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What is the Value of Lean Six Sigma in Manufacturing?

Value of Lean Six Sigma in Manufacturing

Do we really understand the value of these two methodologies? Two methodologies? Really? Yes, Lean and Six Sigma are two separate methodologies. They are commonly combined in discussion, and the roles are not clearly differentiated. Each methodology has tremendous value alone, but combined, they can be a powerful tool in any business setting. Let’s talk about the differences first.

Lean is a process of continual improvement based on increasing value for the customer. The objective is to eliminate anything that does not contribute to what a customer is willing to pay for. This puts the focus on eliminating waste and streamlining the process of delivering the product or service. Essentially, it is a method used to streamline the manufacturing and production process. The idea is focused on cutting out wasteful or unnecessary steps from a process, leaving only the steps of a process that contributes true value.

Six Sigma is a quantitative method that focuses on improving quality in manufacturing using data collection and measurement, with the goal being to eliminate errors and variation. The result is improved product quality. Six Sigma addresses both the production and design of a product. The two approaches used in the Six Sigma process are DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control) and DMADV (Define-Measure-Analyze-Design-Verify).

Essentially, Lean and Six Sigma are similar, but with subtle focus differences. These differences, however, are exactly why the two methodologies work so well together. By using two different methods, business can thoroughly focus on eliminating errors and improving quality, while maintaining a foundation of customer focus. With Lean focusing on production quality and Six Sigma eliminating waste that results in process variations, the combination of methodologies are a formidable tool for business.

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