Do you think that Lean is just for Manufacturing and Six Sigma is just for manufacturing process improvement? That it’s only relevant if you are making automobiles (like Toyota) or consumer electronics (like FoxConn)? If so, then maybe you need to get out of the eighties and back to the future (no flux capacitor needed). (After all, remember what happened to That Guy?)
Because the reality is that lean and six sigma is not just for all types of manufacturing processes, but operational processes in general, including supply chain — and supply management — processes. The whole point of six sigma is to improve the process in a way that reduces defects and errors. And when it comes to savings, the best savings are process savings as those recur year over year over year while negotiated savings are one-time and generally not repeatable (as inflation and continued depletion of natural resources generally ensures that production costs rise every year and that costs will go back up).
And, most importantly, the core DMAIC process of Six Sigma, where DMAIC stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control, is easily adapted to Supply Management as the doctor and the maverick point out in our new series on The CPO’s Guide to Lean and Six Sigma airing over at the new Chief Procurement Officer where we are collaborating on a number of ground-breaking series over the next few months. These series, which include a massive 20-part series on The CPO’s Agenda, an upcoming series on tearing apart the CPO job description, and a deep dive into spend control, will go beyond the news and high-level puff pieces proffered up by other sites that care about your clicks more than your success to give you the information you need to succeed as a new (candidate for the) CPO (role).
So click on over to the The CPO’s Guide to Lean and Six Sigma and find out why you can use DMAIC 2.0 to Blow Up the N-step Procurement Process and find value that you never knew existing in your supply management processes. The bottom line (and even the CFO) will thank you for it.