Keeping Your Business Lean Six Sigma

Overnight, you’ve launched a new company that revolutionizes the creation of luxury Popsicle sticks. Made out of the finest Bocote wood, your Popsicle sticks are used in only the best popsicles. Unfortunately, you’re currently throwing away hundreds of dollars with every log. How do you save your company wasted time, money, and materials?

The best place to start is with Lean Six Sigma. Lean Six Sigma is a combination of two different practices that come together into one simple idea: to perfect mass manufacturing. Okay, not quite perfect manufacturing, but to get as close as possible; the ultimate goal is to produce 99.99966% of parts defect-free. I’d personally go ahead and round that up to perfect.

How is it possible to achieve such a staggering degree of success? It all comes down to the two parts of Lean Six Sigma: Lean, and Six Sigma. Although very similar, they’re not quite the same, and both feed off of the other.

Lean (Management)

Lean management, often shortened to Lean, is all about eliminating waste and increasing efficiency in the manufacturing process. Anything that isn’t deemed essential to proper operation is stripped away. This saves time, money, and value for both the manufacturer and end user.

There are two main parts to lean management. The first is designing a simple manufacturing system. A simple manufacturing system decreases cycle times, decreases inventory sitting in warehouses, and enables more productive use of assets and materials.

The second part is relentlessly improving on these manufacturing systems with the goal of reducing waste, increasing functionality of the workplace, and improving other systems outside of manufacturing steps, like customer service and product performance. These two steps are backed up by quantifiable data, giving you valuable measurables to make informed decisions on your processes.

Therefore, your new Popsicle stick company is perfect for lean management. Using Lean, you’ll create better manufacturing systems that use more of the log than previously possible, and reduce wasted time and energy to create sticks.

Six Sigma

Where lean focuses on streamlining manufacturing, Six Sigma strives to perfect the parts created through the manufacturing process. Using the quantifiable data obtained during the Lean process, you can tweak your production lines to create the highest-possible quality of product.

Back to our Popsicle stick example. You’ve reduced waste from your line, but the resulting sticks are rough and give people splinters. Through adjustments in your Lean-optimized production line, you’ll be aiming for that 99.99966% defect-free product.

Practice Lean Six Sigma in Your Workplace

Lean Six Sigma is one of the most important practices in any manufacturing company, helping to reduce costs while maximizing product output. To make any informed decisions, however, you need hard, quantifiable data on each stage of the manufacturing process.

The best way to utilize and master Lean Six Sigma is to implement a CMMS software that will allow you to manage all of your expenses, assets, manufacturing downtime, and efficiencies so you can make informed business decisions. If you’d like to see how your company could become Lean Six Sigma, contact us for a free demo!