Customers dislike long lines. Lean Six Sigma can help.






By: Mike Stafford, Managing Partner & Senior Consultant

No one likes to stand in long lines. As a customer we stand in lines all the time. Whether it’s in line to purchase a ticket at the movie theater, or “in line” online to purchase a concert ticket. And what’s worse than standing in line? Completing your purchase only to find out something is missing or the product doesn’t work as advertised. When that happens, yep, you get to go stand in line again.

Guess what? You just learned the basic concepts of Lean Six Sigma, a very effective process improvement methodology. When I mention that I’m a Six Sigma Master Black Belt, people’s eyes glaze over immediately afterward. You don’t have to be an expert to understand why this is important.

First, Lean focuses on increasing the speed of delivery of the products or services to your customers. One of the best side effects – reduced customer wait time. In addition, when you speed up your process, another amazing thing happens – the cost of production decreases and profit increases!

However, the major drawback in the use of Lean alone is that organizations focus on continuing to increase the speed of delivery – and at some point quality is sacrificed.

Six Sigma on the other hand, is focused on improving the quality of production. Still, the use of Six Sigma alone has a major drawback. It tends to make the organization so obsessed about quality that it may decapitate the production of goods. Striving for perfection, organizations might allot too much time in making the perfect product that it nearly becomes unrealistic or even unattainable.

Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is the combination of the two brilliant concepts mentioned above – a balance between speed of delivery and quality of products/services. Lean Six Sigma has been shown time and again to enable organizations to decrease production cost by 25% or more through eliminating wasted time and activities.

Lean Six Sigma is a tool organizations can use to provide high-quality goods plus a fast speed of delivery, which equals an overwhelmingly positive customer experience. A positive customer experience leads to customer loyalty, which naturally improves customer retention.

So, quit making your customers stand in long lines. They may just decide to go to your competition instead.

CEG Partners is experienced in consulting and recruiting. Our consulting practice includes – Program Management, Lean Six Sigma, LTE (Long Term Evolution), Customer Experience, Customer Retention, Process Improvement, Customer Loyalty, and Employee Surveys.