Which Processes should I target with my Lean Six Sigma Deployment ?
Any and all processes within your business are fair game! No exceptions. It does not only have to be manufacturing processes. Other examples could easily include: product development, order entries, design, customer service, HR and financial processes as well.
By taking this ‘overall’ holistic approach to improving your business in all areas and aspects, means you are in effect adding value to your business, growing your profits and bottom line, while streamlining and becoming a smooth, low-cost, predictable partner and provider of choice!
Taking an analytical approach to business in this fashion opens your eyes to new channels and ways to grow and expand, strengthen and position your business for success and results.
Ask the following questions to ascertain if Lean Six Sigma is right and holds potential for you and your business:
- Where is the real ‘time’ in our business spent? How much of this adds value to our customers? Is it worth it? Where can we make some changes?
- Is there any benefit in our business trying to establish a competitive edge getting goods and services to customers quicker?
- What kind of payback can we expect from these Lean Six Sigma efforts? What are the financial gains and potential here?
- If we cut operating expenses, manufacturing cost, overhead, inventory, lead, wait and cycle times, how would it affect the bottom line? What would the $$ impact be weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually? Again these metrics will help you gage your progress, raise awareness and give you a whole new outlook on what your business is doing well and where the areas for improvement would/could be!
- If we reduce our goods in waiting (WIP) and finished goods inventory what will that mean in $$ and cents to our business? What would be able to do with the cash at hand (investment, debt reduction, new machinery, marketing etc.) How can these changes and dollars save BEST benefit and grow the business?
In any Lean Six Sigma deployment and change management, improvement initiative in your organization/business, there are enabling aspects to pay attention to:
- Some of the operational and economic benefits or metrics to look out for to help you answer some/any of the above are:
- Operating margin
- ROIC (return on investment capital)
- Capital Turnover
- On-time delivery rates and ratios
- Cost of poor quality
- Quality performance, customer satisfaction data
If you have your eyes set on the top-spot in your industry, expanding your markets and horizons and increasing your market share, this is the way to go about it quickly, reliably and with sustainable gains.
There is a simple rule of thumb here, central to all Lean Six Sigma as well – any improvements made within your business should benefit the customer and add value.