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Use Lean Six Sigma Training to Help Recession-Proof Your Business


During the boom years of the mid 2000’s a lot of organisations got away with running pretty inefficient business processes. With high turnover, healthy profit and big bonuses for executives, many companies didn’t give a lot of thought to running their operations as efficiently as possible.

Now we’re in recession many organisations are looking at how to win more business and increase revenue. However; reducing what goes out as waste can be just as beneficial as increasing what comes in. That’s why a lot of companies are now implementing Lean and Six Sigma management systems, and providing Lean Six Sigma training for their staff.

So what are Lean and Six Sigma? In a nut-shell, Six Sigma is a methodology, a set of statistical analysis tools and a management system designed to streamline business processes by eliminating defects. Lean provides a number of added dimensions and tools that solve the root cause of problems. Together they provide a flexible tool-kit and are often combined as Lean Six Sigma. Implementing Lean Six Sigma will improve and sustain quality, eliminate waste and increase profit.

Whilst unemployment is still rising, manufacturing firms that adopted Lean Six Sigma management systems before the credit crunch have found that they are already running as tight a ship as possible. So whilst some production line staff are being asked to reduce hours as a result of lower production, no-one is losing their jobs because the process is as lean as it can be.

Although these tools were born in manufacturing companies like Toyota and Motorola (who saved $17bn), the service sector has also taken Lean Six Sigma and run with it. Lean Six Sigma can be used with any business process, whether it’s building cars, handling invoices, processing out-patient appointments or providing in-flight services on a plane.

Silicon Beach Training, a leading provider of Lean Six Sigma training in Brighton, UK has seen the number of attendees on their Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Six Sigma Black Belt training courses rise during the downturn. “I think people are starting to wake up to the fact that these methodologies really help them to save a great deal of money” says Colin Welch, Training Director. “And more than 70% of the clients we are working with now are service based. We’re providing training courses for the NHS, major world banks, publishing firms, airlines and a whole host of other blue chip companies that don’t actually manufacture anything”.

But Lean Six Sigma is not all about running your business with as few people as possible. Six Sigma also recognises the Voice of the Customer. Colin explains that “while having one person serving 20 clients at once might look good to your management team in terms of cost, that’s going to be awful in terms of customer satisfaction, so Lean Six Sigma provides tools that help you strike the right balance”

For many, adopting a whole new management system is a large and potentially daunting prospect; however a gradual approach will often pay dividends. “We’ve provided bespoke Lean Six Sigma training packages for organisations where there’s been a lot of scepticism” says Colin. “But by starting with Lean Awareness and Six Sigma Champions & Executives sessions we demystify the jargon and explain what we’re doing. Then we’ll run small Lean Team training sessions that deliver quick-wins on real projects. Managers immediately start to see the benefits during the Lean Six Sigma Training courses, which builds a wave of enthusiasm. People start actively looking for new areas to apply Lean Six Sigma tools and before long the management system is starting to be implemented across the organisation.”

For more information about the Lean Six Sigma training courses at Silicon Beach Training, contact Colin Welch on 01273 622272 or by e-mail at

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