Title: Lean Six Sigma: an integrated strategy for manufacturing sustainability

Authors: A.J. Thomas, H. Rowlands, P. Byard, R. Rowland-Jones

Addresses: University of Wales Newport, Gwent, UK. ' University of Wales Newport, Gwent, UK. ' Manufacturing Advisory Service Wales, Bridgend, UK. ' Wrexham Business School, North East Wales Institute, Wrexham, UK

Abstract: Both Lean and Six Sigma are key business process strategies which are employed by companies to enhance their manufacturing performance. However, whilst there is significant information available on implementing Lean Six Sigma in companies, these business improvement strategies are still implemented primarily in a sequential manner and the results of the survey included in this paper identify the fact that little information exists regarding the integration of these approaches to provide a single and highly effective strategy for change in companies. This paper introduces an integrated approach to Lean Six Sigma and proposes a Lean Six Sigma strategy for industry as a result of the information collected from a survey of 100 manufacturing companies which apply Business Process Improvement (BPI) initiatives (Lean, Six Sigma or Lean Six Sigma). The rationale is that the effective implementation of Lean Six Sigma will lead to greater opportunities for companies to achieve economic sustainability through continued growth and improved manufacturing efficiency.

Keywords: lean six sigma; sustainability; business process improvement; BPI; sustainable development; manufacturing strategy; manufacturing efficiency.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2008.022948

International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage, 2008 Vol.4 No.4, pp.333 - 354

Published online: 04 Feb 2009 *

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