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Six Sigma Training - Is It Worth The Investment?


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Simon

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 10:06 PM

Every year companies are faced with pressures to reduce costs, reduce defects and in turn, reduce budgets. So why in this tough economic climate, would a company willingly spend €12,500 on a training programme and how, as many Third Party Auditors ask, 'can you measure the effectiveness of that training?'

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Any black belts out there? Had six sigma training? Is it worth it?

Simon


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Puzzle

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 08:42 AM

Very interesting article. And obviously a sales flyer, but interesting.

It actually says nothing if you already practice many (or all if you wish) of the 'Quality techniques'.

In a previous life, I was QM at a coatings company, applying high gloss clear-coat laquer to designer TV cabinets. Using singl application UV cure, robot applied technology.

At first it was impossible, but using common sense and proper analysis we perfected the precess, and had the controls for the variable quality of the suppliers clear-coat. None of us had been to any six-sigma training but it was a study of all of the variables, all of the things to control them, and them the experiments to see what was really happening!!

Our ppm was still 'relatively high' 35000, , but no other applicator (worldwide) had achieved below 300 000. And we would not tell them! Not even the clear-coat supplier. Trade secrets etc and a competetive edge.



Simon

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 01:23 PM

Very interesting article. And obviously a sales flyer, but interesting.

It is a bit sales flyerish but I can assure you I'm not on commission. :(

So you attended the six sigma school of hard knocks and still managed to improve. I wonder if the coatings company you left are now down to 3,500 ppm or 350 ppm or...

Simon

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Puzzle

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 03:26 PM

Simon,

They are no more !!!!!

A bun fight with the investors led to the company being sold.

The new owners had the attitude of 'we know it all' and disregarded all of our (2years worth) previous data and their 'expert' did his own thing.

Problem. Big time. We were considered negative people by this chap as we could not adapt to new ideas. However we had tried al of his new ideas, and the results were recorded.

When the MD finally realised we had been stating things correctly it was too late!!

Liquidators on the door step.

Just goes to show a lot of hard work can quickly go down the drain. (4 months in this instance)

Six sigma investment is 'easily' absorbed for a major player, but for a small business, the school of hard knocks is usually the only way to get the experience!!


I know of many who are black belts and they do the same as me, but in bigger organisations!!



Wallace Tait

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Posted 04 March 2004 - 06:13 AM

Interesting thread, I missed this one.
Sick sigma is nothing new IMO, It's SPC and many of the remnant tools of TQM wrapped up and sold as something new.
Wow, I wish I was one of the guys who decided to market the Six sigma courses at Mikel Hary's ranch, US$ 40,000 for the full four month course is one hell of a lot of money to fork out for employees.
If I sound real scinical, it's for good reasons. At my Ford location, we had @24 engineers all trained up and all but one left the company after getting the best of statistical and quality management training.
Why did they leave you may ask? Well most of those who left, are now employed as quality engineers or quality managers at non automotive companies. I kept in touch with a few of them and, they networked with each other to inform me that, They indeed predetermined they would fatten up their resume's and get out. For what? More $$$$$$. ;)
Wallace.



Simon

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Posted 04 March 2004 - 07:16 AM

Hi Wallace,

There is always a danger of other organisations benefiting from the training you pay for. However, I don't believe it's a good enough reason not to invest in your people. I know one company in particular who say that employees must pay-back the cost of any training if they leave the company within 12 months. Whether or not it is enforceable by law is a different matter but, it might make the employee think twice before volunteering.

I wonder how the senior management at your Ford plant felt and how their attitudes to training were affected by this sorry episode. Or did they all have six sigma training?

Regards,
Simon


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Wallace Tait

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Posted 04 March 2004 - 07:29 PM

I wonder how the senior management at your Ford plant felt and how their attitudes to training were affected by this sorry episode.  Or did they all have six sigma training?

The training initiative regarding $ for that particular year was almost bankrupt.
Ther are many so called "Green belts" within my facility. I'm aware that the Black belt program was re-focused and presented as a contractural signed agreement between Ford and the employees who attended the courses, regarding payment of a portion of the course if the employee took the training elsewhere.

The tuition refund is only given when the employee passes the end test.
Wallace.


Simon

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Posted 04 March 2004 - 08:26 PM

A case of "once bitten twice shy" as we say over here.

The internet is quite amazing.

Regards,
Simon


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