Statistical analysis for quality improvements within

Paul Boughton

It is easy to see how Six Sigma and other quality improvement methods can be applied to manufacturing processes.

Manufacturing companies take raw materials that pass through various processes and the finished product is then sold to a customer. The processes can be easily identified and analysed and the tangible product measured. Some major companies estimate that they have reduced waste from 20–25percent of sales value to less than eight per cent. So can the principles of these methods be utilised by transactional organisations to make the same improvements?

Six Sigma is a measure of quality and efficiency, implemented by major companies worldwide. The methodology provides a structured framework to identify defects, waste and problems. One of the key elements of successful Six Sigma implementation is statistical problem solving. Minitab Statistical Software is used by more than 89percent of companies who have implemented Six Sigma.

Work processes are not as obvious within a service or transaction organisation; before improvements can be made, the processes must be recognised and defined. Once processes are defined, analysis using Minitab, can be performed to identify which elements are wasteful, then appropriate action can be taken to reduce waste, resulting in financial savings, increased customer satisfaction and improved quality and efficiency. 

Minitab Ltd is based in Coventry, UK. www.minitab.com

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