Manufacturing or Service? Six Sigma Training Tips for Your Industry

What’s your industry? Whether you’re manufacturing or service, Six Sigma is highly relevant to both. In the manufacturing industry, for example, a buildup of waste and none-value-adding processes can hold a business back from success. In the service industry, too, inefficient methods and costly processes can be just as harmful. But how do you get from waste to success? Today’s article answers this question with expert training tips for both manufacturing and service. Remember, if you don’t know how to paint, how can you create a masterpiece?

Manufacturing vs Service: Is there a difference? 

Manufacturing and Service, on an abstract surface level, aren’t really that different. They share some of the same problems, such as delay and variation, deviating practices, none-value-adding processes, and redundant costs. They also both take significant amounts of time and effort to produce results. Typically, this also includes high costs and involves similar working practices. While both manufacturing and service are similar some respects, the training involved shows their main differences.

Manufacturing Industry Training Tips

  • Six Sigma tools.
    Tools like DMAIC are essential to Six Sigma, allowing you to define, measure, analyze, improve, and control processes. A strong knowledge of DMAIC and similar devices will allow trainees to recognize areas for improvement on the production line and make effective process improvements.
  • Make it relevant: Simplify your backroom activities.
    All the large manufacturing companies use the same ordering, fulfilling, and billing procedures in order to meet customer demand. But these processes can always be improved through simplification. In training, an instructor should take trainees through a thorough examination of a company’s processes to understand where they can be streamlined and optimized.
  • Focus on Process Capability.
    Many big businesses are concerned with process capability metrics, particularly CP and Cpk. Since these metrics form an important part of company procedure, it’s important in training for trainees to look at the subject in great detail. That way, they’ll understand the metrics’ application in their own company, and be able to use this to make corrective changes.

Service Industry Training Tips

  • Six Sigma tools.
    Tools like Root Cause Analysis allow you to mine your data and dig deep to the root cause of a problem. Through persistent analysis, you can also discover a range of consequences and potential improvements associated with a process problem. In customer service, for example, this can be used to determine the cause of customer complaints, or the root cause of the problems responsible. A working knowledge of these tools will allow trainees to function confidently on a Six Sigma team.
  • Make it relevant: Improvement or new procedures?
    Training should always reflect the situations it teaches about. In the service industry, customer needs are always changing, so sometimes process improvement just isn’t enough. New procedures designed from the ground up can often be more effective at meeting demands. Training should teach trainees to question whether the improvement is satisfactory or whether replacing or redesigning procedures will be more beneficial.
  • Use Six Sigma to Measure Customer Service.
    Customer service processes differ from manufacturing, in that they rely on both quantitative and qualitative data. As such, finding accurate metrics can sometimes be tricky, which is why teaching trainees to apply a Six Sigma model to their industry can help track progress and identify further areas for improvement.

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