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  #1  
Old 18th November 2008, 12:07 AM
Pazimir Pazimir is offline
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Please Help! The reason why Small-to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) don't use Six Sigma

Dear members of elsmar.com,

Sir/Madame my name is Puyan Azimi, I am right now a student at the University of Bradford and I am doing my Final Year Project, which is about Six Sigma with the title "The reason why Small-to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) don't use Six Sigma.
Sir/Madame I wanted to ask you if you could help me with your knowledge and expertise so that my work get more valuable. I have wrote at the end of this request my questions. Please could you answer the four questions. I promise you that it will not take much time. Of course if you wish, I will send you the total results at the June 2009. I will be really glad to hear from you soon and I hope that you will be one part of my work and with your help maybe we can develop something together out which will help other people and organisations.
Please could you send the answers back to me? (Personal Message or by 'Blind' email)

Thousand thanks for your time!!!

These are the questions:

Q1. Please give briefly your professional details, like who you are? Where do you work? What is your current position/title? How many years of experience do you have in the Six Sigma or Quality Management field? What are your areas of interests?





Q2. Do you see any differences in small-to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) compared to Multinational Corporations when using Six Sigma? Are they any advantages and disadvantages?





Q3. Can you identify any gaps or opportunities in the methods of Six Sigma? If not please give reasons for why?





Q4. If you share the opinion that Six Sigma is an appropriate method for SMEs, then can you describe why many SMEs donít use this powerful philosophy?




Thank you very much! By sending back this e-mail, you allow me to use this information for my Final Year Project.

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  #2  
Old 18th November 2008, 03:53 AM
reynald's Avatar
reynald reynald is offline
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Re: The reason why Small-to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) don't use Six Sigma

Welcome Puyan!
First i find it hard to agree with the assumption that Small-to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) don't use Six Sigma. Is this really a fact?

Then there comes the operational definition of 'Six-Sigma'. What do you mean by Six-Sigma, is it the DMAIC methodology, the Corporate Culture, or the drive for Operational Excellence. You see it depends on how you see Six Sigma. If you mean the Six Sigma as the 'certification given by international consulting firms', then the biggest reason why SME's dont 'use six-sigma' is that the cost is prohibitive as againsts the potential bottom line gains.
However if you mean the DMAIC method to solve problems, then i doubt if SME's dont use them at all. I think some do use it.

__________________

"Unless the CEO builds the Company, the Engineers labor in vain"

Last edited by reynald; 18th November 2008 at 04:01 AM.
Thanks to reynald for your informative Post and/or Attachment!
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  #3  
Old 18th November 2008, 10:46 AM
Pazimir Pazimir is offline
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Re: The reason why Small-to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) don't use Six Sigma

At first thank you very much for your answers...

Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by reynald View Post

Welcome Puyan!
First i find it hard to agree with the assumption that Small-to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) don't use Six Sigma. Is this really a fact?

Is it? I dont know...show me a valid resource where you can proof it?! Fact is that their are any or I couldn't find them which are based on academic bases. Of course their are journals and other staff which shows the evidence that the use or implementation of six sigma in a SME is possible...but no one the real reason why they don't use it! Mostely you get answers like eg its to expensive to train the staff, less staff (resources) than a MNC and lack of knowledge. But is this the true answer? Or are other reasons behind that? Lets say If I own a company and I think about what I can sell to the customer...shouldnt I ask him what he wants or should I choose what I guess...which maybe not fullfill the customer needs and requierments?!

Then there comes the operational definition of 'Six-Sigma'. What do you mean by Six-Sigma, is it the DMAIC methodology

As you said, its a methodology...DMAIC is nothing else than Demings cycle..which means is more a TQM tool. This is not what I am looking...this is deffinatly one part, but no.


, the Corporate Culture, or the drive for Operational Excellence.

Can you tell me the differences between Corporate Culture and Operational Excellence? I thought when I talk about the operational excellence than the corporate culture is already included? But yes, I look for the Operational Excellence.

You see it depends on how you see Six Sigma. If you mean the Six Sigma as the 'certification given by international consulting firms', then the biggest reason why SME's dont 'use six-sigma' is that the cost is prohibitive as againsts the potential bottom line gains.
However if you mean the DMAIC method to solve problems, then i doubt if SME's dont use them at all. I think some do use it.
  #4  
Old 18th November 2008, 02:32 PM
Wes Bucey's Avatar
Wes Bucey Wes Bucey is offline
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Re: The reason why Small-to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) don't use Six Sigma

FWIW:
I think you need to go back to the professor who gave you this assignment and have him review your questionnaire. The questions do not really get to the nub of the assignment, which makes an assumption NOT in evidence:
"small to medium sized enterprises do not use Six Sigma."

First, despite what the popular press might have you believe, there is no universally recognized definition of "six sigma" as a method or "tool" of quality. (many of the statistical techniques used by most folks who call them "six sigma" have been around long before the term "six sigma" was used at Motorola, which first popularized its version of Six Sigma.)

Second, to be accurate, the poll should be aimed at folks in the organizations of the size you target and needs to determine whether folks in charge are familiar with ANY definition of Six Sigma, then WHICH version and, next, if they practice that version or not. Then and only then, can you ask WHY NOT? of the ones who do not practice Six Sigma.

Ideally, the questionnaire should be essay answers, not multiple guess, and limited to a small universe of companies chosen from an industrial directory of companies in the same industry or closely allied industry (otherwise, you might introduce too much "noise" in the survey results.)

Also - you need to provide an opportunity for anonymity because many companies would consider the disclosure of such data as a breach of trade secrets.

If you MUST use a multiple choice survey, there are free websites which allow students to craft and present web-based questionnaires so the respondents can respond anonymously and the website provides the student with a running tally of the results, which the student can release in report form to the respondents at the conclusion of the questionnaire run time.

Typically, students also provide copies of the finished paper to interested questionnaire respondents.

__________________

"Few minds wear out; more rust out"
Inscribed over the entrance of Louis Pasteur School, Chicago
Christian Nestell Bovee (1820-1904) in Thoughts, Feelings and Fancies, 1857
Thanks to Wes Bucey for your informative Post and/or Attachment!
  #5  
Old 18th November 2008, 03:14 PM
Pazimir Pazimir is offline
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Re: The reason why Small-to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) don't use Six Sigma

Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by Wes Bucey View Post

FWIW:
I think you need to go back to the professor who gave you this assignment and have him review your questionnaire. The questions do not really get to the nub of the assignment, which makes an assumption NOT in evidence:
"small to medium sized enterprises do not use Six Sigma."

First, despite what the popular press might have you believe, there is no universally recognized definition of "six sigma" as a method or "tool" of quality. (many of the statistical techniques used by most folks who call them "six sigma" have been around long before the term "six sigma" was used at Motorola, which first popularized its version of Six Sigma.)

Second, to be accurate, the poll should be aimed at folks in the organizations of the size you target and needs to determine whether folks in charge are familiar with ANY definition of Six Sigma, then WHICH version and, next, if they practice that version or not. Then and only then, can you ask WHY NOT? of the ones who do not practice Six Sigma.

Ideally, the questionnaire should be essay answers, not multiple guess, and limited to a small universe of companies chosen from an industrial directory of companies in the same industry or closely allied industry (otherwise, you might introduce too much "noise" in the survey results.)

Also - you need to provide an opportunity for anonymity because many companies would consider the disclosure of such data as a breach of trade secrets.

If you MUST use a multiple choice survey, there are free websites which allow students to craft and present web-based questionnaires so the respondents can respond anonymously and the website provides the student with a running tally of the results, which the student can release in report form to the respondents at the conclusion of the questionnaire run time.

Typically, students also provide copies of the finished paper to interested questionnaire respondents.
Before your answer me you should go through what i have wrote and than made your own conclusion...this is ridiculous to say to me that I should go to my supervisor and overwork the tasks you guys don't even know what I try to find out but you doing your own conclusions...is it so difficult to answering such easy questions? I do not wane defend myself...but I guess I will get on this page no answers which I can probably use!!!I will try to explain it for a last time...this 4 questions are set for experts additionally which you aren't involved I will do questionnaire with few companies. I thought I do not must describe any step of my work. Anyway thanks that you guys take your time and gone through it!!!

But to be honest I must add that of course the titel is not very accurate, because its not the finale one...this title should give you only a guide in which direction the questions will go. Another point is that you guys have forget what a Final Year Project is, it is not a Master or Phd dissertation...its only a bachelor dissertation where I have only approximatly one to two month time to finish the litriture review...which is not very easy because of the depth of six sigma.

Last edited by Pazimir; 18th November 2008 at 03:25 PM.
  #6  
Old 18th November 2008, 04:08 PM
Jennifer Kirley's Avatar
Jennifer Kirley Jennifer Kirley is online now
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Re: The reason why Small-to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) don't use Six Sigma

Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by Pazimir View Post

Q1. Please give briefly your professional details, like who you are? Where do you work? What is your current position/title? How many years of experience do you have in the Six Sigma or Quality Management field? What are your areas of interests?
Just under 20 years in quality assurance and quality control, ranging from 35-person machine shop to multinational semiconductor corporation. My dual specialty is measuring qualitative and quantitative value, and human performance management.
Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by Pazimir View Post

Q2. Do you see any differences in small-to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) compared to Multinational Corporations when using Six Sigma? Are they any advantages and disadvantages?
Potential advantage is in managing a project with more limited personnel count and production flow than a large company would have. Disadvantages in SMEs can include parochial culture of family owned businesses, and limited resources: especially expertise to run these projects and get the needed cooperation from a team.
Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by Pazimir View Post

Q3. Can you identify any gaps or opportunities in the methods of Six Sigma? If not please give reasons for why?
Gaps include the assumption that only 6S professionals ought to give insight on how to improve a process, or be granted permission to control an improvement project. Also, in medium sized to large companies there is an elevated chance that projects will negatively impact each other without anyone noticing.
Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by Pazimir View Post

Q4. If you share the opinion that Six Sigma is an appropriate method for SMEs, then can you describe why many SMEs donít use this powerful philosophy?
I think the philosophy is powerful in people's minds, but it is a false sense of power unless they come to understand why problems are occurring...why people do what they do. I have seen the attempt fail when the Black Belt fails to get respect and support of people needed to get robust improvements done. Thus, improvements are still a people matter. Tools in 6S have been in use for generations. 6S is a nicely designed and hugely marketed package for getting QA project management done by specially trained laymen. Its methods are neither new nor unique. This subject has been exhaustively debated in this forum.

__________________

"If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail." Abraham Maslow
Thank You to Jennifer Kirley for your informative Post and/or Attachment!
  #7  
Old 18th November 2008, 04:18 PM
Pazimir Pazimir is offline
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Posts: 8
Thumbs up Re: The reason why Small-to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) don't use Six Sigma

Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by jennifer kirley View Post

just under 20 years in quality assurance and quality control, ranging from 35-person machine shop to multinational semiconductor corporation. My dual specialty is measuring qualitative and quantitative value, and human performance management. Potential advantage is in managing a project with more limited personnel count and production flow than a large company would have. Disadvantages in smes can include parochial culture of family owned businesses, and limited resources: Especially expertise to run these projects and get the needed cooperation from a team. Gaps include the assumption that only 6s professionals ought to give insight on how to improve a process, or be granted permission to control an improvement project. Also, in medium sized to large companies there is an elevated chance that projects will negatively impact each other without anyone noticing. I think the philosophy is powerful in people's minds, but it is a false sense of power unless they come to understand why problems are occurring...why people do what they do. I have seen the attempt fail when the black belt fails to get respect and support of people needed to get robust improvements done. Thus, improvements are still a people matter. Tools in 6s have been in use for generations. 6s is a nicely designed and hugely marketed package for getting qa project management done by specially trained laymen. Its methods are neither new nor unique. This subject has been exhaustively debated in this forum.
thank you very much jennifer...that is what i needed...thank you
  #8  
Old 18th November 2008, 04:27 PM
Wes Bucey's Avatar
Wes Bucey Wes Bucey is offline
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Posts: 10,934
Re: The reason why Small-to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) don't use Six Sigma

Don't make an assumption you can't provide data for. I have dealt with literally hundreds of student papers, ranging from brief reports to doctoral dissertations as the professor who assigns and grades such papers. The suggestions I put in my first post are equally applicable to any and all levels of paper.

I am definitely much more conversant with the various permutations of Six Sigma than you and probably even more than the professor who will grade this paper.

To the best of my knowledge, no one, not even Mikel Harry, has data on the penetration of Six Sigma activity throughout industry, let alone sorted by company size. Most purported studies are merely surveys of practitioners sorted without regard to accuracy in getting a true statistical cross-section of industry type and size.

If you were to do a true, comprehensive study of the narrow range you envision of company size, it would almost certainly have to acknowledge the different "flavors" of Six Sigma and differentiate in the extent to which the Six Sigma techniques were deployed within the company itself.

Getting a clarification from a professor BEFORE beginning on the paper is much more efficient than writing a paper, turning it in, and having the professor downgrade you because you didn't understand what was required. In our profession of quality practitioners, we refer to the process as Contract Review to assure all parties to the contract understand the requirements and have the capability and capacity to perform according to the terms for time, price, quantity, and quality.

__________________

"Few minds wear out; more rust out"
Inscribed over the entrance of Louis Pasteur School, Chicago
Christian Nestell Bovee (1820-1904) in Thoughts, Feelings and Fancies, 1857
Thanks to Wes Bucey for your informative Post and/or Attachment!
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