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Lean Six Sigma: A Little Goes a Long Way

With the economic climate in its current state, many ambitious people have decided to hang up their shingle and start their own businesses.

What many don’t realize is running a business for profit is an entirely different mindset than just being an expert in the product or service you are providing.

lean six sigma principles

As a result, many potentially great businesses are struggling through no fault of their own. So what are the warning signs that a business needs help?

10 Clues That Show Your Business Needs Lean Six Sigma

Here they are, in no particular order:

  • Growth declines
  • Thin profit margins
  • Low sales
  • Loss of customers
  • Warranty costs rising
  • Customer returns at an all time high
  • Blame put on employees
  • Blame put on customers
  • Staff complains about methods of serving customers
  • Continued complaints about product/service


We as human beings are programmed to be natural problem solvers, so when we are presented with a problem, we identify the solution based on prior experience or the opinion of “experts.” Unfortunately, that old solution might not always work, or if it did work, it doesn’t anymore.

Why Lean Six Sigma Works

Lean Six Sigma works because each tool has customization built in. Since all businesses aren’t exactly the same, the solutions have to be different.

The mindset is, start simple to plug up leaks in your cashflow. Many times, this is as simple as finding missed opportunities to increase the bottom line. Shaving off the time it takes to do something could increase your bottom line.

The 4/50 Rule Rules

In Lean Six Sigma, it has been established that 4% of what you do will create 50% of your results. This is important because you don’t have to fix everything all at once. Just fixing a few key issues could increase the speed, quality and cost of your business by 50%!

Here are the tools to find the important 4%:

Voice of the Customer Analysis: this tool will help to establish the connection of what the customer wants and what you do.

Balanced Scorecard: this tool will help link key measures and target for improvement in four areas:

  • Financial
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Quality
  • Growth

Learn more information about’s Lean Six Sigma training coursework, available as classroom, onsite, or online options.

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