East West Manufacturing Blog

5 Things You Must Know about Six Sigma

Written by Andy Reese | December 09, 2014

According to Today’s Engineer Six Sigma can trace its roots to Motorola and VP, Quality Bill Smith.  His theory of latent defects simply states that variation in manufacturing processes leads to defects.  Remove the variables and eliminate the defects.  Easy, right?

What qualifies as “Six Sigma”?  If you can achieve no more than 3.4 defects per million!

Imagine you are tasked with finding the 3.4 people in this photo wearing size 10.5 green running shoes, and NOT making a mistake by finding a pair of 10 or 11!  Becoming certified is no easy task.  You can see a list of companies here.  It’s not as long as you may think! 

So, what are the 5 things you must know about Six Sigma?

  1. Many people know the phrase but not the standards
  2. It’s much harder to be a six sigma manufacturer than most people think
  3. It is easier to request than it is to achieve
  4. Like the Deming Wheel, the goal is continuous improvement
  5. It is a methodology and philosophy aimed at achieving a metric.

Instead of asking a contract manufacturer is they are “Six Sigma,” (because if you looked at list of companies above, you already know the answer!) instead ask:

  • What is your global quality plan?
  • Who owns your global plan?
  • Is the quality plan transparent, as is the supply chain?

Learn more about East West's Quality Plan here.

Check out our free white paper below that will also help you in your search for the right contract manufacturing partner for your project!