Real-World Quality Management
Organizations all over the world are increasingly turning to the tried-and-true pillars of quality control and quality management as they strive to perfect their operations and maintain their competitiveness. Long at the centre of best practises for quality management, Lean Six Sigma (LSS) has achieved great success across a range of sectors and crucial business processes. It is a data-driven business management methodology that aims to eliminate waste and maximise the value of each stage of the lifecycle of a product or service in order to improve process excellence and product quality. A recent study found that almost 20% of organisations intend to use cross-functional quality teams and processes in design, manufacturing, and service. Lean Six Sigma practitioners as well as those of other quality management specialties have enjoyed years of success. Here are a few instances of key businesses and industries using LSS to help them achieve operational excellence.
Improving the Quality of the Supply Chain and Manufacturing
The best examples of how Lean Six Sigma can help integrate quality into the product development process come from manufacturing companies. For example, the 3M company recently used LSS concepts in the design and production of compressed natural gas systems in North America. They combined cutting-edge materials, technology, and Lean Six Sigma expertise to enhance the general quality and dependability of their natural gas tanks, making them 30% lighter and with 10% more storage capacity than competing tank models.
Lean Six Sigma is being used by 3M to improve manufacturing, the supply chain, and even customer service in order to meet long-term financial and customer objectives. Manufacturers gain from not only providing customers with higher quality goods that consequently have fewer flaws that need to be fixed, but also from their ability to quickly fix any issues that do arise once the goods are in the hands of the final user. A key element of this ongoing strategy is quality management.
Reducing Pharmaceutical Product Defects
Companies have an obligation to make sure that the development and testing of products that have an impact on the health and safety of common consumers are done in a way that minimises risk to almost zero. This group includes pharmaceutical producers, and they are subject to strict legal requirements to guarantee the security of their goods. According to a recent LinkedIn article, companies can achieve this level of confidence in their processes to the point where they are almost error-free by using Lean Six Sigma principles. LSS is used by pharmaceutical companies to implement end-to-end product testing, anticipate and eliminate errors throughout the development and testing lifecycles, and ultimately improve product quality and adhere to regulatory requirements. LSS enables them to reduce the possibility of dispensing contaminated or ineffective medications, which could have detrimental effects on consumers’ health.
Enhanced Software Products
Software quality assurance (QA) engineers play a crucial role in making sure that software products adhere to strict quality standards and perform as intended. Training in the Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL) is a requirement for those working in the software development and testing industry. However, measures can be taken earlier in the development lifecycle to boost quality right away. Lean Six Sigma can help businesses produce goods more quickly and with higher quality by reducing waste and pointless cycles. Using value stream analysis to find and eliminate non-value added activities and developing a process to get customer input and buy-in on requirements before development work starts are two of the most significant areas that can be improved with LSS.