How to use the six sigma in supply chain? thanks



How to use the six sigma in supply chain managament? Is there anybody can give me some example or suggestion? thanks

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Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
As I recall some of your other posts, you have been looking for specific answers to statistics questions, some of which have involved Six Sigma.

Perhaps you can help us help you more effectively if you outline the situation which is engendering these questions and your ultimate goal regarding that situation, rather than "nibbling around the edges."

Simply stated, "Six Sigma" is not some monolithic method of doing business, but rather a descriptive term for the process of using several long standing quality "tools" to assess and quantify a process or group of processes which make up a system. Thus said, Six Sigma people may tackle Supply Chain problems, but their approach will not be materially different from that of any experienced manager who knows how to do root cause investigations and perform rudimentary statistical operations. Some may argue that Six Sigma focuses too much on short term results. Be that as it may, the basic process of investigating a problem is the same whether someone uses the term "Six Sigma" or not.

Bev D

Heretical Statistician
Staff member
Super Moderator
Michael - I would agree with Wes concerning more details about your situation - this will help us more apecifically answer your question and keep the thread from disintegrating to yet another debate on the merits of Six Sigma.

I would add that while his description of Six Sigma as essentially a good root cause investigative technique is adequate to describe the core of Six Sigma, it is not a complete description and this gap may be where your question lies:

Some organizations 'do six sigma' in the supply chain by simply leading problem solving efforts at the supplier location, using supplier personnel as team members.

Other organizations provide six sigma training for their suppliers (either in supplier only classes or integrating supplier personnel into their in-house classes with their own personnel). These suppleir 'students' get projectsand are certified as belts by the customer organization and then expected to continue a six sigma approach wihtin their organization. 'payment' for the training is varied - some is free, based on the requirement of 2 projects related to the customer providing the training; some customers requrie a nominal fee and others will set up a 50-50 savings split on the projects...

Occassionally the customer organization will 'mandate' a Six sigma program and/or balck belt certified personnel for their key suppliers. Although this seems to be going to out of style...


Dear Bev and Wes,

I am a six sigma black belt in my current company. So I have some special questions about the six sigma area in our process.

And also because my company implement six sigma only several month, I think for me, there are so many area that I am not very sure. I want to get help from others. I do appreciate that.

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