It is understood as a method that provides organizational tools for process improvement. This improvement in productivity derived from the minimization of variations in the processes helps to reduce defects and improve profitability.
Six Sigma operations focus on reducing process variation in greater process control, while the lean philosophy seeks to eliminate waste (non-added value procedures). Lean uses techniques such as kaizen, Value Stream Mapping, visual controls, 5s or SMED for optimization. Instead, Six Sigma does it through statistical analysis and experimentation.
The line of distinction between Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing is blurred. The term Lean Six Sigma is commonly used because, on numerous occasions, a combination of both techniques is aplpied for process improvement.
The main difference between Lean and Six Sigma is that Lean is not only focused on production but on the improvement of all the processes involved in the company. Lean Six Sigma is an ideal fit for companies seeking to standardize their processes and provide the customer with the highest possible value.
The combination of both techniques can result in a more optimal result than separately since both complement each other. The improvement initiatives must establish the objectives and the methodology to be followed to mark the evolution in the achievement of goals and objectives.
Often times, a successful application can begin with a lean diagnosis, seeking to improve efficiency and eliminate waste in processes. If problems persist, Six Sigma techniques could be applied.