Why Six Sigma Works Against the Recession

The Six Sigma method works because it forces companies to look at their business through critical eyes and via a trained team of professionals, make a difference in daily processes. Many corporations use these 6 simple Six Sigma steps in their everyday processes.

During the recent recession, many businesses have been forced to close their doors due to the problems of the economy, which seemingly cannot be helped as the outlook continues to look worse.  However, the Six Sigma method allows companies to identify their problems, analyze them, and establish a process for coordinating with the leaders of the company to see what can be done to improve upon them in order to make better products faster.

Step two is analyzing and identifying the process that impacted the problem:  namely revenue is down due to the recession.  Listing data as it currently stands will help you analyze it:  how much is lost?  Mapping out the entire list of business processes is a popular way to see how the recession has affected a business. 

Step three develops solutions. Generating possible solutions in hopes of new business when an economy is on a downtrend seems impossible but it is possible with Six Sigma.  Selecting a solution is difficult, and as the recession grows more businesses are going bankrupt.  Solutions are tough in a rough economy but the following tools might help; brainstorming ideas, fishbone diagrams, and cause and effect diagrams.  Looking at trends and paying attention to markets will help a struggling company through an uncertain economy.

Step four is to implement a solution. A solution has to be able to counteract the recession.  Perhaps the business could expand their product line to something the consumer will need instead of want.  This opens the door for expansion on a new item or can expand on an existing item.  When times get tougher, consumers pay more attention to what they spend their money on and the value they are getting for that money.  It may seem counter-intuitive, but spending a little more money on the quality of your goods and services may help you to sell more in the long run.  This is a risky move, but it has been shown to work.

Step five is to gather data on the solution did the expansion work? Why or why not? Analyze the data gathered to see if sales did go up or if they went down.  Gathering data is important because this shows if any of the changes have made any difference in your company’s bottom line.  Finally, step six adopts the solutions, implements training if necessary, and has verifiable evidence that the steps taken have worked.  Continual support is needed when implementing the Six Sigma method but clearly the method can work, even simplified for companies facing a rough time in an uncertain economy.