What should be done to create desirable growth in profit?

Purpose of Six Sigma is to reduce defective features as low as 3.4 and fewer per million opportunities. Usually case studies of big Organizations like GE, Motorola, Honeywell, ABB and the likes are cited as examples to elaborate Six Sigma. Question often arises to an entrepreneur of Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) category that whether Six Sigma is meant only for big Organizations. Resources or infrastructures required for the deployment of Six Sigma requires dedicated management and technical professionals in the form of Black-Belts, software, finance, review mechanism; and for big organisations: Academies like GE Academy, Motorola University etc. of the stature as big as an University. SMEs find it difficult to invest in such level of resources. It is as good as concluding like invest more for Six Sigma to get more return.

All processes in an organisation create defects. That means lot of our invested money is used for creating defects without our knowledge and money is also being used regularly for the disposition of these defects. Big industries may afford money to waste towards this direction, but truly speaking it is difficult for Micro, Small and Medium scale industries to afford such wasteful expenditure of defect creation and disposition. Only solution to prevent such sheer wastage of money is to keep reducing defect and waste level though acting on the opportunities of defects and waste – and this is the core purpose of Six Sigma.

It is important that Domain experts in their respective fields have to be more knowledgeable to keep discovering opportunities for defects and waste and acting on the same. This is a platform to create desirable growth in their profit. Conventional DMAIC and Lean Six Sigma initiatives are the most suitable representatives for this Platform. Experiences of this platform will make the domain experts to design and launch new product (and associated process) in the market with fewer defects and waste level from the birth and this will create desirable growth in the revenue line with protected bottom-line in terms of savings and cash flow. This is done through Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) which is the second platform of Six Sigma.

Scope of DMAIC and Lean Six Sigma remain in manufacturing, transactional and service provision processes, but scope of DFSS remain in design and development processes.

It is not necessary for SMEs to make big investment to create these two platforms for deploying Six Sigma. Six Sigma deployment may have humble beginning with small investment and can grow in the organisation as more and more benefits are progressively realised. However a systematic top down approach strongly linked to business outcomes is needed to realise tremendous benefits that Six Sigma has to offer.

How can we predict the desirable growth in profit?

Answer to this lies in the questions itself. If the Business/entrepreneur is confident about their product, processes & customers, they can predict with certainty. Uncertainty in defect and waste level is one of the inputs to fail prediction of delivery to the customers. Known defect and waste level can be handled with extra inventory of man, machine, material and money. Risks in doing business are another source for poor predictability. De-risking following Six Sigma approach are regular part in all the three approaches- viz. DMAIC, Lean Six Sigma and DFSS. Hence, key issues towards ensuring predictability in the desirable growth in profit can be summarised as: 1. Confidence of Business/ entrepreneur on his customers, products and processes; 2. Previously demonstrated performance of Business to match with the plan; and 3. De-risking ability. Six Sigma with its appropriate blend of Statistics, Technology and Management can address all these issues to predict the attainment of desirable growth in profit.

How can we keep attaining predictable and desirable growth in profit on sustained basis?

All the stakeholders, those who are in the central as well as in the periphery to the business, play pivotal role for sustainability. Sustainability requires all the stakeholders to remain attached with their stakes in the business in different ways. To give few examples of different form of stakes with the Business, a few examples can be cited: such as customers will always remain satisfied; legal obligations will remain complied with; employee constantly will remain competent and motivated; Supplier will remain profitable; society will keep reaping benefits from the business; intellectual community will keep getting new ways to do business; design collaborators will always show interest to work with the business; competitors will keep envying the business… and as a result the owner will be able to sustain the predictable and desirable growth in profit. No initiative other than Six Sigma can balance such apparently contradicting numerous requirements of multiple stakeholders. Six Sigma addresses overall sensitivity to all the stakeholders and this is key for any business to ensure sustainable, predictable and desirable growth in profit following the laws of the lands.