Six Sigma in small- and medium-sized enterprises: a Black Belt project in the Swedish steel industry
by Stefano Barone; Therese Doverholt; Anna Errore; Alberto Lombardo
International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage (IJSSCA), Vol. 8, No. 2, 2014

Abstract: Many big companies around the world have solid Six Sigma infrastructures and it is easy to find in literature successful case studies. Conversely, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) generally suffer lower attention in the literature. This happens because SMEs have only recently approached the methodology; they have weaker connection with the academia; or they do not rigorously pursue the frameworks. This paper is based on a Six Sigma project in a Swedish medium-sized company that produces steel tubes mainly for hydraulic applications. The project focused on the improvement of warehouse activities related to cutting processes. This Black Belt project was part of a Six Sigma education at the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. The case study offers the opportunity to discuss general and specific issues that a SME faces in the implementation of the Six Sigma methodology and it contributes to connect academic debate to practical experience in industry.

Online publication date: Mon, 11-Aug-2014

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