Title: Comparative quality system analysis and evaluation using the Six Sigma benchmark: evidence from two manufacturing industry case studies

Authors: Eisenhower C. Etienne

Addresses: School of Business and Industry, Florida A&M University, One SBI Plaza, Tallahassee, FL 32307, USA

Abstract: Six Sigma is now widely accepted as a highly performing strategy for driving defects out of a company|s quality system. Measurement through the Define, Measure, Analyse, Implement, Control (DMAIC) process is central to it. In this paper, we show that quality performance data expressed as the usual percentage defect rate and based on two manufacturing industry case studies can be converted into a wide range of vital, Six Sigma metrics and that these can be used to develop insight into a company|s quality system and its comparison to the Six Sigma benchmark, both at the qualitative and quantitative levels. The Six Sigma metrics we develop here are much richer than those found in published Six Sigma tables. Moreover, we show that the degree of divergence (convergence), at the qualitative level, of a company|s quality system from (toward) the Six Sigma standard anticipates the degree of convergence at the level of the critical, quantitative, Six Sigma metrics. We draw the fundamental implications for Six Sigma management practice and research.

Keywords: six sigma; define; measure; analyse; implement; control; DMAIC; process capability; process robustness; quality benchmarks; manufacturing industry.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2008.022952

International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage, 2008 Vol.4 No.4, pp.409 - 433

Published online: 04 Feb 2009 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article