Globalization, changing economic conditions, declining profit margins, and customer demands have had significant impacts, especially to manufacturing industries. The six sigma concept has increasingly being adopted to improve quality and enhance production. In its relatively short history, six sigma has significantly evolved (Vendrame et al., 2017). While it started as a quality enhancement strategy, six sigma has advanced into a commercial paradigm that helps companies set up the vision, operational philosophy, and measurable goals (Lighter, 2011). This paper will explore three main six sigma metrics, including time, cost, and quality.
In time metric, the amount of time used in producing a product or a service is gauged. In a manufacturing plant, for instance, this metric also factors in the amount of processing time verses the ideal process time. Various areas that the time metric measures include lead time for processes, process completion times, and the activity ratio. With such a key measuring component, the time metric helps a firm determine the actual time it takes for a product or service to be made (Vendrame et al., 2017).
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The cost metric is another critical element of six sigma. This metric determines the cost to operate a process. The metric also determines if the process is costly or fair. The cost component tends to measure labor, savings, and cost per product (Surange, 2015). In a production company, this metric helps an organization measure the amount of labor the material and overhead required to produce a service or a product.
Quality is the third key metric in six sigma. Through this metric, an organization can quantify issues related to the process errors that may require revisions. Through this metric, businesses improve customer experiences. The component also helps firms measure the ratio of work finished that is accurate and on-par with the industry guidelines. Through the quality metric, firms can effectively reduce errors linked with the process.
According to a study by Surange (2015), Cp and Cpk are potential and actual process capability metrics. In quality matters, defects per unit and the defects per million opportunities are the most used metric in this case. While the defects per unit tend to capture the percentage of units not meeting the specifications, defects per million opportunities tend to facilitate direct comparison between the firm’s processes with varying complexity levels. For instance, assembling a car engine is much complicated compared to assembling a car’s body (Surange, 2015).
Leviticus 19:35-36 talks about trading fairly. In this verse, the word of God expounds much on the importance of using the correct metrics that ensures justice and, in most cases, organizational performance. An analysis of this verse indicates that God prohibits using falsely measuring weight, length, and quality. In verse 36, people who show forth an upright character when it comes to measurements denote a right and integrity. Such are also blameless. In this case, people should have just weights, just ephah and hin where buyers should get what they pay for.
Advanced technology, sophisticated customer demands, and industry changes have affected the way businesses are done. Nowadays, old business models are no longer working. The six sigma is currently adopted worldwide, especially in the manufacturing sector, aiming to enhance product and quality performance. As explored above, six sigma is a set of techniques and tools geared towards the process improvement. The three above discussed six sigma metrics include quality, time, and cost.
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Lighter, D. E. (2011). Advanced performance improvement in health care: Principles and methods. Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.
Surange, V. (2015). Implementation of Six Sigma to Reduce Cost of Quality: A Case Study of Automobile Sector. Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention, 15(2), 282-294. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11668-015-9927-6
Vendrame, M., Woldt, J., & da Silva, I. (2017). Six Sigma methodology advantages for small- and medium-sized enterprises: A case study in the plumbing industry in the United States. Advances in Mechanical Engineering, 9(10), 168781401773324. https://doi.org/10.1177/1687814017733248