Six Sigma is SO 2007.


This is an article that focuses on Six Sigma and the fact that many companies view it as an outdated certification. While there are some very credible benefits in being Six Sigma certified, there are some major costs as well. According to the article it was a way to improve quality, but the major reason it gained so much popularity was because of its ability to cut costs and increase profitability. However, there were two standout problems with Six Sigma.

First, having such a process oriented company reduced morale. Employees were being evaluated so much on process that they were not being recognized for their hard work or outstanding customer service. Their employee results were just based on numbers. The second problem was that customer sentiment dropped. As a process focused company, the bottom line is to produce as much as possible with as little defects as possible. This may be great for a manufacturing plant, but for a company that works in customer service, it is ignoring a very important factor, the customers. Often times how a customer is treated will weigh more heavily on their decision to come back than the speed of their purchase.

Furthermore, the article goes on to state process is key, but they also need to focus on things such as innovation and creativity to keep a company moving forward. A company can be an outstanding process performer but if they are behind the times with their products or customer service, then having an excellent process doesn’t mean a lot.

In fact, Home Depot, which was a company mentioned in the article, dropped from first to worst among major retailers on the American Customer Satisfaction Index in 2005. This was a company that was Six Sigma certified and had a CEO who placed a very high value and emphasis on Six Sigma. Another example, which was meant to be an example supporting Six Sigma certification, was the desire by financial institutions to be Six Sigma certified. One of the banks mentioned was Bank of America, and we all know what has been happening with them in the recent news…

In conclusion, as we learned in our class, Six Sigma is an outstanding certification to have. It shows that a company is operating at a capacity with an extremely low rate of defect. However, in my opinion, in the case of the article, it sights that there may be more to a company’s success than excellence process. I tend to go with the belief similar to one mentioned in the article, that Process management is a good thing but it must be leavened a bit with a focus on innovation and customer relationships.


With the article in mind, I have a couple of questions I’d like to open up to the class.

First, would you go out of your way to be a customer of a Six Sigma company?

Second, what is more important to you, a customer connection or Six Sigma certification?


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4 thoughts on “Six Sigma is SO 2007.

  1. To answer your questions first. I wouldn’t go out of my way to be a customer of a Six Sigma company. To me it us most important to have a customer connection.
    In a way I am in agreeableness with your article, Six Sigma does take away that interaction feeling between the employees and employers. It’s is almost like all that disappears when you try to follow Six Sigma, which it shouldn’t be like that because at the same time of doing processes efficiently, one must ensure that employees are being involved in the process. The same with the customer. They have to be acknowledged and almost awarded so they can be recognized as well. Its like through that they become a part of the company as well.

  2. As a customer that is purchasing items that are finished products, I would not go out of my way to purchase items on the basis of six-sigma. On the reverse though, if I was a buying from a supply company in efforts to create a finished project I would only buy from a certified company, either six-sigma or one of the other quality management programs. The reason for this is that creating a finished product, a manufacture reduces the cost by ensuring quality, a price that is ultimately passed on to the consumers. Six-sigma programs work, and have worked for the past twenty years, I think that such programs allow for employees to take a large role in the process, creating a better environment for all.

  3. It depends on what kind of company I am running. Not all types of business are in need or will benefit from Six Sigma training. With that being said, if I were a manufacturing company, yes, I will definitely be six sigma certified. I feel that for a manufacturing company, it is crucial to be efficient and utilize all resources given without creating defective products. By reducing the amount of defective products, it will help eliminate costs, which can then can help lower the price of the product to the business I will be selling to. This can also result in a competitive advantage if my prices are the lowest or amongst the lowest of my competitors.
    On the other hand, if I am running a retail or service company, then my focus will not be on Six Sigma, but instead, making sure my customers are satisfied and payed attention to. But, for the companies supplying my goods, I will be looking for Six Sigma certification to make sure I am receiving the best and most efficiently made product.

  4. As a customer, I don’t go out of my way to find out if a company is Six Sigma certified. Like we have discussed in class, Six Sigma doesn’t guarantee the quality of a product. However if I am looking for a vendor or supplier, I would be more likely to choose the Six Sigma certified company. However, working at a process focused company, I could see how the work place could be difficult environment seeing how the workers in our puppet exercise were treated. It is also important to recognize the fact that customers needs should come first in any business otherwise a company can lose a majority of their sales as most companys’ revenue comes from recurring customers.

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