Is Six Sigma 'achieveable' for every company? What about SMALL companies?

My company is a very bottom line driven mid-sized business doing business with a number of Fortune 100 companies. We are being driven into a six sigma program by several customers, and I am very conflicted over this.

Just the training for green and black belts is expensive, and then the beauracracy created by programs like this is often more than small-mid sized businesses can manage. I know my management is not at all interested in committing the necessary dollars to do this.

I think that companies can achieve good continuous improvement without having an official six sigma program. The tools have been around for many years, why do I need to call it something specific in order to have a solid CPI program??

Your right, in your company’s case 6 Sigma is not the answer, but I would hazard to guess that neither is any other CIP. A small company can be fortunate enough to have a few people that don’t mind rolling up their sleeves, communicating openly to get concensus, and teaching themselves some continuous improvement techniques.

That is enough to dramatically make a difference to your suppliers, co-workers, and customers. However, it doesn’t change the culture of the organization for the better to have a few people doing this day after day.

Continuous improvement is an important part of making more money, just like increasing sales, improving delivery, decreasing scrap, and reducing absenteeism (notice I didn’t say reorganizing!).

Until your management recognizes that it is everyone’s job to continuously improve it will be a slow uphill battle for those few who take the time.

I’ve gotten a comment about that. If the customer requesting six sigma understands six sigma, then perhaps you could get futher enlightenment from the person (personnel) that understands it.

Just like any company, you will undoubtably have to estimate the bottom line to this business choice. if the data says you must comply, it doesn’t seem a that expensive to ‘cheat’.

Take one person whom understands process improvement, give him a project and have him spend all of 180$ to get ASQ certified. now that you have a ‘black belt’. now take the people previously doing continous improvement and document their efforts on a formal charter. Can’t that be considered ‘six sigma’…

As I’ve vented on another forum- This six sigma label seems like it can mean practically nothing… and can be little more then saying you conduct projects to save $$$ (and honestly how many companies don’t do this).

As a general comment, I can’t understand why a supplier would ever make this condition? Six sigma here seems entirely about $$$, and many projects have no impact on quality. (Actually a few have from what I can tell, a negative impact on quality-- production closer to specifications and smaller capability indexes).


We couldn’t say that all the six sigma companies are achievable company. because all motorola introduced the six sigma model, but still the same company facing lot of problems.

Six sigma is the way or guide line for improve the quality of the business process and its not a solution.

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