Originally developed to improve manufacturing efficiency and quality, Lean Six Sigma is now being widely adopted by financial institutions, retailers, hospitals and other corners of the services industry. Lean Six Sigma is a blend of two concepts: lean manufacturing, which is aimed at reducing waste, and Six Sigma, which helps companies reduce errors. Together they can help companies reap the benefits of faster processes with lower cost and higher quality. From our research and experience with clients, we've learned that despite its growing popularity and impressive results at some companies, Lean Six Sigma often fails to deliver expected results. Bain’s management survey of 183 companies found that 80 percent are not achieving their expected value from Lean Six Sigma efforts, and 74 percent have failed to achieve their savings targets.
Bain’s approach starts with a full potential diagnostic and embeds Six Sigma methodology with added efficiency and speed from lean. In each case, we first gain an understanding a company's value stream, and then move rapidly to mapping out processes and costs. Next, we define a view of "full potential" through such measures as bottleneck analysis and internal and external benchmarking. Finally, we target areas for improvement, unleashing the trained teams.
Our experience across industries and geographies allows us to perform diagnostics quickly that help companies achieve sustainable improvements. Using the cash and capabilities assessment to focus on areas with the most potential for generating results, our clients avoid the extra cost and time of training and deploying more teams than absolutely required. We partner with the right suite of third-party companies to deliver the right tools and solutions that best meet our clients' needs.