What happens when two companies with two distinct and effective quality management systems (QMSs) are merged? Ideally, the two systems are integrated to form a new system containing the most effective elements of each and shedding those that are redundant.
At the time of their 1999 merger, both AlliedSignal and Honeywell had years invested in their respective quality systems. Nevertheless, management would have to face the Herculean task of combining the two.
In 1994, Rick Schroeder, AlliedSignal's vice president of operations, brought his Six Sigma experience from Motorola to his new employer. By 1999, AlliedSignal was five years into its Six Sigma program, which headed the company's effort to capture growth and productivity opportunities more rapidly and efficiently by reducing defects and waste in all of its business processes--resulting in a $600 million annual savings.
Meanwhile, Honeywell had developed its own QMS--the Honeywell Quality Value (HQV) program--an assessment process based on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria.
AlliedSignal's Six Sigma efforts had developed a strong reputation, both internally and externally, for accelerating improvements in all of the company's processes, products and services and reducing the cost of poor quality through waste elimination and defect and variation reduction. Nevertheless, the merger between AlliedSignal and Honeywell--or more accurately, between the two companies' QMSs--would reshape that Six Sigma program. Its new name would be Six Sigma Plus.
The QMS of the melded companies, known as Honeywell International, is driven by Six Sigma Plus. The company now employs more than 120,000 people who work in 95 countries and offer aerospace products and services, electronic materials, home and building control, industrial control, performance polymers and chemicals, turbine technologies, and transportation products.
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