There is a massive nine orders of magnitude difference between manufacturing and field quality especially in the automotive industry where the average recall rates is 111.5% each year.  Six Sigma is defined as six nines of perfection which technically is 99.99966% yet field quality is actually below Minus Two Sigma for most products.   For example, if a 100% failure rate is Zero Sigma, 111.5% would be Minus Two Sigma and adding to that the average 2018 JD Powers Initial Quality rating in the automotive industry of 93% would make it 204.5% or Minus Three Sigma.  A Nine Sigma or nine orders of magnitude difference between field and manufacturing quality is a difference of a billion to one that no one is compelled to talk about.

GradeQ will drastically improve these numbers by two to four orders of magnitude by supercharging the Lean Management and Six Sigma programs from the perspective of the field where it matters most.  Identifying waste is its primary function and aligns directly with Lean Management principles, and the GradeQ methodology also begins with field analysis that measures factors contributing to field issues allowing quality organizations to fine tuning these issues towards Six Sigma goals.

What Is Lean Six Sigma?

This is a variation on the Six Sigma framework marrying Lean Management principles with Six Sigma methodologies.  Lean Management seeks to reduce waste and thereby production cycle time, whereas Six Sigma focuses on reducing variation among deliverables.  As some see it, Six Sigma focuses on finding and fixing defects after the fact, while Lean tries to prevent defects from occurring in the first place.  At its best implementation, Lean is introduced first to increase efficiency, and then Six Sigma methods are applied for fine-tuning. Manufacturing, Healthcare, Finance, IT, and other fields use Lean Six Sigma.

Sermin Vanderbilt is Founder of Lean and Six Sigma World Conference and President of the American Quality Institute.  According to her, “Six Sigma is getting it right every time or most of the time, 99.9 percent of the time.  Almost every organization does need Six Sigma. Six Sigma is about accuracy.  Lean is about cutting the costs, cutting time, so they go hand in hand.”

What is Six Sigma?  In the words of perhaps its most famous proponents, Jack Welch, “Six Sigma is a quality program that, when all is said and done, improves your customer’s experience, lowers your costs, and builds better leaders.”


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