Case study 1.1: The P.T. Company located in Florida makes electronic rocker-recliner chairs. The success of these chairs over the past three years has been remarkable. However, for the past couple of months, sales have been in a dramatic and alarming slide. Distributors have been flooding the home office with e-mails about returns and customer complaints. As the biggest contributor to the company’s profits, any problems with these chairs (called the E-Rock) created big worries for the management. The top product management group and the senior executive team met to discuss strategies for dealing with the declining sales. “This product has outlived its welcome,” exclaimed the head of marketing. “We need to get going on a whole new generation of E-chairs!”
“That’s going too far,” countered the field sales director. “I can’t believe the entire market suddenly decided that the E-Rock is outmoded in a period of weeks.” The head of seat engineering weighed in: “We need to give more incentives to those distributors or threaten to drop them. It’s clear they’re getting lazy.”
After a few more minutes of discussion (using some better meeting management tools) the group was able to agree to get a Six Sigma DMAIC team started on trying to find out the causes of the sales decline.
Case study objective: You have been appointed the DMAIC team leader. Using information in lectures 1-3, describe how you will proceed to solve the problem of declining sales.
(Do not exceed 1 page, 12 font size, single spaced).
Case study 1.2: Refer to the slide “Common Six Sigma Project Areas”. There are following 10 areas described in the slide:
Manufacturing Defect Reduction
Cycle Time Reduction
Product Development and Introduction
Increased Utilization of Resources
Product Sales Improvement
For each of the above project areas, write a statement (one sentence) about strategic project goal
See the example below:
Six Sigma Project Area 10: Delivery Improvement
Strategic Project Goal: Ship customer orders within one week of receiving the order.
Case study 1.3: Refer to the slide “Six Sigma application”, which lists the 7 areas of application:
Engineering and R&D
Sales and Marketing
Refer to the following 7 slides, which lists the typical Six Sigma projects in each of the above areas. Each slide has 4 or 5 projects.
Case study objective: Select one project from each slide (area) and list 2 KPIVs for that project.
See the following example: (note KPIV = Key Process Input Variable). Note that each KPIV starts with “variation ……..” in the following example.
Project: Reducing variations in machining process
KPIV-1: Variation in the vendor material reject rate
KPIV-2 Variation in employee skill level (seniority)
Case study 1.4 and 1.5 : Dave Johnson is the manager of an insurance claims office and serves on a Six Sigma team that established a goal of making improvements aimed at speeding up the number of claims processed per day. To get started, the team gathered data for just over a month (using good sampling methods) and plotted the data on a run chart (figure 2). Master Black Belt showed Dave how to determine the expected amount of variation in the claims process, and to plot the resulting “control limits” on the chart. When looking at this control chart (figure 3), Dave saw that many data points were beyond the control limits.