Do you know that six sigma developed by one of the most renowned American cellular company which helped them achieve 800% improvement?
Yes, it was Motorola! Since 1980s, Japanese companies started posing a threatening competition to the American counterparts. The Japanese came up with unique methods which helped them offer their products at much lower prices than the American companies and captured the entire market. Seeing this, Motorola’s management decided to slaughter Japanese companies by one of its own creation of “Quality”. The company called for a meeting of all its engineers. They ordered them to implement all the best quality management tools that have been developed so far and create its own unique methodology. Which would be base on Motorola’s competitive quality improvement program. This was how the Six Sigma was developed.
Company while testing for its standard in the market, came to realize with the help of statistics that they needed to improve by 1000% within 5 years. Which was a ratio of 10:1 of quality improvement to get its position back into the market. The news flew into the market like wind about the fact that the company is using its stakeholders’ fund to achieve the goal that can be only be achieved in dreams. But the company did not pay any attention to this and kept working towards achieving its goal.
After 5 years, when the results were declared, the company came up with flying colors by achieving its goal and shutting everyone’s mouth who doubted their capabilities. But, when they measured their standards with the Japanese companies they realized that they were still lagging behind. Again they decided to set the same. But this time time, they were to achieve their target within 2 years. Once again, the critics began to drag down their attempt. And again, Motorola shut everyone’s mouth by achieving its goal.
Which is why the third program was launched. Again with the same 1000% or 10: 1 improvement in the quality program. But, this time, at the end of the program in 1991, Motorola failed. Unfortunately, when their targets were measured, they had only achieved 800% i.e. 8:1 of ratio. Seeing this, even the critics & media went under shock and applauded their initiatives. The news of Motorola defeated the Japanese threat and Six Sigma became the biggest buzzword. Every other company in the market started to plan the Six Sigma implementation for reaping the same benefits as Motorola did.
This is how Six Sigma was born!
No criticism should heap into your way if you are focused to achieve your target. Motorola, after all the criticisms it faced did not even for once thought of giving up. These quality tools have been in use from more than three decades. Are you using it and reaping the benefits?
Written & Compiled by Faber Priyal & Faber Mayuri