Some Six Sigma methodologies are aimed at reducing the errors in a product line by looking at all the processes contributing to the completion and delivery of an item or service. Improving the effectiveness of these processes and omitting redundancies are ways to make the entire manufacturing process more efficient. This leads to shortened lead times, improvements in gross margin and more reliable production lines.
Coupling improvements in the manufacturing processes with those that govern customer service can help to deliver a more complete and profitable product or service. The Six Sigma processes that look at the customer service aspects of a business are outlined in the acronym “DMADV” which refers to Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, and Verify.
An Overview of Six Sigma’s DMADV processes:
The application of DMADVis used when a client or customer requires product improvement, adjustment, or the creation of an entirely new product or service. The application of these methods is aimed at creating a high-quality product keeping in mind customer requirements at every stage of the game. In general, the process can be outlined as:
Project leaders identify wants and needs believed to be considered most important to customers. Wants and needs are identified through the historical information, customer feedback, and other information sources.
The second part of the process is to use the defined metrics to collect data and record specifications in a way that can be utilized to help drive the rest of the process.
The result of the manufacturing process (i.e. finished product or service) is tested by internal teams to create a baseline for improvement.
The results of internal tests are compared with customer wants and needs. Any additional adjustments needed are made.
The last stage in the methodology is continuous. While the product or service is being released and customer reviews are coming in, the processes may be adjusted.
The applications of these methodologies are generally rolled out over the course of many months or even years. The end result is a product or service that is completely aligned with customer expectations, wants and needs.
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