The Benefits of Six Sigma
Implementing Lean Six Sigma management principles in your operations can benefit your company by utilizing data, statistics, and measurements to eliminate defects in your processes. Once inefficiencies in your business’ processes have been identified, the Six Sigma methodology applies the use of proper tools to decrease defects and anything that doesn’t fit client specifications.
Part two of our three-part series on Lean Six Sigma will focus on why your company might pursue the methodology and what will you and your staff get out of it. We’ll also share how Gilmore Jasion Mahler has embraced Lean Six Sigma and some of the benefits we have seen in our own firm.
Lean Six Sigma’s goal is pretty simple: to improve efficiency and eliminate waste. What type of improvements might you see?
- Reduced Cycle Time. If you have experienced missed deadlines due to unexpected delays in projects or shifts in management policy, Six Sigma can help by setting up a team that can identify the reasons for long cycle times and find solutions to these problems. Lean Six Sigma says in many cases, cycle times are reduced by up to 35%.
- Motivated Employees. Employees need their companies to fully engage with them to keep them on task. Six Sigma problem solving tools improve employee development and create the proper environment to keep workers motivated. Properly motivated employees experience a 25-50% increase in productivity.
- Improved Customer Loyalty. Better quality control and improved processes through Six Sigma result in a consistently better product and more satisfied clients. It’s no secret that when your customers are happy with your product, they return to you for future needs and recommend your company to others.
- Help With Time Management. The principles of Lean Six Sigma involve looking at learning, performance, and fulfillment. Having employees set goals and apply these principles to their work ethic leads to more effectively managed time. The action plan that Six Sigma helps employees to develop is said to increase efficiency by up to 30%.
- Better Managed Supply Chain. Reducing the number of suppliers your company uses is a key component of the Six Sigma methodology. Changes and variations in the supply chain have an effect on the defect rate of your product, so reducing the number of suppliers reduces the chance of defects in your products.
- Improved Bottom Line. The customer loyalty mentioned above directly affects your profits in a very basic way. Your happy customers continue to buy from you and will likely recommend your company to others who are looking for a similar product. This leads to increased revenues for your company.
For several years Gilmore Jasion Mahler has been engaged with the Lean Six Sigma methodology. The firm currently has six green belts who have conducted various projects throughout our firm. We’ve embraced the mind-set and applied Lean to all facets of our business: from employee expense account reimbursement to the client experience.
“We’ve learned that sometimes we had to ‘fail forward,’ in other words, we needed to learn that not every project was going to be a success, but we learned something from every project that we implemented,” says GJM Partner Deanna Hall, who is a Six Sigma green belt.
Here are five critical factors that led to GJM’s success with Lean Six Sigma:
- Buy-in from the top
- Change in mindset across the firm – needed to change to a mindset of continuous improvement, always “hungry” for improvement
- Adopted the motto: Strive for Excellence, Not Perfection
- Get all levels in the firm involved – could not just be at the management level
- Understand that change is hard for most people
Change may be hard, but it isn’t impossible. Sometimes starting with smaller changes can demonstrate the ability to improve processes and encourage staff to embrace larger Lean initiatives moving forward.
Part one of our series on Lean Six Sigma offers some basic information, including the basic principles and definitions of the methodology. Be sure to watch for the next part in our series, which will cover what’s involved in acquiring Lean Six Sigma certification.
Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory, healthcare management and outsourced accounting. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.