Qualitymanagement (QM) has been seen as an important management strategy for achievingcore competencies. Conventional quality tools like Zero Defects, Statistical ProcessControl (SPC) and Total Quality Management (TQM), have been important playersfor some time.
Six-sigma being more recent quality improvement initiativegained popularity and gained acceptance in most industries around the globe. MostBasic elements of six-sigma like, Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA), StatisticalProcess Control (SPC), gage repeatability & reproducibility and many othertools are being used from quite some time. In fact, Six-Sigma gives a guide frameworkwhich tries to unite the basic quality tools with the help of high-levelmanagement support. However, many service industries are still not using the basicaspects of SPC.
Actually, they can benefit enormously by implementing both StatisticalProcess Control (SPC) and six-sigma. Proper Implementation of six-sigma helpedindustries like General Electric (GE), Citibank and many other service basedindustries to remove defects/errors from their delivery process & create greatsuccess stories which others can follow. Only limitation of six-sigma inservice based industries is that features of service based industries are notuniform. Application of Six-Sigma and its benefits are somewhat limited to fewspecific type of services like health care industry and banking industry. Understandingthe control variables of the process will be of help in broadening applicationsof six-sigma in service based industries. Six Sigma:Six Sigma, being a part of long-term business strategy, will include following:• Process Orientation. Insurance/financialservices based organizations should learn to identify important businessprocesses which are critical for satisfying customer.
This will enable them to bemore focussed on trying to improve their quality at business process level—upon a short and more apprehensive understanding of the policy owners’requirements.• Improve quality along withreduction in costs. Six Sigmagives firms a more proper path to prevent errors/defects, reduction inhand-offs, and elimination of rework.
This will aid hugely in making fasttransactions and reduction in costs. • Use of facts for making managementdecisions. Six Sigmawill add statistical efforts to improve.
Managers will be capable to makedecision on the basis of the data and the given facts—will not rely onperceptions & gut feelings, will be more accurately trying to establish betterlevels of performance which can be achieved and promised to the customers, clientsand prospect customers. • Customer loyalty Retention. Have verystrong emphasis on voice of the customer (VOC), Six Sigma provides very goodunderstanding of what can create & drive customer loyalty, and how can youtry to make long-term and profitable relationships among the current andprospective policy owners.