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FAQ : How does Six Sigma enhance just in time (JIT)?

Technically Six Sigma is a measurement of process quality. Sigma is the mathematical symbol for standard deviation. As an example, about 93% of all results from a "normal" population (i.e. results are equally distributed above and below the mean) fall within 3 standard deviations. The use of six sigma in a manufacturing situation means that the company uses all the total quality tools to improve a process so that the tolerances for the process is at or better than six standard deviations of the process spread. This would result in no more than 3.4 failures in 1 million units of production. You can access the world class manufacturing checklist at http://www.bpic.co.uk/wcm_checklist.html to get an idea of the total quality and just in time tools.

Since its conception, people who teach six sigma have added in a requirement to understand most of the JIT (just in time) / Lean manufacturing techniques. Six sigma as taught these days is now indistinguishable from JIT although it does have a total quality bias. Six sigma therefore adds no new techniques to JIT but tends to raise the quality standards.

For more information you should get a copy of my World Class Manufacturing e-book - more details and how to order click here.