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Integrating Six Sigma with ISO 9001, TQM and Lean Manufacturing

What No one tells you about Six Sigma Approach

Six Sigma approach aims to peerless supreme quality control and quality assurance methodologies by continuously improving the process focusing towards prevention of defects. Moreover, another problem solving approach that relies on statistical approach leading to huge profit margins along with maximum employee engagement. Hence, iso 9001 and Six Sigma acts like a backbone for any organization.

How ISO 9001 Works?

ISO 9001 is a systematic quality management technique that works on eight guiding principles which are Customer Focus Approach, Leadership commitment, People Engagement, Efficient Process Approach, Systematic Management Approach, Continuous Improvement, Evidence based factual decision making, Healthy Supplier relations.

What the Heck Is Lean Manufacturing?

Lean manufacturing tends to achieve zero waste generation motive by making use of its core tools and systematic techniques like Kaizen, Visual Workplace control. Statistical data analysis and hypothesis tests are not being made up in Lean manufacturing as they are core tools.

A Brief Insight about TQM

TQM stands for Total Quality Management refers to the production manufacturing with zero defects meeting all the defined process parameters and precise premium quality guaranteed every time the product has been manufactured. There are number of tools involved in TQM in which few are Benchmarking, failure analysis, PDCA cycle (Plan Do Check Act) cycle, Process management, final product design control and statistical process control.

Connecting ISO 9001 and Six Sigma

As stated previously, ISO 9001 is nothing but a quality improvement management strategy whose entire focus is to ensure the products have been manufactured on the set standards as defined by ISO 9001 clauses. ISO 9001 also emphasis on quality improvement but it has much wider scope than ISO 9001. ISO 9001 cannot be used as a statistical approach to solve a problematic defect. ISO 9001 helps in identification of the problem and not in identifying the solution or fixing the actual root cause. In its comparison  one step ahead in terms of quality improvement. Six Sigma not only identifies the actual root cause but also provides appropriate solutions for it. Consider helping hand when it comes to ISO 9001 certification or ISO 9001 implementation steps.

How Six Sigma Helps to Achieve Objectives set by ISO 9001?

Here are some really helpful ways through which Six Sigma can assist achieving ISO 9001 objectives:

  • Reduction in Defects

A significant amount of defect reduction has been allowed throughout the process execution leading unmatched quality outcomes and reduction in defects generation which is ultimately the objectives of both.

  • Rock Solid Verification of the Process

Both the management philosophies tends to define, control, verify and improve the overall process leading to reduction in defects generation.

  • Problem Indication

ISO 9001 and Six Sigma both indicates the problem identification and identifies the deviation from the set standard specifications.

  • Continuous Improvement

Both management success-proven strategies of ISO 9001 and Six Sigma put a great amount of stress on improving the process continuously and seek new opportunities for improvement.

Wiring the Concepts of Total Quality Management (TQM) and Six Sigma

TQM aims to satisfy every type of customer (be it internal customers like suppliers and vendors or external customers like end-consumers). TQM has limited scope as compared to Six Sigma since the implementation of TQM is in some particular areas especially production and quality departments which comes under technical departments whereas Six Sigma’s Methodologies like DMAIC is applicable to any type of problem existing in any department whether the department is technical or non-technical. TQM doesn’t deal with the execution of any process whereas Six Sigma keeps process execution steps in spotlight anytime.

How Six Sigma and TQM comes Hand In Hand?

Six Sigma is of great help when it comes to achieving TQM objectives. Here are few common goals of TQM and Six Sigma:

  • Customer Satisfaction

Six Sigma and TQM both narrows down towards meeting customers’ requirements leading to winning customers’ trust and confidence by providing them satisfactory outcomes.

  • Evidence Based Decision Making

Rather using your gut feelings, TQM both are based on decisions to be made on definite facts and figures.

  • Process Variables

TQM and Six Sigma stresses upon the fact of lowering variability in process which can lead to potential hazards and defects leading sub-standard product.

  • Continuous Improvement

TQM and Six Sigma believes on continuously improvement of the process and making new doors for more smarter ways of manufacturing certain products.

  • Ensuring Boost in Employees Morale

With proven success of  TQM, employees working on shop floor level feels motivated and rewarded as their contributions add value to the organization and to the performance of the business thus leading to high employee engagement levels.

Integration of Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma

Lean manufacturing implements a funnel approach to eliminate wastages that are being produced while manufacturing a product. By eliminating waste, one can avail numerous benefits like lower production cost, reduction in cycle time and increased yield while Six Sigma focusses on problem resolution caused due to unknown reasons.

A Handshake between Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma

Both success proven scientific methodologies comes hand in hand to provide benefits to manufacturing industries by various means. Since lean manufacturing stresses upon zero waste and Six sigma emphasizes on least variability in the process so that final product can be made of precise quality and each and every customer of the product feels satisfied and trust the ordered paid products.

Here is how Six Sigma aims in achieving objectives of Lean Manufacturing also.

  • Reduction In Defects

As soon as the quantity of waste produced in reduced, the amount of good production will increase ultimately increase in Asset Intensity of machines.

  • Reduction in Production Cycle Time

Since the quantity of waste production will be eliminated by implementing Lean methods in manufacturing processes and will result in flawless quality product that is ultimate target of Lean manufacturing and Six Sigma both.

About Sunita Verma

Sunita Verma, Founder and President of Sync Resource started the company in 2009 with a vision to provide management consulting to small & medium size businesses around the country. Sunita holds a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cleveland State University. Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering, India with prestigious gold medal awarded by renowned Scientist Dr Abdul Kalam Azad. As an active philanthropist she believes in pay it forward and is a contributing member of charitable organizations like St. Jude’s Foundation and North Fulton Charities.

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