What exactly is Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is a proven approach to solving business problems, therefore improving customer satisfaction. Six Sigma refers to a measurement of the occurrence of errors or failures. When a process is designed and executed well, the likelihood of an error is minimal. A “Six Sigma” company knows which processes are critical to achieving their goals AND knows exactly how they are executing those critical processes – even before the results are posted. They’ve done the work to understand what customers really value and can measure how they’re delivering against those expectations.

What type(s) of business(es) benefit most from a Six Sigma analysis?

All businesses benefit from Six Sigma; if a business has customers – internal or external – that business wants to deliver what the customer expects, values and is willing to pay for. The best results in Six Sigma are delivered by companies where the management team is passionate about the customer and is committed to improving performance.

What is your process for analyzing a business and recommending change?

My first step is to listen to my client and find out what the problem is. What is the client trying to solve? Is it a need for fewer defects?  Is it a need for increased productivity?   Is it a need for more new customers or better retention of existing customers? Then I spend time with members of the team charged with fixing the problem. I’ve found that the knowledge to solve the problem is there already, it just isn’t accessible for whatever reason. So I work with the team to solve the problem, using Six Sigma tools and methods, building the solution and the new process that sustains the improvements.

How long does your process typically take?

It depends on the problem and the capacity and capabilities of the team.

Do you charge hourly or by the project? What are those charges?

I charge by the project, and again, it depends. Some clients have me on retainer – that fee is a monthly fee based on the hours we mutually agree to.  Other clients hire me for a particular problem – that fee is based on an assessment of the number of days (I use ‘client days’) required for the project.

What does “CTQ” stand for?

Critical to Quality. For me it says everything about the way I operate – my definition of quality is based on my clients’ definition of quality – what is critical to their delight and satisfaction. It is a Six Sigma tool and exercise that I lead the team through.  Who are their customers and what is most important to them?

What differentiates you from other Six Sigma consultants?

I’m most interested in helping my clients tap into their resources and capabilities. I will never know more than the client about their business. I do know a lot about how to make a process better – so the outputs and results and profit are maximized.  I’m sure that most Six Sigma consultants have that same approach.  I have more experience in the sales/market share/revenue side of the equation than most Six Sigma consultants.

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