Six Sigma at General Electric

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The aim of Six Sigma is to control all processes at the outset well before they get to the customerThis is done in a variety of ways by different firms.The following approaches represent some of the philosophical underpinnings:


Its goal is to ensure that there are no problems with any product or service that GE provides. This is done through quarterly customer surveys and daily manufacturing checks by internal engineers (Cohen, 1997).Since the 1980s, GE has sought improvement in business-performance and profitability through various programs (Hendericks and Kelbaugh, 1998). However, in 1995, Welch decided that those programs were not enough and directed the company to undertake Six Sigma as a corporate initiative. He said that it "is the only initiative he will introduce, but it will be introduced everywhere".The introduction of Six Sigma within GE was a dramatic culture change requiring impetus from the very top. Welch's personal leadership and direction was necessary and instrumental in the rollout of Six Sigma. When the employees tried to dismiss Six Sigma as the program of the month, Welch changed the business structure at a corporate level to underscore the importance of the goal. He implemented two notable strategic changes:The concept of Six Sigma at GE deals with measuring and improving how close the company comes in delivering on what it planned to do. Six Sigma provides a way for improving processes so that the company can more efficiently and predictably produce world-class products and services. There is a five-phased methodology applied by a Six Sigma team to tackle specific problems to reach Six Sigma levels ...
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