Six SigmaAre your business practices in need of improvement? You’re not alone either in your need or in seeking out resources and means to streamlining everything from sales models and production to something as easy to overlook as waste management. Six Sigma is a group of tools and techniques designed to optimize your business processes and therefore your products themselves. Often combined with the methodology of lean manufacturing to produce the system known as Lean Six Sigma, this is great knowledge to consider implementing in your venture to tighten up your business model. Lean Six Sigma addresses problems in processes and waste as well as variation and design to form a comprehensive plan for streamlining your business as a whole.

What is Lean Six Sigma?

Lean manufacturing addresses business processes and their waste production of all forms through inefficiencies. The goal is to improve overall value, which is measured through the eyes of the customer. Any action or service that a customer would be willing to pay for is considered valuable. Six Sigma is based on a concept in statistical quality control which evaluates process capability. In manufacturing the Six Sigma methodology uses data to determine an appropriate and achievable sigma level for each process, which, when achieved in the short-term production line will decrease defects and therefore waste over time. Lean Six Sigma then utilizes data analytics to reduce waste and variation and therefore increase corporate value.

Why Is Reducing Landfill Waste Important?

Landfill waste is not typically included in the official seven wastes described in the lean manufacturing methodology, but it is not difficult to see how it would interact with them. Oftentimes excess landfill waste is the result of, or results in, other forms of waste such as excess downtime as well as movement. Without a streamlined landfill waste management plan variations in these practices can lead to a high cost of waste removal, and even affect the manufacturing process as employees are inconvenienced by things like waste can placement or problems with them overflowing.

Applying Lean Six Sigma to Waste Management

To start you will need data which means auditing your current waste production to get an idea of how much of what kinds of waste you are sending to the landfill. If you haven’t already designated people to devote themselves to waste management, find employees that are excited about the challenge. Begin finding ways that you can reduce waste streams throughout your operations by implementing recycling and reuse strategies. Investing in a trash compactor will further reduce the size of your waste by a ratio of six to one, which will help to reduce the cost you spend on waste removal. Also, consider your purchasing practices and how you can reduce the packaging on things you are both buying as well as the products you are sending out.

Lean Six Sigma is a great philosophy for improving the value of your company and its products. Waste management always adds value to your company not only through saving you money on logistics and removal costs but also because customers are interested in the corporate responsibility of your business. Being involved in the zero landfill initiative is a great way to devote yourself to improving the way business is done, and Lean Six Sigma is a means to cause that change from within.

For more information about how to improve your waste management practices, call KenBay today!