Lean Six Sigma

Lean Six Sigma

Lean Six Sigma is the only discipline universally recognised and applied for the simultaneous achievement of two strategic business objectives that at first sight appear incompatible:

  • drastically cut process costs by eliminating waste and all those activities that consume time and resources without adding value
  • significantly improve the quality of company products and/or services.

This guarantees a significant impact on the company’s overall profitability.

The application of the Lean Six Sigma method offers the staff involved in the projects excellent professional development opportunities, and the know-how they acquire can consequently be taken on board by the company itself. PRAXI delivers HR training both directly on the job and in inter-company classrooms; in both cases, the training leads to Green Belt and Black Belt certification.

Lean Six Sigma is a process improvement discipline that listens to the Voice of the Customer (VOC) and seeks the most efficient way to meet the customer’s needs, limiting variability at every stage of the process, whether aimed at manufacturing a product or providing a service.

The product improvement approach is rigorous, systematic and based on the use of data and statistical analysis. A key element in the method is the continual, systematic reduction of process variability.

Lean Six Sigma is designed to integrate the two most modern, innovative methods for creating value and boosting the efficiency of company processes:

  • Lean Production: creating value by cutting time. This is the process management model devised by Toyota to provide a leaner – i.e. faster and more effective – response to the needs of both internal and external customers, while at the same time boosting business value through more agile processes
  • Six Sigma: creating value by reducing defects. The Six Sigma culture was devised and took hold in industrial groups (Motorola and General Electric) from the 1980s onwards, as a step up from the Total Quality Management approach.

Lean Six Sigma combines and complements the advantages of the two methods, thus making it possible to create value by simultaneously cutting time and reducing defects (minimisation of waste, lean management, a customer and performance oriented approach in terms of waste, errors and response speed).

Performance and process measurement, comparison with Voice of Customer (VOC), the analysis of the cause of anomalies and the implementation of improvement actions all contribute to boosting process performance, from two perspectives: the level of Quality delivered and perceived by Customers, and the reduction of defects and any waste that may derive from them.

Over the years, the Lean Six Sigma concept has been applied not only to production processes, but also to administrative and financial processes, this has helped to significantly boost competitiveness by recuperating efficiency.

In recent years, organisations such as Motorola, General Electric, Gruppo Finmeccanica, Telecom Italia, Vodafone, British Telecom, Gruppo Brembo, Citigroup, American Express, BNP Paribas, Bank of America and the Italian Health Ministry have embarked upon Lean Six Sigma projects aimed at:

  • Streamlining and reducing staff numbers, using a “smart” approach to identify activities that consume time and resources without adding value
  • Improving the quality of process outputs, thus offering clients a better service
  • Cut process crossing times and costs, by:
    • continually, systematically seeking out inefficiences in core and supporting processes
    • eliminating activities devoid of added value
    • promoting the culture of ongoing improvement by creating a corporate community of Green and Black Belt certificate holders .