Six Sigma and Small Business – A Winning Combination

Mention the Six Sigma process and what almost immediately comes to mind is a proficiency process for Big Business to implement.  But aren’t small businesses also vulnerable to costly errors in time and asset management, customer service and accounting mistakes?  So, what’s the problem?

Cost is the biggest obstacle in deciding to implement the Six Sigma process into a small business entity. Unfortunately, most Six Sigma consulting firms try using a one-size-fits-all mentality when it comes to implementation and its associated costs.

Luckily, there are options available for small businesses to take advantage of the Six Sigma process and reap the same revenue-increasing benefits.

Small Scale Focus

Small and medium-sized businesses must seek out either Six Sigma consultants or consulting firms with the knowledge and know-how to implement the process in a cost effective manner for the smaller entity. Many small businesses are family-run, and would best benefit from one or two people being trained in the Six Sigma process and then have them keep their certification level current with ongoing Six Sigma training .

Part of their work load will be implementing the necessary changes discovered during the Six Sigma process and making sure all are being employed and used effectively.

Selective Auditing

Another avenue available is to hire Six Sigma trained and certified consultants to come in on a yearly or bi-annual basis to selectively audit the weaker or less productive areas of the small business. Obviously, the stronger more productive operations are in as much need of the Six Sigma system, and thus the consultant can focus on the business areas where revenue generation is lacking or nonexistent.

The certified consultant can then explain the needed changes to the company owner and employees in order to ensure an effective transition.

Every company, whether large or small, can greatly benefit and improve their bottom line by adopting and implementing the Six Sigma process. The scope and breadth of the Six Sigma system can be tailored or designed to accommodate any business entity and should not be discarded because of the higher price of across-the-board implementation costs.

The beauty of the Six Sigma system is its adaptability and flexibility; this does carry over in to its actual execution into any company’s business model. The small or medium-sized business owner must be persistent in finding a Six Sigma consulting firm with the vision and insight to employ this application on a small scale.

Originally developed by Bill Smith at Motorola in 1986, the Six Sigma Training program was created using some of the most innovative quality improvement methods from the preceding six decades. The term "Six Sigma" is derived from a field of statistics known as process capability. The term 6 Sigma refers to the ability of manufacturing processes to produce a very high proportion of output within specification. Processes that operate with "six sigma quality" over the short term are assumed to produce long-term defect levels below 3.4 defects per million opportunities. Six Sigma's goal is to improve overall processes to that level of quality or better.