New Report Links Minitab to Six Sigma Success

November 14, 2006 

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — A new study conducted by the Aberdeen Group and sponsored by Minitab, LLC. finds that companies taking a technology-enabled approach to Six Sigma efforts are much more successful in lowering defect rates.

Six Sigma is known for its stringent quality goals, structured problem-solving approach, dedicated training and prioritized projects. The new report, "The Lean Six Sigma Benchmark," is significant because it examines the factors that help effective Six Sigma deployments succeed where others fail.

More than 400 companies participated in the study, including Boeing, Glaxo SmithKline, Rexam, Tyco Electronics, EMC, GE, and GM. Among survey respondents, Minitab customers produced impressive levels of quality, in some instances rivaling or surpassing Best in Class performance.

While over 50 percent of respondents reported implementing Six Sigma programs, only 16 percent of "Six Sigma" companies are holding true to the rigorous program. Yet those that do have produced on average 40 percent more savings in programs to date and 65 percent more savings per project.

"Six Sigma is hard, but having the discipline to do it right has a tremendous impact on quality and the bottom line," says J.-P. Mulley, Minitab product planning manager. "Using the right tools helps companies realize those benefits. We’re proud that Minitab’s software is used by the most successful Six Sigma companies."

Aberdeen found few companies achieving the expected quality levels, but those who took a more technology enabled approach fared much better in lowering defect rates.

"Six Sigma methodologies are dependent on data, so data collection can present significant obstacles," says Cindy Jutras, vice president of the Aberdeen Group. "Automated data collection and IT solutions can play a key role in resolving these obstacles."

Yet report findings show a misalignment of responses to these challenges, with only 19 percent of participants responding by implementing automated data collection and 27 percent deploying IT solutions in support of quality initiatives.

Based on the findings of the report, Jutras offers these recommendations:

  • Apply metrics of DPMO (Defects Per Million Opportunities) across all business processes in all industries, not just manufactured products and parts.
  • Identify and prioritize business impact projects according to anticipated savings and improved throughput. Look first for low hanging fruit and act now for immediate benefit.
  • Integrate data collection with analysis.

The report is available for download.

About Aberdeen Group 

Aberdeen Group, Inc. provides fact-based research and insights focused on the global, technology-driven value chain. Aberdeen’s benchmarking, market and solution assessments, sales acceleration programs, and conferences support Global 5000 value chain and technology executives and the solution providers who serve them.

For more information, visit www.aberdeen.com or call 617-723-7890.

About Minitab 

Minitab, LLC. is one of the world’s leading developers of statistical analysis and process improvement software for academic and commercial users worldwide. Minitab Statistical Software is the preferred data analysis software for businesses of all sizes and is used in more than 80 countries by thousands of distinguished companies, including Toshiba, 3M, Honeywell International, DuPont, Samsung and leading Six Sigma consultants.

Minitab has been used to implement virtually every major Six Sigma quality improvement initiative around the world, and is the software educators use to teach statistics in over 4,000 colleges and universities worldwide.

Minitab, LLC., headquartered in State College, Pa., operates offices in the United Kingdom and France and has additional representatives throughout the world.

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