The long-term profitability of your business is the most important thing. And for your company’s financial prospects to register predictable growth, streamlining the internal processes of your venture should be a priority. Are you looking to reorganize your production line? Do you want the internal processes used by your employees to match your vision for quality and profitability? Then, adopting the Six Sigma philosophy would be a good idea. Used since the 1980s, developed by Japanese companies, and popularized in the Western world by corporations like GE and Ford, Six Sigma is a philosophy that emphasizes efficiency and quality control.
Why should you pursue a Six Sigma master black belt certification? There are many reasons, and they all relate to your expertise and ability to adapt to market changes. An MBB certification demonstrates you have the knowledge to apply the Six Sigma philosophy to your company’s internal processes and that you can use professional analytical tools to determine the best course of action for the subjective needs of your business. An MBB certification will be a plus for your CV and qualify you for management positions and project-lead ventures.
Master black belt certification holders are involved in strategic managerial decision-making, are equipped with the necessary skills to communicate with clients and stakeholders, are up to date with the latest technological developments in the field, and are highly sought after by companies operating on an international level. Six Sigma remains a popular methodology, especially for companies active in manufacturing, finance, or pharmaceuticals. Therefore, an MBB in Six Sigma is a significant checkmark for your professional experience and can do wonders for career advancement opportunities.
What Is Six Sigma?
In a nutshell, Six Sigma is a business methodology focused on a data-oriented approach, aiming to improve the quality of commercialized products or services. It seeks to remove the elements that may affect the internal business processes relevant to manufacturing. The goal of Six Sigma, as the name implies, is to achieve a ratio of less than four defective products per million, which is almost impossible for most companies. Therefore, in modern times, the Six Sigma methodology provides the groundwork for increasing the efficiency of production lines without a clear distinction of the ultimate targets.
The Six Sigma philosophy originated in Japan in the 1980s, first used by Motorola and later adopted by companies in various industries, such as Philips and Boeing. The peak of Six Sigma’s popularity was in the early 2000s. However, its DMAIC components are still relevant, even in 2023, especially if combined with other business philosophies like CTQ, Kaizen, or SIPOC. The anchor component of the Six Sigma methodology is the DMAIC framework, which stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control.
DMAIC and the Impact on Your Business
In DMAIC, the “Define” stage is used to identify internal elements that affect productivity. In this phase, the master black belt certification holders can present to stakeholders the goals of the Six Sigma project and include a framework for the expected results. At the other end, the “Measure” stage is used to evaluate the performance of the internal processes used in the production line and determine the metrics that can be improved to enhance the quality of the products or services. As the name implies, the “Measure” stage requires advanced MSA knowledge and a good understanding of nonparametrics.
The “Analyze” stage involves examining the analytical data collected in the previous phase and identifying the causes of inconsistencies or quality variations in the products offered. The Six Sigma philosophy not only attempts to fix mistakes in the production line but also to get to the root that caused them in the first place. In the “Analyze” stage, the employed master black belt certification holders will use statistical tools and techniques, such as Ishikawa diagrams, to understand the interactions between variables and validate the causes of the interrelated elements that affect efficiency.
The “Improve” part requires creating in-house solutions that address the issues identified in the previous stages of the DMAIC framework and continuously improving them until the expected results are reached. Pilot studies or applied statistics can be used in this stage, and the hypothesis developed during the “Analyze” stage can be tested. Last but not least, the “Control” stage is perhaps the most crucial element of the DMAIC framework and requires the creation of bespoke ongoing processes by which the efficiency of the production line is maintained, regardless of changes in the industry.
Why Should Forward-Thinking Companies Invest in Six Sigma?
At its core, Six Sigma is a methodology that aims to improve companies’ internal processes and increase efficiency, reduce waste, and enhance profitability. Six Sigma can reduce costs associated with the production line by analyzing and correcting the elements that burden the manufacturing process. Six Sigma is a business philosophy that increases quality control for products or services sold, automatically resulting in greater customer satisfaction. Why is Six Sigma efficient? Three words: Data-driven decisions.
Six Sigma aims to eliminate subjectivity from management decisions and deploy analytics to determine factors that can increase production efficiency. Companies adopting the DMAIC framework are at lower risk for costly errors, are more resilient to market changes, and are consistent in their internal methodology. For this reason, Six Sigma is ideal for multinational firms trying to standardize their quality control. Furthermore, Six Sigma is instrumental in the manufacturing industry, where production quotas are strict and quality is not negotiable.
A Great Way to Improve Your Skills
Pursuing a master black belt certification in Six Sigma can be an ideal way to hone your knowledge and gain the tools to create a bespoke strategy applicable to your business. Six Sigma is a complex methodology that can streamline your company’s internal processes, increase profitability, reduce waste, and enhance reputation. Is Six Sigma the best technique for your business? That depends on the field in which you operate. For the manufacturing industry, Six Sigma is an ideal option that can significantly reduce errors and operational costs.
However, Six Sigma may not be the best match for other industries where rapid product development is encouraged. Like any business philosophy, Six Sigma has advantages and disadvantages, and how you use its framework depends on the subjective characteristics of your organization. Nevertheless, when it is suitable for your industry, Six Sigma can significantly increase the efficiency of the production line and is a fantastic tool for keeping your product’s quality control at an optimum level.