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Six Sigma in Non‐Manufacturing Environment

Hasan Akpolat (Faculty of Engineering, University of Technology Sydney, Australia)

Asian Journal on Quality

ISSN: 1598-2688

Article publication date: 21 August 2004


Despite the fact that much has been published about Six Sigma in the business and academic press and on the Internet in recent years, there is still confusion among many people, particularly those who work in the transactional and service environments, about the nature of Six Sigma. It is true that Six Sigma like other process improvement programs before was first applied to manufacturing processes; however, many corporations including General Electric and sony have successfully applied Six Sigma to their transactional and service processes as well. Six Sigma is used by many companies not only to improve the quality of their products and services but also to achieve quantifiable financial results, improve management style and communication, and achieve customer and employee satisfaction. Whether in manufacturing on non‐manufacturing environments, the application of Six Sigma differs from organisation to organisation. Although there are many common elements between these applications, however, special care must be taken when customizing Six Sigma to suite the organisation’s needs. In this paper, the author provides some practical and useful guidelines for Six Sigma deployment. This paper is not about the use of numerous statistical tools and techniques that can be found in a typical Six Sigma toolbox. The main emphasis has been placed both on the concept and the implementation of Six Sigma, particularly within the non‐manufacturing areas of business.



Akpolat, H. (2004), "Six Sigma in Non‐Manufacturing Environment", Asian Journal on Quality, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 17-25.



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