Lean Six Sigma for small businesses: Focus on things that really matter

Small businesses need to focus on what is critical to their success and their customers! A desirable, competitive product with excellent quality, customer loyalty and outstanding service are examples of things that are critical to success.

Why Lean Six Sigma?

Lean Six Sigma helps companies focus on what really makes the difference in order to

  • Increase sales, quality & output
  • Reduce inefficiencies
  • to promote the personal responsibility of employees in order to emerge stronger from crises.

The principles, methods and procedures of Lean Management & Six Sigma are strongly influenced by large companies such as Toyota, Motorola and General Electric due to their origins.

In fact, the Lean Six Sigma approach is equally suitable for small and large companies - provided that basic characteristics of the company size are taken into account during implementation.

What characterizes the daily work in small versus large companies?

Small company

  1. Few hierarchical levels & short decision-making paths
  2. Employees are closer to the customer
  3. Strong overlap with day-to-day business (additional workload for employees)
  4. Close personal contact between employees
  5. Tends to have no or only small budgets
  6. New knowledge through blogs & network meetings
  7. MAs often feel their own contribution to the company's success
  8. Few IT systems and lower data volumes
  9. No/few deputies, employees are partially indispensable
  10. Broad areas of work & hands-on mentality

Large enterprises

  1. Many hierarchical levels & long votes
  2. Employees are often far from the customer
  3. Specialized teams for projects & initiatives (released from day-to-day business)
  4. The left hand sometimes does not know what the right hand is doing
  5. Partially large budgets available
  6. New knowledge through external consultants
  7. One's own contribution to the company's success is often not transparent
  8. Many IT systems and large amounts of data
  9. Substitute regulation / almost everyone is more or less replaceable
  10. High division of labor

What do we need to focus on to make Lean Six Sigma a real success story, especially in small businesses?

  • Achieve rapid success with minimal use of resources
  • Easy to use in day-to-day business - even without time off for employees
  • Pragmatic "hands-on approaches" with high acceptance for immediate implementation
  • Analysis methods for small samples that can be used without existing historical data
  • Enable high-impact learning loops, e.g. by networking with experience holders from other companies
  • Perfecting the successful model of the well-run craft business

How can Lean Six Sigma qualification be implemented tailored for small businesses?

  • Relevant topic selection: Working on topics in your own area of responsibility that amortize the training costs many times over
  • Very strong practical orientation: The problem of the participants becomes the training content
  • Complexity reduction: Accelerated project & workshop execution through consistent scoping according to the Pareto principle
  • Create time for improvement: Optimization of particularly time-intensive activities has priority
  • Customized training content: Teaching of those tools & approaches that are actually required for the successful processing of the topics
  • Training implementation adapted to the daily business: Many short and content focused training modules
  • Immediate application: Immediate practical implementation of the freshly learned already during training
  • Didactics & Acceptance: Simple explanations without anglicisms and complicated expressions
  • Short-cycle response to resource bottlenecks: Implementation of visual control methods in an Obeya space.
  • Success hedging: Accompanying methodological coaching to ensure practical adaptation and effective implementation.
  • Highly effective knowledge building: Through cross-company networked experts in a Lean Six Sigma business community incl. use of blogs, videos & best practice approaches.

What Lean Six Sigma goals are most common among small businesses?

  1. Lower operating costs and improved cash flow
  2. Be significantly more effective with existing resources
  3. Deliver products or services to customers in perfect quality
  4. Greater focus on the needs of customers
  5. Establish a culture of continuous improvement
  6. Expand the business and/or significantly increase flexibility without sacrificing productivity

You are the CEO of a company and want to go home on time in the evening & trust that things will work without you / your leadership team?

Book a customized hands-on training where the problem becomes the training content, the solution of which is guaranteed to pay off the training costs several times over.

You are enthusiastic about Lean Six Sigma - or you would like to participate in our practical trainings, e.g. as a student?

We are socially committed and, among other things, enable students to participate in our customers' training courses free of charge, if the customer allows this.

We make complicated things simple and share our experiences - sharing is doing!

dominik vollmer

dominik vollmer