Canadian Plastics

New study links technology use to lower defect rates

Companies that use technology to support their Lean Six Sigma efforts are able to successfully lower part defect ra...

November 6, 2006   Canadian Plastics

Companies that use technology to support their Lean Six Sigma efforts are able to successfully lower part defect rates, a new study suggests.
“The Lean Six Sigma Benchmark”, conducted by The Aberdeen Group research firm and sponsored by business consultant Hertzler Systems Inc., examined the strategies, enablers, and technologies used by more than 400 best-in-class Lean Six Sigma manufacturers, including Boeing, Glaxo SmithKline, Rexam, Tyco Electronics, EMC, GE, and GM.
“This benchmark report is unique because it looks deeper into the best practices of Lean Six Sigma companies,” Evan Miller, President & CEO of the Goshen, Ind.-based Hertzler Systems, said. “Everyone in the Six Sigma community is familiar with the importance of training and using the right tools and good leadership. But this report shows that when you need to develop a data-driven culture, it is absolutely critical that your people have easy access to reliable, clean, actionable data in real time. All the training in the world won’t make you data driven if your best people can’t get their hands on the data.”
“Adapting to the rigors of Six Sigma requires significant culture change for most companies and many find it a challenge,” Cindy Jutras, vice president of the Boston, Mass.-based Aberdeen Group, said. “In fact, this was reported as the top challenge faced by our participants. Yet not all challenges are cultural. Six Sigma methodologies are dependent on data, so data collection can present significant obstacles. Automated data collection and IT solutions can play a key role in resolving these obstacles.”
Based on the findings of the report, Jutras suggested that businesses that use the Lean Six Sigma approach should apply metrics of DPMO (Defects Per Million Opportunities) across all business processes in all industries, not just manufactured products and parts; identify and prioritize business impact projects according to anticipated savings and improved throughput; and integrate data collection with analysis in order to better connect disparate sources of data.
“The Lean Six Sigma Benchmark” report is available for download at http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?spid=30410464&cid=3490


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