Assessing the role of Six Sigma in a supply chain: an exploratory study in the UK manufacturing organisations

Ricardo Banuelas, Mark Johnson, Teeraphan Virakul, Jiju Antony

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    The aim of this paper is to investigate the status of Six Sigma implementation in supply chain in the UK. The first part of the paper comprises a review of the literature of Six Sigma implementation in the supply chain. The paper then reports the results of a postal questionnaire survey. The results of the survey indicated that around 50% of the UK manufacturing organisations surveyed implement Six Sigma in the supply chain. However, only a small number of them include the entire supply chain in their Six Sigma projects. Simple graphical tools are preferred over more complex techniques during Six Sigma supply chain projects. Cost, quality and delivery are the main focus of Six Sigma projects. It was found that lack of know-how and resources are the major constrains for companies not implementing Six Sigma in the supply chain. The description of the status of Six Sigma implementation of Six Sigma in the supply chain provides an insight into the current practices and help companies as a benchmarking exercise including tools and techniques, fundamental metrics, potential savings and reasons for potential failures among others. This study is limited to UK manufacturing organisations. Further empirical studies using larger sample sizes and greater geographical diversity may be helpful in validating the results of this study.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)380-397
    Number of pages18
    JournalInternational Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage
    Volume5
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2009

    Keywords

    • Six Sigma
    • supply chain
    • survey
    • tools and techniques
    • UK manufacturing

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