Beyond the Tax Return: How KatzAbosch is Helping Clients Implement Lean Six Sigma Methodologies in Their Businesses

 

In today’s marketplace, the majority of organizations are looking to do two things: lower
costs and maintain their competitive advantage. Lean Six Sigma is a process that can help
achieve those goals when implemented correctly by improving efficiencies and eliminating
waste.

In the first of several posts on Lean Six Sigma, I want to start with some basic context and
definitions before we dive into what we’re doing here at KatzAbosch to help our clients
succeed and grow.

What is Lean?
Lean Manufacturing or simply “Lean” is a popular methodical approach to streamlining
both manufacturing and service processes by eliminating waste while continuing to deliver
value to customers. Waste, in this case, is identified as a step or action that is not required
to complete a process or a product in the case of manufacturing. At the completion of a
successful Lean implementation only the steps required to produce a product or service
that is satisfactory to the customer remain.

Many of the principles were first used in Henry Ford’s assembly line and more recently
recognized when Lean Management Philosophy and Practices were introduced into the
Toyota Production System.

What is Six Sigma?
Six Sigma is simply a method of efficiently solving a problem. It is named after a statistical
concept where a process only produces 3.4 defects per million opportunities. The desired
goal when implementing Six Sigma is that processes not only encounter less defects, but
do so consistently.

Motorola introduced Six Sigma processes to its organization in 1986. Since then, it has
saved organizations billions of dollars across virtually every industry.

So Lean Six Sigma is…
Lean Six Sigma is a combination of the Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma processes. Over
30 years ago, synergies between the two techniques were identified by consultants familiar
with both and they began to use the different tools of Six Sigma, that are focused on
improving quality, in combination with Lean, which is focused on removing waste.

Who Can Use Lean Six Sigma?
Because of its origin, a common misconception is that Lean Six Sigma can only be used for
manufacturing. With the advancement of technology it is easy to see how it can be applied
there. However, Lean Six Sigma can be applied to any industry or business process.
Doctor’s offices, accounting firms and other service industries have used Lean Six Sigma to
streamline their processes, eliminate waste and improve the customer experience.

The Lean Six Sigma Principles can also be applied to any size company. In some instances,
small and medium sized businesses can achieve the same success as large companies and
they can move faster because a smaller number of people, fewer resources and less
bureaucracy are involved.

Lean and Six Sigma complement each other. Lean accelerates Six Sigma, delivering greater
results than what would typically be achieved by using one processed alone. Results of a
successful application will be increased revenue, reduced costs and improved
collaboration. By combining these two methods an organization gets a comprehensive tool
set to increase the speed and effectiveness of any process. It applies to processes of any
size organization and across all industries from a factory assembly line to the flow of
paperwork at a law firm.

Stay tuned…next in our series we’ll explore “Getting Started: Lean Six Sigma in Your
Business”

Interested in learning more about Lean Six Sigma? Contact Claudia R. Wolter at
cwolter@katzabosch.com

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