Charles Rastle and Julie Fraser’s default image

By: Charles Rastle and Julie Fraser

Using Six Sigma initiatives to focus on improving the performance of business and manufacturing processes isn’t a new concept. But a growing number of manufacturers seeking to stay competitive and improve profitability are, instead, turning to Six Sigma to provide stronger value to customers.

Greg Brue’s default image

By: Greg Brue

From its inception, Six Sigma was considered revolutionary. The six original pioneers who implemented the methodology at Allied Signal--the only true Senior Master Black Belts--vowed that the system would unearth inefficiencies in business operations that lead to outrageous levels of defects and extraordinarily wasteful operating costs.

Suzan Fischer, Michele Economou-Ureste and Norma Simons’s default image

By: Suzan Fischer, Michele Economou-Ureste and Norma Simons

(Publisher’s Note: This article, is reprinted with permission from THE INFORMED OUTLOOK, in which it first appeared in Nov. 2003.)

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By: Ronald Ames

As a methodology, Six Sigma has been around since the 1980s. Yet it took a couple of U.S. industry giants, Allied Signal and GE, to draw the world’s attention to the benefits the program offers businesses. Even so, many companies fail to integrate Six Sigma into their corporate cultures due to a number of different causes. This article will examine some of the problems and their solutions.

Kamal Hassan’s default image

By: Kamal Hassan

Would you spend millions of dollars for a return of more than a billion? Sure you would, but that’s just a fantasy, right? It wasn’t just a pipedream for GE’s CEO Jack Welch, who expected to reap a hefty return for every dollar his company spent on Six Sigma. Needless to say, he did.

Rick Beaver’s default image

By: Rick Beaver

Would you spend millions of dollars for a return of more than a billion? Sure you would, but that’s just a fantasy, right? It wasn’t just a pipedream for GE’s CEO Jack Welch, who expected to reap a hefty return for every dollar his company spent on Six Sigma. Needless to say, he did. In 1997, GE invested $380 million in Six Sigma-mostly for training-and received about $700 million in documented benefits from increased productivity and decreased waste.

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By: Howard Cooper

To succeed in our increasingly competitive global economy, many companies have implemented lean manufacturing, a step beyond just-in-time production systems. Other companies claim they’re "lean" but hedge on the concept.

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By: John Nycz

Jack Welch had a unique vision of an organization that made data-based decisions. At times his tactics for bringing this about were described as “violent,” “abrupt” and “painful,” but his methods worked. GE’s transformation is still a modern model of how to make quantum shifts in the way a huge company does business. However, most Six Sigma champions simply lack resources and/or a CEO like Welch to crack the whip.

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By: Tej Mariyappa

Organizations embarking on the journey to process excellence have much to gain if appropriate actions are taken in the early stages of deployment. A key principle of Six Sigma is that defects identified and fixed upstream will result in significant leverage and benefits downstream. Similarly, the steps and actions an organization takes early in the Six Sigma deployment life cycle will decide the probability of success downstream.

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