Lean Six Sigma is a program that aims to maximize company’s value by increasing quality, speed, customer satisfaction, and decreasing costs. It achieves this by merging tools and principles from both Lean and Six Sigma.
However, a study conducted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2011 showed a decline in the contribution of the industrial sector to National Revenues, with the service sector now representing three-quarters of the US economy and more than half of the European economies.
In light of the increasing importance of the service sector, in this article we aim to discuss the importance of Lean Six Sigma’s principles for professional services such as architects, accountants, engineers, doctors and lawyers.
Improvement in Customer Interaction
In professional services, one of the most critical factors for maintenance of quality and competence are flow of information and interaction between people, especially interactions with clients and customers. Improving the process of these flows serve to deliver quality results.
An important difference between manufacturing and service professions is the centrality of opinions, behaviors and decisions that exist in service firms. It is often the case that these opinions and decisions are made by individual employees of the company, which then make a larger impact in shaping up the final product of the business. Analyzing and modifying employee performance in service environments is therefore more complex than any manufacturing situation.
Lean Six Sigma accomplishes targeted bottom-line strategic business results by setting off an organization-wide culture shift. Until a process focus–rather than a task focus–is developed, the scope and endurance of development will be limited. Evaluating and modifying human performance in such environments is complicated, but Lean Six Sigma provides the tools and methodology required to achieve sustainable progression.
Statistical Tools for Process Improvement
Another difference between service and non-service organizations is that the problems Service Professions face have different root cause and their goals are marked by a unique set of metrics. Therefore the tools and methodology required to achieve the improvements of Six Sigma are significantly different.
While problems in the manufacturing environment may lie within a process, the issue in a service setting often is the process itself. Service industries are full of waste and ripe for maximizing the benefits of Lean Six Sigma. The application of simple statistical tools employed under Lean Six Sigma programs is known to reduce costs, increase speed and quality of service delivery, and prevent a large amount of waste in service processes.
Numerous case studies demonstrate that data backed tools organizations are just as effective in the service industry as they are in manufacturing, and with even faster results.
Better Qualified Human Resource
Service professionals trained in Lean Six Sigma become skilled at operational analysis and problem-solving techniques which are relevant to their particular service environments. They are able to impart standardized practices in their workplaces, eliminate errors that result from poor decision making and are able to implement important changes in their processes to make it more employee-friendly. Teams that are part of Lean Six Sigma programs of a business are often the leading change-makers in the culture of that organization.
If you wish to learn more about the system of Lean Six Sigma, please check out LearningManager Lean Six Sigma.