Six Sigma was a concept started in 1986 by two Motorola engineers, Bill Smith and Mikel J. Harry, who used statistical modeling and process control to minimize defects in manufacturing. Motorola trademarked the term in 1993, then Jack Welch made it central to his business strategy at General Electric in 1995. By the end of the 90s, most Fortune 500 companies had some form of Six Sigma program in place.
Even before Six Sigma, the founder of Toyota, Sakichi Toyoda, together with his son and an engineer, created the concept of “just-in-time production”. This eventually led to the Toyota Production System (TPS) and ultimately the more generic “lean manufacturing”, now known simply as “lean”. Lean is a systematic method for minimizing waste without sacrificing productivity.
The two concepts have been combined into Lean Six Sigma, which is a methodology that relies on a collaborative team effort to improve performance by systematically removing waste and reducing variation.
The historical focus of Lean Six Sigma has been manufacturing, but commercial processes can (and have) benefited from this methodology. Here are some areas that lend themselves well to a Lean Six Sigma approach:
· Lead generation
· Sales process
· Sales forecasting
· New product launch.
I personally have used Six Sigma techniques to drive sales territory optimization and revenue targets by territory.
If you would like to learn more about applying Lean Six Sigma techniques to your commercial processes, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-880-1960.
About the Author
Melanie R. Varin specializes in business process consulting for organizations across many industries. With more than 30 years of business expertise, Melanie focuses on providing clients with winning strategies for improving their sales, marketing and overall business processes from assessment to implementation.
Melanie’s certifications include: Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Silver Certified Microsoft partner and Registered Salesforce partner.
Guidelines for Making Lean Six Sigma Work in Sales https://www.isixsigma.com/operations/marketing-and-sales/guidelines-making-lean-six-sigma-work-sales/
Wikipedia articles on Six Sigma, lean manufacturing, Toyota Production System and Lean Six Sigma