Linking six sigma to customers


All business organizations in the modern world aim at achieving the highest levels of operational and financial effectiveness over time. As such, they deploy different management tools to facilitate their efforts towards the achievement of overall effectiveness. One such tool used by businesses to increase their effectiveness and efficiency is the Six Sigma; which leverages several analytical tools such as DMAIC and other statistical tools to improve the quality of services or products offered by an organization Alhuraish, Robledo, and Kobi (169). Six Sigma, therefore, serves as a potent tool for influencing the customers of an organization because it plays a critical role in determining the quality of the products and services offered by the business. Below are summaries of six journal articles about six sigma; however, the review will aim at highlighting how the concept is linked to customers.

Summary of Articles

Alhuraish, Robledo, and Kobi (169-182) explored the implementation of six sigma by small and medium-sized enterprises in France as drivers of business success. Throughout the article, the authors establish strong links between the application of six sigma and customers. According to the article, six sigma is strongly linked with customers because it plays a critical role in improving the quality of the products and services offered by the business. Alhuraish, Robledo, and Kobi (170) argue that six sigma provides a platform for companies to unite different quality tools, including DMAIC and statistical process controls to improve the quality of the products and services offered to the customers. Moreover, the tool enables a business to identify and eliminate non-value adding activities in its operations; thus, concentrating on the provision of high-quality goods and services. The tool has been applied in many industries across the world to improve the quality of their offerings in the market. The link between six sigma and customers, in this case; according to Alhuraish, Robledo, and Kobi (172), emerges from the fact that customers are in continuous pursuit of the highest quality products and services offered by different business organizations. Overall, the link is centered on the level of customer satisfaction achieved as a result of incorporating six sigma in business activities. Six Sigma, through the improvement of the quality of the products and services offered by a business, triggers increased levels of customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is strongly driven by six sigma because of the improved product and service quality results in the realization of high utility by the customers. The tool can also contribute to increased customer loyalty as a result of the high levels of satisfaction achieved.

Gošnik and Vujica-Herzog also endeavored in objective research to highlight the link between six sigma and customers by examining the success factors of applying the tool in 100 manufacturing companies in Slovenia. The authors sought to establish the unique value of six sigma to manufacturing companies concerning their customers. Therefore, the researchers highlighted that the involvement and participation of management, employee training, and the establishment of a robust organizational culture are the most identifiable success factors of the tool. However, the article highlighted the fact that most business organizations are not aware of the concept and, therefore, do not associate it with customer experiences (Gošnik and Vujica-Herzog 205). The link between six sigma and customers, according to Gošnik and Vujica-Herzog (205), is rooted in the tool’s focus on the identification and elimination of defects in all business processes considered relevant to customers. The authors also highlight the fact that modern customers are characterized by increasing demand for quality products. For companies to gain and maintain sustainability and competitiveness in such environments, they continuously leverage the tools of six sigma in the formulation of their strategies to offer the desired product and service qualities (Gošnik and Vujica-Herzog 205). The link between six sigma and customers is also rooted in focus by companies on training their employees on customer service (Gošnik and Vujica-Herzog 206). Such pieces of training increase the focus of the business on its customers; thus, generating excellent customer experiences. Overall, the tool enables businesses to understand the expectations of its customers and establish the best customer management systems, improve its customer focus, and the quality of goods and services offered (Gošnik and Vujica-Herzog 208). The ultimate link between the tool and customer, according to the article, lay in the improved quality of product and customer satisfaction.

The link between six sigma and customers is also explored by  Vouzas, Psychogios, and Tsironis (1-12) in their article. The article was based on the evaluation of different pieces of literature to ascertain the relevance of the tool in businesses; specifically, customer satisfaction. Vouzas, Psychogios, and Tsironis (2) state that six sigma can be applied to different business processes to increase the efficiency with which goods are delivered to the customers. The tool can be utilized to increase the speed of processing customer orders and delivering the products to specific clients. Moreover, the article attributed the tool to significant quality improvements aimed at increasing the utility derived by the customers from the goods and services offered by a business. The tool contributes positively to the maintenance of production consistency to avoid unfavorable product standards’ variations that may adversely affect customer satisfaction. The article also argues that the tool has been extensively studied in the contexts of manufacturing industry and that its link to customers is mainly centered on the improvement of quality and customer satisfaction (Vouzas, Psychogios, and Tsironis (3). Among the ten key success factors of applying six sigma in the service industry is the fact that the tool is directly linked to quality and customer satisfaction (Vouzas, Psychogios and Tsironis 5).  

Chelangat (23-29) sought to explore the success factors of six sigma in the Kenyan banking sector. She begins her article by highlighting that the management and leadership of commercial banks in Kenya are continuously focused on achieving the highest levels of customer satisfaction (Chelangat 23). The need for six sigma in the sector is, therefore created by the need of the banks to achieve sustainable competitive advantage over their competitors. Chelangat (24) links the tool to customers by reiterating that business organizations can leverage the concept to set their focus on daily activities to achieve increased levels of customer satisfaction. She also draws from other pieces of literature to ascertain the fact that the tool is highly linked to customers through its ability to boost the level of customer satisfaction by improving the underlying business processes.  In a bid to highlight the link between six sigma and customers, Chelangat (24) asserts that specific tools like lean six sigma contribute to the improvement of the quality of the services offered to the customers. Overall, the tool facilitates the improvement of business process efficiency in a bid to improve the quality of services provided and increase the benefits received by the customers; hence, improving customer satisfaction.

Shahin (44-54) also reiterates the link between six sigma and customers by highlighting aspects such as quality improvement and customer satisfaction. Six Sigma improves the ability of organizations to understand the needs of their customers; thus, enabling them to solve them by offering the highest quality of products and services with the highest level of convenience (Shahin 44). The link is also highlighted in the fact that six sigma improves the level of customer involvement in business processes as a way of gaining insights on how to meet their needs (Shahin 44). Overall, the tools enable organizations to shift their focus to the customers and understand their needs and expectations clearly; thus, facilitating quality customization and improved customer satisfaction. Therefore, the tool is linked to customers by the fact that it enables business organizations to prioritize the needs of their customers, improve quality, and maintain customer focus and satisfaction.

Antony and Cudney (1-11) explored the role of six sigma in higher education institution in the UK to ascertain its relevance. In the analysis, the authors linked the tool to the customers by arguing that it contributes significantly to the improvement of efficiency and effectiveness in the provision of services in institutions of higher education (Antony and Cudney 1). As such, the application of the tool results in improved customer satisfaction because it sensitizes the institutions to remain focused on their customers and the provision of efficient services. It also contributes to the provision of improved quality of the services provided by the institutions; thus, linking it to the customers.  

Works Cited

Alhuraish, Ibrahim, Christian Robledo, and Abdessamad Kobi. “The Key Success Factors For Lean Manufacturing Versus Six Sigma.” Research Journal of Applied Sciences, Engineering, and Technology 12.2 (2016): 169-182. Web.

Antony, Jiju, and Elizabeth Cudney. “Lean Six Sigma Journey In A UK Higher Education Institute: Challenges, Projects, And Key Lessons Learned.” 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings (2016): 1-11. Web. 11 Apr. 2019.

Chelangat, Beatrice. “Critical Success Factors (Csfs) For Implementation Of Lean Six Sigma In Commercial Banks In Kenya.” IOSR Journal of Business and Management 18.12 (2016): 23-29. Web.

Gošnik, Dušan, and N Vujica-Herzog. “Success Factors For Six Sigma Implementation In Slovenian Manufacturing Companies.” Advances in Production, Engineering and Management 5.4 (2010): n. Pag. Print.

Shahin, Arash. “A Comprehensive Framework For Six Sigma Critical Success Factors With An Experience In A Developing Country.” Quality Management and Six Sigma (2018): 44-54. Print.

Vouzas, Fotis, Alexandros Psychogios, and Loukas Tsironis. “The Road Towards Lean Six Sigma: Sustainable Success Factors In Service Industry.” Nang Yan Business Journal 2.1 (2014): 1 – 12. Web.


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