Gaining A Cursory Understanding Of Six Sigma Cycle Time

August 31, 2011 by  Filed under: Management 

While cycle time should not be the primary focus of a Six Sigma Project, it is a portion of the metric that is considered in order to make the overall business model more efficient and therefore more profitable. It is that by which measurements can be made and compared (before and after a project) to see if the desired effect is being realized through continuous improvement and cost of quality analysis.

By reducing the length, and therefore the associated costs, with producing a widget or performing a function or service, the company will realize more profit at the bottom line. The fact of life is that any company, business or corporation is there in order to make a profit. Without profit, they will be unable to sustain success. As such, efficiency and productivity are those things that should be sought after, which is usually measured in terms of CT.

Although Six Sigma’s original application was to reduce the number of errors or defects in the manufacturing process, it has been expanded to include the overall process of manufacture and service provision today. By making a detailed analysis of the number of seconds or minutes spent on each particular component in a business process individually, and then making improvements to each process, a company can realize a dramatic change in productivity and efficiency of an operation overall.

Studies have shown that by analyzing CT as a metric, the overall number of defects can be reduced. This has a direct impact on the costs absorbed by the company. This not only will equate to higher profit margins for the company, but also will be noticed by the consumer in the form of quality and cost per unit. The savings realized by the consumer can have a dramatic impact upon customer loyalty and satisfaction with the company.

The goodwill of the customer will increase the business reputation and therefore have a large impact upon the overall profitability of the business as a whole. While it might seem like a bit of a stretch to associate consumer loyalty and referral with CT, it is a proven connection that should be taken into consideration when implementing Six Sigma strategies and methodologies.

The concept of reducing CTs was around well before Six Sigma, the ability to measure the impact on the bottom line of the company to such a high degree of accuracy was not present. Nor was the ability to analyze such an inclusive and broad categorization of metrics that would make a positive, measurable, and reproducible impact on the overall business process.

The measurement of time study and efficiency is the goal in Six Sigma cycle time analysis as opposed to a simple increase in speed of production. Reducing this factor is only good as long as the reduction can be made without a loss in quality of the product or service.

Aveta Solutions – Six Sigma Online ( ) offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.

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