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Four Ways Six Sigma Can Help Your Business Be More Profitable in 2017

By Sean M. Hugo, CPA

Every business has its own strategy, its own niche and corner in the market. While it is true that each business has its own uniqueness that must be catered to, there is some uniformity allowed. There might not be a one-size-fits-all approach to running a small business, but there are some fundamentals that can be extremely useful when applied. 

One such way is through Six Sigma. It may sound like some sort of intimidating business jargon but the truth is, it has extreme value for businesses of any size. 

So What Exactly is Six Sigma?

Essentially, Six Sigma is a set of statistical tools that act as a lens through which hidden problems can be identified and root causes uncovered for discovered problems. It is crucial in better equipping leadership to think through tough issues, and how to move forward.

It also provides the metrics required to reduce variability in process execution so as to enable on-going improvement in competitiveness and manufacturing and business operations. This helps maximize profit while still retaining efficiency, which is crucial for any business operation regardless of size. 

A recent post discussed the 4 Ways Six Sigma Can Help Your Business Be More Profitable, here is are some key takeaways from the article to note for future business strategy ideas and how Six Sigma can help.

1. Increased Employee Satisfaction

Many businesses often overlook employee satisfaction as a factor in profitability. But the hard truth is, satisfied employees are instrumental in for business to succeed. Using Six Sigma is a way to create increased trust and satisfaction in employee-employer relations, which is also crucial for success.

Using Six Sigma will essentially take the guesswork out of many cumbersome HR processes, and increase satisfaction and efficiency. For example, qualifications for overtime, vacation and other company regulations as well as reconciling payment errors are all easily eliminated by using Six Sigma. 

2. A Refined Competitive Edge

A business cannot thrive without some sort of competitive edge in the marketplace, especially in customer-facing activities. Performance in these aspects will obviously have a large impact on revenue and overall cost structure.

While each customer encounter will vary of course, "Six sigma recognizes that having too many variables within customer-facing procedures can be as detrimental as it is in back-end processes." 

The tools will help identify gaps where standardization is needed, as well as providing valuable insight on where improvement is needed across customer relations. This will not only drastically improve performance, efficiency but also provide a far-reaching level of consistency. 

To take it one step further, this data can be leveraged to craft marketing strategies that highlight performance and gain a refined and informed competitive edge in the market.

3. Cost Reduction

Improving standardization, efficiency and consistency will have a strong impact on cost reduction. Defective and problematic processes are a drain on resources and revenue. The only way to combat this is to pinpoint which operations need improvement to improve profitability.

"At the core of the Six Sigma methodology is its process improvement framework which consists of the following five steps: Define, Measure, Analyze, Implement and Control (DMAIC)."

This process has been statistically proven to reduce problems and defects. Implementing Six Sigma correctly to improve processes across the board could result in a transformation that is truly cost-effective.

4. Productivity at its Best

At its heart, Six Sigma is a tool to achieve productivity in each facet of a business. Businesses often have difficulty identifying how best to utilize its resources and people to really achieve maximum profitability.

Six Sigma is able to show exactly where low productivity is occurring, and what the root cause is. The methodological approach is best equipped to help business owners find underlying causes for issues that might be difficult to discover otherwise and how best to address it.

Ultimately, Six Sigma is a powerful tool to use, for both large and small businesses.

Six Sigma will provide valuable and powerful insights that will drive strategy going forward, and help your business improve in both the long-term and short-term to provide maximum profitability. 

To learn more about Six Sigma and how it can help your business, please contact us.