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Lean Six Sigma - What is it?

Lean and Six Sigma came from approaches developed by the quality pioneers in Japan and America after the Second World War.

Lean is a systematic approach to identifying and eliminating waste (non-value-added activities), whilst improving flow and maximising customer value. Gaining popularity in the mid 1980’s with the Toyota Production System of automotive manufacturing, Lean has since proven to be the most successful, widely recognised and accepted method of Driving Superior Operational Performance, enabling businesses in every sector to achieve and sustain dramatic improvements.

Six Sigma is more focussed on variation in a process, focussed on more standardised outputs to delight the customer. Both should be seen as a partnership between the Business, Employee and Customer, creating benefits for all. Six Sigma was popularised by Motorola and GE where its application has been used to drive significant process improvements and savings.

CQM combine the best parts of the Lean and Six Sigma approaches to achieve the optimium effects. We can offer programmes based around continuous improvement, 5S, standardisation right through to formally examined and certified Six Sigma Yellow, Green and Black belt courses. We can also help with bespoke Kaizen interventions or help with system introduction such as Measurement Systems Analysis (MSA) or Statistical Process Control (SPC).

We can even use Apprenticeship frameworks using Levy funding to deliver Lean programmes.

Lean Six Sigma in Manufacturing, Public and Service Sectors

The Lean Six Sigma continuous improvement philisophy will make a significant impact on organisational performance in the manufacturing, service, and public sectors. From engineering, food & drink, healthcare, government and telecommunications to banking, tourism and legal services, the principles and techniques are applicable, though they do need to be contextualised by sector.

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With the correct approach, Lean Six Sigma implementation will bring about significant financial rewards, improved teamwork, more effective communication and behavioural change.

Benefits are wide ranging for everyone involved

  • Business: Reduced Waste, Reduced Cycle Time, Right First Time, Freed Up Capacity, Improved Equipment Effectiveness
  • Employee: Improved Morale, Visibility of Process, Pride in Product, Job Security, Increased Job Interest, Ownership of Issues
  • Customer: Competitiveness, Reduced Lead Time, Improved Quality, Innovation and New Products, Delivery Reliability

Read about our approaches here.

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