The Lean approach is about identifying the least wasteful way to provide value to customers. Toyota, who emerged from the ravages of the Second World War to become the world’s largest car manufacturer, pioneered Lean over 50 years ago. They now make more cars with lower defects using fewer employees than their rivals.
Less wasteful means using less time, less resource and lower cost = greater profits.
Value to customers means fewer complaints and greater loyalty = greater profits.
Six Sigma is in essence a statistical tool which uses various problem solving methods to uncover root causes of problems. The ultimate aim is to do things right first time every time. Companies such as Motorola, IBM and Rolls Royce use Six Sigma’s statistical tools and analysis to identify the root cause of variation in their production so they can identify and concentrate on the right solution.
Right first time means using less time, less resource and lower cost, and providing greater customer value = greater profits.
Getting and keeping new sales can be tough, especially in difficult times, so a complementary way to drive profitability is by the adoption of a lean approach, focused on customer value, improved quality, elimination of waste and empowerment of small teams.