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Considering Six Sigma Consulting

Considering Six Sigma Consulting

Considering Six Sigma Consulting

(OP)
I'm considering Six Sigma Consulting.  I've been trained, been doing the work for a few years.  I recently received the ASQ certification for Six Sigma Black Belt.  What else should I consider before cold calling?

ChemE, M.E. EIT
"The only constant in life is change." -Bruce Lee

RE: Considering Six Sigma Consulting

No offense, but I thought Six Sigma died.  Maybe it didn't, but there has been a sharp drop off in the number of managers trying to shove it down our throats.  Is there really going to be a demand for your services?  That's what I'd look into.

The other thing you might need is "P.E." after your name instead of EIT.  I doubt it's required by statute, but you'd be a lot more marketable.

RE: Considering Six Sigma Consulting

(OP)
Agreed.  PE is next on the list.  Also agreed, "Six Sigma" is falling off the buzzword radar (at least in manufacturing), but the methodologies are becoming more standard, as good manufacturing practice. And I get this.  Just curious to hear from those out there doing this to get a feel for the market.  Thanks for the input.

ChemE, M.E. EIT
"The only constant in life is change." -Bruce Lee

RE: Considering Six Sigma Consulting

You and 10,000 other guys fighting over the same slice of the pie, thinking they can make a living as a Six Sigma consultant.

Beg your pardon, but Six Sigma is NOT dead.  It is a valid, mathematically-based series of methods or analysis tools that identify the problems and inefficiencies in a manufacturing (or other) process.  Properly implemented, it does this task with exceptional efficiency.  Obviously I'm a believer, but this is because I've used it with great effect.

However, it "cures" nothing.  Improvement comes from having the managerial- and company-culture discipline for taking the results of Six Sigma analysis and implementing changes that will correct those problems.  Sometimes companies actually do this, sometimes they completely miss the boat.

"Six Sigma" comes and goes in cycles, whatever it may be called at the time.  In the 80's when I was trained, we called it "Factory of the Future" or some such rot.  The 90's called it something else.  Doesn't matter, math is math.  What changes are the economic cycles and the age/experience of the company managers that look for silver bullets and quick fixes before they move on to the next promotion.

IMHO, it boils down to this:  when the economy is going great, there's no time or incentive to improve because there is easy money to be made.  When the economy tanks, then business stop spending and hunker down because it's the easy thing to do.

Even the smart companies stumble sometimes when they adopt Six Sigma in a big way...Motorola is the #1 example of this phenomena.

What I have seen happen over the years is that there is a slow migration towards more efficient & effective manufacturing processes done by osmosis.  But the "massive improvement in US manufacturing" promised by adoption of Six Sigma practices never really happened.

But a lot of consultants got filthy rich telling silly managers that it was possible.  Good luck with that.

TygerDawg

RE: Considering Six Sigma Consulting

aspearin1,

Try GE they are always looking for black belts in 6 sigma. I know of people with chemical science degrees that are working for the finance/insurance side of their business so they definately are flexible in their recruitment.

RE: Considering Six Sigma Consulting

I think you shouldn't rely solely on six sigma - it's just one method:

if you spend some time in manufacturing organisation environment, you learn many principles that can apply to one method or the other, no matter how it is contemporary titled at one specific moment of time.

sunshine

RE: Considering Six Sigma Consulting

Before I went out on my own, I worked for a company that pays lip service to 6 sigma. They diverted a lot of talent into that program with little to show for it. But then the talent they wasted on it was good for little else, so maybe that was win-win for everybody after all.

If you are going to sell the service, find companies that are really committed to it, not just dabble in it. Be advised most American companies are driven by the quarterly stockholder report, and cannot stay focused on programs like 6 sigma.
Read "Out of the Crisis" by W. E. Deming and you'll see what you are up against.

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