Six Sigma

Essay by markcamUniversity, Bachelor's April 2007

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Originally developed by Motorola, Inc. and Allied Signal and adopted by General Electric Co. in 1995, thousands of firms now use six sigma methodologies. Six-sigma is simply a data- driven approach for eliminating defects from any process. Discuss.

The history of Six-SigmaThe roots of Six Sigma as a measurement standard go back to Carl Frederick Gauss (1777-1885) who introduced the concept of normal curve. As history would seem to have it, the beginnings of Six Sigma really come from 1979 when an exasperated Motorola executive named Art Sundry said, at a meeting, "The real problem at Motorola is that our quality stinks!" . Apparently, this statement led to series of activities that in turn led to the discovery of the crucial correlation between higher quality and lower development costs in manufacturing products of all kinds. The problem was that quality initiatives simply cost too much money. What Motorola realized is that if these initiatives were done right, improving quality would actually reduce costs.

Motorola decided to take the approach that high quality products should actually cost less to produce and reasoned that the highest quality producer should be the lowest cost producer.

What is Six-SigmaSix-Sigma is a management philosophy developed by Motorola that emphasizes setting extremely high objectives, collecting data, and analysing results to a fine degree as a way to reduce defects in products and services. Six-Sigma is a customer based approach realising that defects are expensive. Fewer defects means lower costs because if a customers experiences a defective product he will go trough a long process in order to get a refund or a replacement and because of this the customer will not be loyal to the companies products; through re-search we know that a dissatisfied customer will tell from 10 to 13 people about his bad experience,