Where is the Customer in the Six Sigma Process?
What people don’t realize is that the driving force behind the need for these changes is the specifications of the customers themselves; therefore, it is absolutely true to say that the customer is at the center of every Six Sigma step.
Improved bottom lines and reduced operating costs are secondary benefits when the real goal of achieving the highest levels of customer satisfaction is met.
It is important to remember that in business, the leading companies, and those that have always remained at the top, are those that are committed to their customers and see the need to improve their satisfaction levels.
This means that for every business, satisfying customer needs must be the ultimate goal and driving force. It not only increases revenue, but also secures the future of the company.
good for all business
Because the great objective of Six Sigma is to improve customer satisfaction, it is an applicable system in both service-focused and product-focused businesses.
The system was developed within the manufacturing sector, specifically by Motorola, and focused on improving business processes.
Since then, the evolution of concepts and methodologies within Six Sigma has meant that the system has been applied to many different companies in various industries.
While other process improvement methods may focus on standards set before implementation, Six Sigma relies on innovation throughout the entire process.
Emphasis is placed on continuously improving processes, rather than stopping improvements once a certain level is reached. The constant need for improvement means that customer input is required at every stage of the process so that the end result best meets their needs.
This approach has meant that companies that incorporate Six Sigma correctly make better profits and stay ahead of the competition.
Meet customer expectations
It is important to remember that we live in a very competitive world, in which customers take a more critical look than ever at the products and services they use.
All customers want to know that they have received value for their money.
Six Sigma concepts that focus on customer needs mean that companies get a good idea of what customers would like to see built into a product or service. Development managers can include customer source information and quantifications of those inputs during the design phase.
It is important to use quantification measures, as many times you will find that customer input can be very vague.
For example, you might see terms like “best quality” or “low cost,” but without parameters to quantify these terms can’t be used correctly. The basic needs of customers are understood through the quantification process.
Remember that the Six Sigma process goes beyond initial product development. It is also necessary to focus on the correct management of after-sales customer service.
This step closes the gap between the customer and the company, allowing the company to develop vital loyalty within its customer base. A strong and loyal customer base, of course, means an assured stream of revenue for the business, even in a competitive world.
Also, word of mouth publicity occurs and the business grows even more.
Due to its use of customer feedback, six sigma create a win-win situation.
The business benefits from lower operating costs, while the customers benefit from the improved quality of the service or product that business offers.