Stability in the manufacturing processes is one of the contributors to a successful business. Before a manufacturing company can put out products for consumers, they have to undergo various processes. As a product moves through the stages, the potential for errors from machines and human workers increases. Six Sigma is a methodology that manufacturing enterprises use to minimise the defects that occur in the various processes. Over the years, Six Sigma has evolved and refined to meet the needs of today’s businesses. A company can incorporate Six Sigma into its operations to improve manufacturing processes.

The Foundation of Six Sigma

Six Sigma can be traced back to the 1980s to the Motorola company when it was developing ways to improve its manufacturing processes. It was designed as a mathematical model by an engineer at the company as he sought to enhance the consistency of the quality of goods produced. Originally, the method was created for large-scale manufacturing enterprises, but it is now used in other sectors as well.

Six Sigma is a set of tools that are structured to eliminate defects processes and products. The approach became so popular that a good number of Fortune 500 companies integrated it into their operations. Using defined steps in the approach, a company is able to identify elements that may be slowing down the processes and causing defects. When Motorola started using the technique, it realised that increasing the quality of goods contributed to lower production costs. A company that intends to use Six Sigma can arrange for employees to get training in the different levels from green to Six Sigma black belt, depending on the skills required.

How Six Sigma Influences Manufacturing

Although other areas of business use Six Sigma, it was developed explicitly for manufacturing. The reason the approach has been influential in manufacturing operations is that it provides continuous process improvement. Through its five phases of define, measure, analyse, improve and control, an enterprise can set goals for its quality enhancement. It is less complicated for employees to meet the bottom line when they have goals to guide them.

The high standard of processes brought about by Six Sigma benefits a business in several ways. For one, it improves customer satisfaction. Every manufacturing business aims to get good feedback from its consumers. If the quality of products is consistently up to standard, the customers will keep coming back, and that means an increase in revenues.

Improving manufacturing processes increase the productivity of workers. By getting rid of factors that affect production and other processes negatively, employees work faster and more efficiently, consequently boosting outputs.

Quality control reduces costs as well. When the risks of defects are reduced, a company saves on the expenses of recalls and corrections. Improved designs and production of goods also translate to savings on raw materials. Another cost-saving measure provided by Six Sigma is the reduced production cycle. Making processes more efficient results in lower production times, which means decreased costs.

Improved production processes decrease pollution because there is less waste. In an age where enterprises are implementing all sorts of efforts to minimise carbon footprint, finding effective ways to reduce wastage is a big win.

Over the years, Six Sigma has proven its effectiveness in improving production processes by eliminating defects. A company must, however, have the right communication channels and employee training to capitalise on this approach.

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