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What makes Six Sigma better than TQM

Manufacturing companies often struggle with wait times, product defects, and many other things that make it difficult to keep customers happy and to keep production up. Six Sigma was created by Motorola and it is one of the most popular methods used to identify wastes and problems that need to be fixed. Another system is known as Total Quality Management or TQM. With this system you will see some similarities with Six Sigma but there are also a lot of areas where it is lacking.

TQM has been around for a long time and it is effective in helping with product development and product deployment. It works by encouraging a continuous flow of quality improvements along the manufacturing line. For small jobs it can work great but when you have a big manufacturing plant you do not have time to waste on waiting around to see where there are defects and then fixing them. You need to fix them before this stage. TQM is based on a lot of cultural changes with departments. The goal is to get all of the departments to work together to create an effective and smooth-working environment for everyone. It is a management style and it will only work if you do have managers that are working hard to support it and to focus on increasing the quality of your products.

While TQM has been effective you may be able to see greater results by turning to Six Sigma. With Six Sigma you are doing more than just implementing a process improvement program that is based on high quality. Instead you are dealing with a continuous improvement strategy. You will have some of the same cultural changes and mindset changes as well but you have other programs to work with. The ISO 9000 is one of the systems that you need to register for and then you will also work with other systems that are used to analyze and gather data so you can make better decisions as to where changes need to be made in order to improve the organization. Since so many other programs end up stopping at one time or another, Six Sigma is built to be an on-going system that will always need monitoring and tracking.

What makes Six Sigma different is that it is not focused primarily on quality like other programs are. It does work on quality but its main goal is to make all of the processes and systems better. It wants to make your production line more effective, faster, and cheaper. Since it is so focused on speed and other things, it does leave some room for error with product defects. This is why there are a lot of companies that also turn to lean manufacturing as well in order to get the defects gone while also improving production.

Six Sigma is a system that has a goal to make your company more money. It doesn't work the same as other programs that are designed mostly to cut costs. Lean manufacturing is one of the programs that saves money by identifying and then eliminating wastes. You don't spend as much time looking for the errors in your system when you choose Six Sigma.

Six Sigma is a very time consuming program. You will have extensive training that your staff must attend in order to learn the system along with their roles in the company and how they will go about implementing these roles. Specific employees will actually only do Six Sigma work all day long and they do not do jobs that are "traditional" to the organization.

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