Six Sigma is commonly used for all kinds of business applications, from software development to human resources. However, there is one application of Six Sigma that some may have overlooked: improving supply chain efficiency. Here is a list of just a few of the benefits of applying Six Sigma to supply chain efficiency:
1. Reduce Waste
Six Sigma is designed to ensure that the minimum amount of waste is produced in the supply chain. This waste can refer to a number of things, including wasted time waiting for the next step and extra processing time if your team is not using the latest and most modern practices for chain management.
2. Improve Speed
When you incorporate Six Sigma, one of the best supply chain efficiency benefits that you will reap is improved speed. This is because Six Sigma is based around making sure that all processes are completed as quickly as possible and that unnecessary processes are removed. In this way, Six Sigma can help you make sure that your orders get placed and fulfilled more quickly.
3. Increase Predictability
When you use Six Sigma you will find that even if your supply chain processes were out of sorts in the past, they can quickly become more predictable because you are applying a steady process to your supply chain management. You can make your order accuracy, inventory budget, and delivery timing all more predictable when you adopt Six Sigma.
4. Reduce Costs
One of the biggest problems in the supply chain are rising costs. The cost of raw materials, transportation and delivery costs, and employment costs can all vary. This can seriously throw your supply chain budget out of whack. Six Sigma will refine processes and reduce costs, creating a buffer between your budget and the unexpected costs for your supply chain.
5. Better Identify Problems
When you get your Six Sigma procedure up to speed for your supply chain, one of the best benefits you will reap is that you can more effectively identify issues before they occur. With Six Sigma, if something goes wrong with your supply chain process, you will be able to see it coming, since it will be outside of the normal operating procedure that you use for supply chain and inventory.
6. Improve Team Member Engagement
Six Sigma requires that you give your team members the ability to make key decisions about your supply chain matters without having to consult with supervisors. Not only does this help you make your team more autonomous, which reduces the amount of roadblocks for each decision, it also builds buy-in among your team members, making them more likely to perform at a high level.
There are all types of supply chain efficiency benefits from implementing Six Sigma practices, from saving you money to predicting future problems. If you are curious about more of the reasons that you should incorporate Six Sigma, take the time to explore this philosophy in depth so that you can understand whether or not Six Sigma is right for your supply chain requirements.
About Michael Wilson
Michael Wilson is AFFLINK'S Vice President of Marketing and Communications. He has been with the organization since 2005 and provides strategic leadership for the entire supply chain team. In his free time, Michael enjoys working with the Wounded Warrior Project, fishing, and improving his cooking skills.