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Lean Six SigmaIf your organization is contemplating new technology solutions to help make your enterprise run more efficiently, the term “lean” has probably been part of your conversation. Lean manufacturing, Lean Six Sigma, Lean production, Lean enterprise, Lean IT – regardless of the industry or application – the basic concept makes sense.

Where did the Lean concept come from?
Simply put, Lean-based processes are designed to offer value to the customer while increasing profits. The term Lean production was introduced in 1990 in the book The Machine That Changed the World.

It was inspired by the evolution of production systems developed by the auto manufacturer Toyota (known the Toyota Production System or TPS). As history has shown, Toyota went from being a minor player in the auto manufacturing market to the largest, because they were able to produce a high-quality product at a fair price.

Where does Lean Six Sigma come in?
In 2002, the concept Lean Six Sigma was introduced. Lean Six Sigma combines the traditional Lean methods with the Six Sigma process of improving business performance that was introduced by Bill Smith, a senior engineer and scientist at Motorola, in 1986. The Motorola program effectively addressed quality issues the manufacturer was struggling to resolve. Six Sigma then gained renown in 1995 when Jack Welch adopted it as the center of his business strategy for General Electric.

Do I have to work in manufacturing to adopt Lean strategies?
No! Lean strategies and processes are being utilized in:

How can I start running a Leaner operation?
Look for areas of waste in your organization. Lean Six Sigma puts a major emphasis on the reduction of waste that really makes sense. When enterprises can keep waste to a minimum they can reap the benefits of reduced production/process times and expenses (and that means increased profits). Lean Six Sigma separates waste into six categories that your business should consider:

  • Transportation.
  • Inventory.
  • Motion.
  • Waiting.
  • Overproduction.
  • Over-processing.
  • Defects.

Lean Six Sigma programs typically operate under a set of progressive phases – DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) for established projects and DMADV (Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, Verify) for new projects. These processes cover all project phases, and research and analytics are used to identify opportunities for improvement or success while establishing solid benchmarks to gauge how well the implemented processes have performed.

If you’re in the process of launching a business intelligence solution for your enterprise, the team at Infovision is here to help. We offer the right mix of strategic resources and IT staffing solutions to help make sure your next project operates to maximize efficiencies and boost profits. Visit the Infovision website, email us at info@infovision.net or call us at 972-234-0058 to learn more.

Photo Source: Shutterstock

Resources:

The Genealogy of Lean Production

About Motorola University: The Inventors of Six Sigma

The Evolution of Six Sigma

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