sigma, has estimated benefits in the order of $10 billion during the first five years of implementation. GE first began Six Sigma in 1995 after Motorola and Allied Signal blazed the Six Sigma trail. Since then, thousands of companies around the world have discovered far-reaching benefits of Six Sigma.

What are the Benefits of Lean Six Sigma?

Those organisations that implement Lean Six Sigma correctly achieve significant benefits that contribute to competitive advantage and to changing the culture in an organisation from reactive problem solving to proactive problem prevention.

More specifically, the proven benefits include:

For the Organisation:

  • Bottom line cost savings (5 per cent – 20 per cent of turnover per annum)
  • Improved quality of product or service as perceived by the customer (internal and external customers)
  • Reduction in process cycle times
  • Development of staff skills and leadership
  • Common language throughout the organisation
  • World class standard

For the Individual:

  • Improved knowledge and skills
  • Ability to apply a wide range of tools & techniques
  • A status that is recognised worldwide

Contact us to find out how we can implement Lean Six Sigma to help you achieve your business improvement goals.