October  - 2015
Because times are changing, processes are advancing, and needs are intensifying, more and more companies face challenges with their efficiency and profitability.

Both lean manufacturing and six sigma introduce solutions to these dilemmas without putting much strain on a firm's energy and resources.

I know what you're thinking: Why should I use these ideas in my business?

The following article explores what lean manufacturing and Six Sigma are and how they can help revolutionize your business. 
Patrick S. "Coach" Frazier

Patrick S. Frazier, CBC
The Coaching Authority
(574) 286-1123

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People Decisions

People challenges impact your happiness and can be either a source of energy or an emotional drain. People issues can include conflicts with a partner, a customer with too large a piece of your business, a supplier delaying your success, a key employee or two that's disrupting the rest of the organization's effectiveness, or challenges at home. Or you might simply lack enough employees to serve your customers, though I caution executives to avoid tossing employees at problems.

Until you settle these relationship issues, they'll continue to consume a tremendous amount of emotional energy, making it difficult to focus on the other three main decisions. Focus on getting the right people doing the right things with clear accountability and metrics.

Got People Challenges? Yes we can help with that!

Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma
Both lean manufacturing and six sigma are management philosophies that help a company eliminate wastefulness in manufacturing and other types of industry. But what are they? 
Lean manufacturing

Lean manufacturing has been proven to significantly aid in the streamlining of operations and reduction of waste. It welcomes the concept of continuously raising value added business activities or reducing the so-called seven wastes: transportation, motion, overproduction, inventory, over processing, scrap and defects, and waiting time.

In the increasingly competitive global market, lean manufacturing provides firms with the ability to meet faster turnaround times, higher quality, and lower prices.

Here are some advantages of lean manufacturing:

- Lean manufacturing strengthens production processes
- Lean manufacturing significantly lower the chain of wasteful activities and resources
- Lean manufacturing increases flexibility by improving layouts
- Lean manufacturing reduces floor space needs and inventory dramatically
- Lean manufacturing introduces and implements more appropriate and up-to-date delivery systems.

Six Sigma

The six sigma management philosophy, like lean manufacturing, is also tailored to reduce waste, but it is more focused on eliminating waste linked with the production method or equipment defects.

The tools under six sigma are used by firms to further improve and develop a company's products and systems, via the consolidation of engineering, business, and statistical data. As with lean manufacturing, six sigma can also be applied to any form of corporation or organization, whether engaged in the services, marketing, design, sales, or production industries.

Some advantages delivered by the six sigma management tool:
- Six sigma improves and boost a firm's systems and products
- Six sigma reduces the chain of wastes
- Six sigma lessens costs by around 50% via self-financed methods
- Six sigma easily adapts to changing customer tastes
- Six sigma drives growth using the internal resources available to it

What both philosophies do is help firms dramatically increase their productivity by around 75% to 125% because they ensure that no time, energy, or resource is wasted in any of the processing levels. To put it in simple terms, both lean manufacturing and six sigma are bent on nipping problems at the bud, or, even nipping problems before they occur.

A vigilant approach to business is what companies need nowadays to be able to cope with the fast changing times. Sure, while some systems have worked for us for decades now, it wouldn't hurt to try something that is relatively new and proven to be so much better at delivering positive results.

Four Critical Decisions facing every business leader:

Are all stake holders happy and engaged? Would you rehire all of them?

Can you simply state your firm's strategy? Is it driving sustainable growth?

Are all the processes in your company running smoothly without drama? Are they driving industry leading profitability?

Do you have consistent sources of cash to fuel growth?