The Implementation Challenges Of Six-Sigma In Service Business

International Journal of Applied Quality Management (ISSN: 1742-2647) Volume 2 Issue 1

Eisenhower C. Etienne, PhD.

Associate Professor
School of Business and Industry,
Florida A&M University


The drive to constantly improve quality culminated with the creation of the six-sigma strategy by Motorola. However, most service companies still do not use the rudimentary aspects of Statistical Process Control (SPC), although they could benefit significantly from the implementation of both SPC and six-sigma, as evidenced by the unqualified success of GE Finance and a few other service companies in using these processes to drive defects/errors out of their delivery processes. In this paper, we explore the reasons for this state of affairs and conclude that the culture of service that predominates in most companies, coupled with the distinctive characteristics of services and the unique requirements of the six-sigma process, create strong barriers to the implementation of the six-sigma strategy. The paper culminates with an analysis of how the innate characteristics of services can be used by managers to leverage the six-sigma implementation process.

Key Words: Services, service recovery, six-sigma, quality measurement, barriers, implementation, culture, values, non-evidentiality

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