In order to get an idea on what jobs are available for Six Sigma practitioners, it may be helpful to take a look at what and where Six Sigma is applicable. If you’re somewhat familiar with Six Sigma, you may be already aware that in any activity, undertaking, and industry that follow a certain process, the Six Sigma methodology may be used in achieving improvement, design and achievement of goals. Although this statement is generally true, there are several specialized industries that extensively use Six Sigma:
- Military and Defense
- Small Business
- Sales and Marketing
The list above may be extensive but not exactly exhaustive since there are many other industries that may utilize Six Sigma principles in their operations. The list only includes the industries that usually practice Six Sigma methodology especially in the manufacturing industry. To further understand the relationship between each industry and Six Sigma methodology, we take a look at how Six Sigma is applied in its processes.
Six Sigma in Military and Defense
Since Six Sigma is a well controlled improvement process, it is perfectly suited as a management system to integrate into Military training. This is most true within the practical applications of Six Sigma in the field. A single small error can mean serious injury or possibly even death for soldiers or other personnel. This is the reason why training for the military leaves no room for errors and mistakes to be committed.
Although Six Sigma’s steps and processes best address retail and manufacturing industries’ problem solving needs, its tools and mainframe are perfectly suited for the goals of the Military. Utilizing its methodology in the military, results in a faster, smarter and better overall training system that has the real potential to save lives. Six Sigma methodologies eradicate errors, risks and probable problems especially when problems mean loss of lives.
Six Sigma in Manufacturing
The Six Sigma methodology, from its original inception, was intended to improve quality in a manufacturing environment. Motorola Inc., the company that pioneered the use of this methodology, extensively employed Six Sigma techniques in their factories. The results were better quality products and reduced costs and wastes.
The strategy of Six Sigma in the manufacturing industry is generally about standardizing procedures and defining thresholds that have to be met in order to ensure good quality products. Once these goals have been set and are implemented, a system of measurement and supervision create a controlled process that ensures production of good quality products are replicated while minimizing defects, costs, and wastes.
Six Sigma in Finance
Like most industries today, financial institutions’ main goal is to enrich their relations with their existing and prospective customers. The process of Six Sigma helps individuals and institutions picture better and efficient ways of comprehending customer specifications or requirements and customer needs. This also allows them to promptly provide effective and efficient solutions. Through this methodology, financial institutions are able to receive higher customer satisfaction feedback resulting to better retention of existing customers and growth of customer base.
Six Sigma in Healthcare
The Six Sigma methodology allows the health care industry to create and design basic and standardized solutions for many of their procedural and organizational issues. It dramatically improves visual management processes and minimizes the time and complexity of many procedures. When properly implemented, it allows personnel to integrate procedures with the main focus on the patient. Moreover, in the early stages of incorporation of Six Sigma in the health care industry, projects were completed quicker and the root cause of many problems were identified resulting to better and more efficient treatments being implemented.
Six Sigma in Small Businesses
At the very core of this methodology, Six Sigma is a way to measure efficiency, reduce waste, and increase customer satisfaction. Since these measurements are based on quantifiable data, the Six Sigma system can be used by almost any type of business entity, big or small, and is simply understood by both investors and lenders alike.
Six Sigma in small business help reduce incidences of defects experienced by the customers. In this aspect, it helps business owners by providing ready analysis of areas that need attention, as well as benchmark that business can leverage in order to continuously improve.
As a direct result of focusing on reducing defects, the emphasis becomes customer satisfaction. In this area, Six Sigma promotes improved customer loyalty by ensuring satisfaction in the products and services provided by the company, and at the same time it helps in customer retention through improved efficiency.
Six Sigma in Information Technology
In the Information Technology or IT industry, equipment and software become easily outdated, and they may also become damaged and need repair. Most of the time, IT personnel has the thinking that it is more cost efficient to purchase new equipment rather than trying to repair what they already have. Six Sigma helps shift the thinking of ‘replace it’ in the IT department. Rather than making unnecessary purchases, the methodology promotes and helps employees learn to work with the resources that are already available. Six Sigma principles may also be used in software design and development as well as overall project management.
Six Sigma in Sales and Marketing
Six Sigma is especially beneficial for companies experiencing a decline in margins and a rise in marketing costs. Business Process Improvement which is loosely based on the Six Sigma methodology can help in this aspect by improving margin and revenues while reducing costs. Six Sigma methodologies help the industry identify and design better and more efficient processes and can also help in improving old processes.
With Six Sigma being applied in almost every industry imaginable, it is easy to understand why there are several positions in companies that require Six Sigma training. Job postings that typically require some Six Sigma certification are Project Manager, Business Analyst, Quality Manager, Business Development positions, Process Engineer, etc.