Today I would like to talk about why to improve if you have a business, if you have a big company or just starting with a small company, maybe you are alone or with a very small team, three, five people, maybe. In both cases I would like to discuss why to improve with Lean Six Sigma. There are at least seven reasons to do it or not. You can do it or you don’t want to do it. You don’t need to do it, but there are consequences if you don’t want.
Reason #1: Focus
First, if you don’t want to use any method to improve, you will do many things. I’m sure you recognize that if you are starting with your business, you have to do so many things from marketing, sales, bookkeeping, product design, product development, product production.
You have to do so many things. And if you get help from Lean Six Sigma, which is a process improvement method, the first thing that you will need this to make a decision to focus on one area. So it will give you focus and if you don’t want to use it, you will scatter your energy, your attention, your time will be scattered among many, many items.
Lean Six Sigma will help you focus on what is really needed now. It will help you to make a decision what is really important. It will help you to prioritize on the thing that needs the most help.
Is it lead generation, is it sales, is it commercial leads or is it quality problems for a few of our services or product? And so it will bring focus. So the first reason to use Lean Six Sigma or Lean or Six Sigma anyway, an improvement method is that it will bring you focus. Focused energy will create much faster results and will create much bigger results.
Reason #2: Increasing Results
Second reason, that your results will be different. If you don’t want to use any improvement method, that’s fine, but your results will differ a lot too.
You’ll go up and down, up and down, up and down. Sometimes you will have good results, sometimes you won’t. If you use a method that will focus on an area to improve, then you will have a clear measurable improvement because that’s what Lean Six Sigma is about, measurable improvement.
So you will have consistent results step by step, maybe not very dramatic at once, but steady increasing results.
Reason #3: Step-by-step Approach
The third reason that you shouldn’t use Lean Six Sigma improvement method, whether you are big company or small company is if you don’t, you will have problems and you will try to solve those problems and you continue.
And again, maybe the same problem will come back again, maybe not the next day but the next week or next month and you again try to solve it.
You thought that it was already solved but apparently not because it came back again. So you are up and down, up again and down, trying to do something, hopefully solve the problem, if you come back again.
Instead of applying a step by step approach, defining really what is the problem and measuring the problem and finding the root cause of the problem.
And using this methodological approach, you will solve the problem for sure, because the whole Lean Six Sigma is based on defining the problem and finding the solution and measuring whether it’s really solved or not.
Reason #4: Be In-control
The fourth reason maybe summarizing all of the above, is that if you use Lean Six Sigma, whether you’re a small company just starting off or you are a big company.
If you’re a big company, it’s even more important that if you use Lean Six Sigma, you will be in control versus if you don’t use it you will be out of control.
Why is that?
Out of control means that your results will vary. Your product’s quality will vary, your delivery – the time you need to deliver product or services – will vary again. With Lean Six Sigma, you will measure those things and you will try to reduce the variation that’s typically Six Sigma.
You will try to minimize the variation: the way I work and deliver a product or service or my colleague does that, it shouldn’t differ much.
And so you will learn how to reduce variation that your quality will be more and more consistent and your delivery will be more and more predictable and consistent. So the lead times and waiting times will be shorter and shorter. So you will learn with Lean Six Sigma how to control those processes.
And if you don’t use Lean Six Sigma or any other proven method, it will vary a lot. So it will have high values, low values, high lead times low, short lead times, many mistakes or no mistakes in between. So the variation will be big and that’s the sign of out of control.
Reason #5: Increase Customer Satisfaction
The fifth reason that you should use Lean Six Sigma or maybe this could be placed on the number one position, that your customer will be happy, much more happy.
You will learn how to improve his happiness and his satisfaction and his delight with Lean Six Sigma versus if you don’t use Lean Six Sigma or any improvement method because of the variation, because of the out of control situation, your customer might be sometimes happy, sometimes not.
And the biggest problem with customer satisfaction is if they are not satisfied, 80% will tell you that. They will just say, “I haven’t got the product or I will switch to another service. I have another priority now.”
Instead of working with you, so they will just leave and that’s the biggest issue. If you don’t know how to understand them, how to work on their requirements, how to satisfy those requirements they have.
So with Lean Six Sigma, you can work on those. You will learn how to identify their wishes and requirements how to go close the gap between what you can deliver, what you give them as a product or service versus what they expect and happy about.
So with Lean Six Sigma, you should be able to work on improving customer satisfaction.
Reason #6: Improved Employee Satisfaction
That’s also true for your team whether you are alone and small company, few colleagues or big company, many teams. In both situations, if with Lean Six Sigma you can improve the way people work, they will spend less time on things that do not matter for the customer. They will spend less time working on things that really a waste of time. They will learn a way to see how they can improve themselves as well. So they will be much more happy and therefore your customers will be happy.
As you can see, all things are related with each other. Customers will be happy because they did get more products and services that are in control and they are in control because you will work on those processes step by step, not just by trial and error.
Your results will increase because you are focused. So it’s also true for the satisfaction of your team whether you are a small company. If you are a small company, maybe you have to do everything yourself and you work like crazy and you don’t enjoy that. Also, you are not satisfied, but with Lean Six Sigma, you will get focused, you will spend your time differently than before and you will really see improvements made.
So even if you are a small company, you can be much more happy in your work than if you don’t have anything at hand to improve your work.
Reason #7: Higher Net Income
As you can see, the results will be really different also in money terms. So your results will be much higher. You will increase your sales and reduce your costs with Lean Six Sigma because you focus on certain areas, you reduce step by step the time it takes to deliver the product or the mistakes you have in your process.
And as a result you will have less time needed and less resources needed to deliver the product and services to your customers so you can do more, you can get more customers without adding any manpower or investment.
And you can deliver more products and services. So your results will be much higher versus if you don’t improve your processes or you don’t apply any method in a consequent way.
Seven reasons whether you are a big or small company to use Lean Six Sigma and to improve every day, every week, every month.
You get higher profits
Your team will be much happier
Your customers will be much more delighted
You will be in-control
You work in a focused manner
You improve your processes step-by-step
It will not happen at once. Definitely not. It’s not a magic tool, Lean Six Sigma. It’s not a magic pill that you can take and everything goes away and every problems are solved. No, but you know how to focus and what to do next, to do it better and better and better.