SixSig Looks at Some Important Data on Thanksgiving Day

Posted by: meikah | 27 November 2008 | 12:25 am

Six Sigma is a data-driven initiative, and so if you are to apply it to any process, you must start with some data.

Over at ThomasNet, they shared Thanksgiving by the Numbers. Figures that will matter to mostly service industries, e.g. hospitality, transportation, retail, among others.



  • 41 Million – The number of Americans anticipated to travel more than 50 miles from home this Thanksgiving weekend [Source: AAA]
  • 33.2 Million – Holiday travelers expected to go via car, a 1.2 percent decrease from 2007 [Source: AAA]
  • $1.89 – National average price of gasoline per gallon as of Nov. 24 [Source: Energy Information Administration]


  • 34% – The percentage of shoppers hitting the stores on “Black Friday” — the day after Thanksgiving [Source: Maritz, Inc.]
  • $875 – Amount to be spent on gifts by 33 percent of Black Friday shoppers; 17 percent plan to spend over $1,000 [Source: Maritz, Inc.]
  • 1.2% – Expected sales gain on Black Friday, down 7.1 percentage points from last year’s 8.3 percent sales increase [Source: BDO Seidman, LLP]

Read more…

To my friends in the U.S., Happy Thanksgiving!

Filed under: Data, Data Analysis, Data Quality, Events/Announcements, SixSig, Thanksgiving Day

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iSixSigma Names Finalists for Most Successful Lean Six Sigma Projects

Posted by: meikah | 26 November 2008 | 10:21 pm

Michael Cyger, founder of iSixSigma, says:

In keeping with the theme of our Summit and Awards, ‘Back to Breakthrough,’ iSixSigma is recognizing programs and projects that have demonstrated outstanding accomplishment. To qualify for the competition, for example, programs must have a minimum ROI of 5x; projects must deliver a 90% reduction in defects, or a minimum $250,000 and 5x ROI. Most entries achieved far greater.

Below are the finalists.

Most Successful Lean Six Sigma Start-up Programs:

Most Successful Re-energized Lean Six Sigma Programs:

Read more…

Related posts:
Customer Service at Betfair
Lean Six Sigma Works at NewPage
NewPage Corp. also Top 10 Best Places to Work for Six Sigma Professionals
United Services Automobile Association, Finalist for Best Achievement of Organizational Business Improvement in Financial Services 

Filed under: Awards, iSixSigma, Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma

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Then Comes Kai Sigma

Posted by: meikah | 26 November 2008 | 8:51 pm

I knew it wouldn’t be long before Kaizen and Six Sigma would be combined.

Kaizen, from two Japanese words, Kai (change) and Zen (to become good), implies continuous improvement. It is grounded on the basic elements namely teamwork, personal discipline, improved morale, quality circles, and suggestions for improvement. The ultimate goal is to get rid of waste (Muda), and inefficiency.

Six Sigma, on the other hand, is a set of quality management methods and statistical tools whose ultimate goal is to improve processes and eliminate defects or waste.

The marriage of the two is therefore inevitable. True enough, there is now Kai Sigma. Catalyst Consulting coined the term and was talking about how they’ve combined Six Sigma and Kaizen in the 4th Annual Lean Six Sigma & Process Improvement Summit.

The approach Kai Sigma is a name that reflects the link to continuous improvement (Kaizen) with the use of DMAIC (the improvement method commonly used in Six Sigma).

Read more…

Related posts:
Lean, Six Sigma, and Kaizen for Forest Management
Kaizen with Six Sigma

Filed under: Kaizen, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations

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Can’t His Six Sigma Expertise Help Nardelli Now?

Posted by: meikah | 25 November 2008 | 2:57 am

If I were to believe the news, it would seem that Bob Nardelli had not redeemed himself yet. When he left Home Depot, he received many criticisms particularly after people found out about his enormous $210 million severance package.

From Home Depot, he moved to Chrysler and was received with trepidation. People didn’t think he could pull out Chrysler from the dumps the company was in.

Today, Nardelli is in the limelight again as he finds himself at the center of a debate on Capitol Hill.

The debate was to assess the merits of a Federal rescue package for the automakers. Nardelli seeks $7 billion in government funding for privately-owned Chrysler because the current financial meltdown has left “The Big Three” in desperate need of a capital infusion to keep them out of bankruptcy. The trouble is that there are substantial concerns that this is a case of “throwing good money after bad” and it will be tough to convince Republican lawmakers otherwise. Especially considering that Chrysler anticipates burning through $5 to $7 billion in fiscal 2009 but as of the end of the third quarter the company only had $6.1 billion in cash. The domestic automakers need significant structural changes in order to make them sustainable and many think the best way to restructure the industry would be through Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Read more…

It’s a tough time for everyone. There’s no doubt about it. And Nardelli obviously weren’t able to pull out Chrysler from the dumps.

My question is, and I hope you can help me find the answer, can’t Nardelli’s Six Sigma expertise on Six Sigma help him now? Or Is Chrysler’s problems too complex for Six Sigma?

Filed under: Bob Nardelli, Chrysler, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations

1 Comment |

Six Sigma Best Practices Lead Other Companies to Six Sigma

Posted by: meikah | 25 November 2008 | 1:37 am

When successful companies like GE, Dupont, and Bombardier shared their Six Sigma best practices, many other companies saw the value of Six Sigma more.

For example, GE, with an already 9-year Six Sigma journey, began using Six Sigma to improve sales effectiveness in year five. Jack Welch said, “We found that Six Sigma isn’t only for engineers. . . . Regional sales managers can use it to improve forecast reliability, pricing strategies, or pricing variation.”

DuPont, which has integrated Six Sigma in their processes for four years, began using Six Sigma for top line growth in year two. According to VP and Corporate Champion-Six Sigma, Don Linsemann, “Six Sigma brought a new focus on the voice of the customer. Customer input is valuable in driving research development, product development, and applications.”

Bombardier’s 7-year Six Sigma initiative initially focused its business improvement efforts on cash flow, cost reduction, cost improvement, cost avoidance and efficiency improvement. Today, many of their Six Sigma projects are focused on growth projects to increase sales volume and sales margins.

Because of these companies, others saw the need of Six Sigma not only in manufacturing processes but also in other processes of the organization. The identified processes where Six Sigma can be used are the following:

  • Client relationship management
  • Sales effectiveness
  • New market development
  • Pricing process improvement
  • Advertising/communication improvement
  • Branding effectiveness
  • Channel effectiveness
  • Lead management
  • Service improvement
  • Product development

Six Sigma has practically invaded other processes. This goes to show that companies are now realizing that a holistic approach to Six Sigma is a much better option.

Six Sigma for Sales: Truth About the Customers’ Needs

Filed under: Best Practices, Sales, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations

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Lean Six Sigma Goes to Sri Lanka

Posted by: meikah | 23 November 2008 | 10:58 pm

The Daily News, Sri Lanka’s national paper, reports that Somaratna Consultants has gotten the approval of Omnex Inc. USA, which allows Somaratna to offer Lean Six Sigma trainings to Sri Lankan companies.

Local companies will be learning from the experts, and the exposure will definitely do them good. Also, Sri Lankan Organizations as well as the country stand to benefit tremendously by using statistical techniques in the management of their organisations.

I agree! This is a good way to improve businesses in Sri Lanka.
Read: Somaratna consultants ties up with Omnex inc. USA

Filed under: Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma

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Improving Business Through Six Sigma

Posted by: meikah | 20 November 2008 | 10:02 pm

Continuing Improvement thru Six Sigma

I found an interesting article on BeyeNetwork that talks about improving business intelligence based on Six Sigma concepts and methods.

It touches on the following concepts:

  1. The Continuing Improvement Model (BI-CIM)
  2. The Six Sigma Breakthrough Formula
  3. The Six Sigma Continuing Improvement Process, which discusses DMAIC, program goals, the x and y factors.

Read more…

Simply put, for you to improve your business, you must know the ins and outs, the nooks and crannies of your processes, learn how to measure them, improve them, and make sure to sustain the initiative.

*Image credit

Filed under: Deployment, Processes, Six Sigma

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Global Telcos Need Transformation Thru Six Sigma

Posted by: meikah | 20 November 2008 | 8:58 pm

Big, global telecommunication companies need to regularly improve processes, which they term business transformation, especially that technology is changing all the time, making the competition easily catch up.

An article on Telephony Online shares how telcos try to improve their technology and at the same time improve their customers’ experience.

For AT&T, for example, Mark Francis, vice president of AT&T enterprise architecture for AT&T says, that in the core of most [service provider] networks, they are running at six sigmas. But the customer experience of those networks is running at three sigma. What lowers the sigma is order delays and billing.

And so for these telcos, their primary goal is to bridge the gap. Or better yet, be consistent and conscious in terms of deploying Six Sigma in all areas of the business. Besides, if the organization is running on Six Sigma already, I think it’s going to be easier to rub it off to the other processes as well.

Read: Management World: Transformation still job one for global telcos

*Photo from Stock.Xchng

Filed under: Deployment, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations, Telecommunications

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GE Power Systems Uses Six Sigma

Posted by: meikah | 20 November 2008 | 7:01 pm

FinChannel reports that GE Power Systems is developing a CSAs (Contractual Service Agreements) that will focus on steam turbines for all  its facilities worldwide. The initiative will also include steam turbine in operations for nuclear facilities.

The steam turbine is designed to lower the cost of operating a power plant.

What’s noteworthy of this initiative is that GE Power is using Six Sigma for this.

The development effort for the steam turbine CSAs has involved various business units throughout GE Power Systems. Using rigorous Six Sigma quality processes, the development team performed an extensive statistical analysis to create a modeling tool allowing for a set of detailed recommendations regarding time between outages, scope of work required at each outage and parts replacement intervals.

“The result is an easy-to-use steam turbine CSA model,” said Michael Kalmes, general manager of GE Power Systems’ Contractual Services business.

Read more…

Filed under: GE, GE Power Systems, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations

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Six Sigma in the Food Service and Hospitality Industries

Posted by: meikah | 18 November 2008 | 11:29 pm

Indeed, Six Sigma is no longer just for the manufacturing industry. It has invaded healthcare, and recently the hospitality business, too.

Over at Food & Drink Magazine, Rudy Miic shares his 6 Sigma concepts as used in the food service and hospitality industries:

Sigma 1: Performing on purpose
Sigma 2: Proactive fiscal systems
Sigma 3: Hiring by choice rather than chance
Sigma 4: Training focused on results
Sigma 5: Effective communication
Sigma 6: Being a learning organization

Read more…

The 6 Sigmas may just have been culled by Six Sigma concept, still the essence of an organization trying to give the best to its customers is evident. To me that is all that matters.

Filed under: Deployment, Services, Six Sigma

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