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What is the Six Sigma Approach?

Six Sigma is a measure of quality expressed in defects per million opportunities. Defects for service companies can be anything such as poor sales performance, typos, service that doesn’t meet the customer’s expectations, unanswered telephone calls, excessive overtime, late delivery, early delivery, waste, rework, excessive cycle time, invoice errors, excessive inventory levels, billing errors, and many other performance departures from the target levels. Six Sigma performance means allowing only 3.4 defects per million opportunities. Most American companies operate at around three sigma which means that their processes allow 66,800 defects per million opportunities. The cost of this level of performance in lost or unrealized revenue, customer loyalty and rework is staggering!

Six Sigma was pioneered by Bill Smith at Motorola in the mid 1980’s and used to significantly reduce manufacturing defects. In recent years this structured, disciplined, data-driven approach has been used to manage process variations that cause defects or unacceptable variance from the target performance levels that customers expect. Where we differ from other companies is our focus on the service industry. In manufacturing you never want the average to change; that would mean that the part no longer fit, being either too big or too small. In service companies, especially sales, you WANT the average to shift to a brand new level, hopefully 10-50% higher. Six Sigma was started to reduce variation or have more consistency in what you do. But in SERVICE companies where the emphasis is on sales revenue, cost reduction, customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction, we not only want consistency but we must reach new significant levels of improvement. We must change the average too and we must be quick. We at Whitland Partners are experts at this.

The Six Sigma approach utilizes data and statistical analyses to align front-line employees with a series of high-impact projects that typically result in:

• 5 X return on the investment
• Double digit improvements in key metrics
• Improved customer relations
• More efficient processes
• Improved morale within the company
• Organization discipline
• Sustained benefits
• Enduring organizational change

Correctly deployed, the Six Sigma approach for service companies has the capability to generate breakthrough value for any business.


5133 Harding Road #400 Nashville, Tennessee 37205 Phone: 877.297.7737 Fax: 615.297.5507 info@quadrantonegroup.com

 

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