Six Sigma tools and methods focus on reducing process variation.

Eliminate errors & defects… Minimize variation…

Six Sigma Metrics

Process Capability and Defects per Million Opportunities

Is 99% good enough? Let’s review some examples:

  • 99% Good (3.8 Sigma)
    • 20,000 lost items of mail per hour;
    • 5,000 incorrect surgical procedures per week;
    • Two short or long landings at most major airports each day;
    • 200,000 wrong drug prescriptions each year.
  • 99.99966% Good (6 Sigma)
    • Seven items of mail lost per hour;
    • 1.7 incorrect surgical procedures per week;
    • One short or long landing every five years;
    • 68 wrong prescriptions per year.

Cost of poor Quality: hidden costs and inefficiencies

  • Credit Notes
  • Returns
  • Warranties
  • Scrap
  • Lost sales and revenue
  • Unsatisfied and lost customers
  • Inefficiencies
  • Long cycles (production, delivery, collection)
  • Poor asset utilization
  • Inspections
  • Excess inventories
  • Expediting costs
  • Re-work

Up to 20-30 % of the revenue is lost in inefficiencies in a 3 sigma company.

Six Sigma is a business mindset

  • Continuously strive for
    • world class levels of quality;
    • highest level of customer satisfaction.
  • Prevent defects/errors from occurring by
    • understanding and reducing process variation and
    • centering performance on target
      • enabling people operators to do it right the first time
  • Improve processes and sustain improvements by using
    • process measures (data) and
    • statistical tools
      • in a team-based, methodical, systems approach



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