A management strategy developed by electronics giant Motorola in the 1980s could help Coca Cola reduce the amount of water it uses to make its products, cut overall energy demands and trim its carbon footprint, according to a study published in the International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage. Numerous companies, including Volvo, Nokia and Siemens have adopted Six Sigma to their and their customers’ benefit.
According to Tarek Sadraoui of the University of Economics and Management Sfax, Tunisia, Six Sigma is a business strategy and a systematic methodology, use of which leads to breakthrough in profitability through quantum gains in product/service quality, customer satisfaction and productivity. The original Motorola concept aimed to reduce the number of defects on the production-line to as few as 3.4 parts per million opportunities. For the effective implementation of Six Sigma projects in organisations, one must understand the critical success factors that will make the application successful.
“Six Sigma is a comprehensive and flexible system for achieving, sustaining and maximizing business success,” explains Sadraoui. “Six Sigma is uniquely driven by close understanding of customer needs, disciplined use of facts, data and statistical analysis, and diligent attention to managing, improving and reinventing business processes.”
Fundamentally, Six Sigma is a management method that helps companies deliver products of quality.
The power of Six Sigma lies in its ’empirical’ approach, controlled by the data and the use of quantitative measurements to check the how the system behaves, to improve a process.
The researchers have applied the Six Sigma approach to reducing water consumption, minimize waste, and water losses for the cola industry. The excellent results obtained with the project for reducing water use led Coca Cola to apply Six Sigma to other projects such as the reducing power consumption, reducing raw material waste, and improving their products.
Tarek Sadraoui, Ayadi Afef, & Jallouli Fayza (2010). Six Sigma: a new practice for reducing water consumption within Coca Cola industry International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage, 6 (1/2), 53-76 DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2010.034856