Just a couple of months ago when gas cost over $4/gallon, Americans were scrambling maximize their fuel economy and buying hybrid electric vehicles to save money, cut our dependency on foreign oil, and to save the earth. At that time, a very wise friend said, “Wait and see, gas prices will come back down and we (Americans) will forget all about it.” What happened over the next few months is exactly as he predicted. If it were not for the domestic automakers being on the brink of economic collapse, there would not have been any recent talk of innovation, reform, or the need for more efficient automobiles.
As we all know and feel, the gas crunch as been replaced by a much larger and serious worldwide economic down turn that threatens all. There are many speculations to how we got here and even more on how we get out. Lean Six Sigma is a proven methodology to remove waste and variation from our business processes and is receiving a lot of attention to do just that. Many companies are – but many more should – be scrambling to implement a Lean Six Sigma program to save what is left of their businesses. I hope that they will be successful.
Now let’s look ahead 2, 3 maybe 5 years . . . once our economy has stabilized and “returned to normal.” Have the experiences of the past changed us for the better? We will continue to apply sound Lean Six Sigma principles and risk analysis to our business, making them stronger and more efficient. Or will this too fade as a distant memory until the next time?
I do not feel there is not a business or process that would not be benefited by applying the tools and principles of Lean Six Sigma in many aspects of their businesses. Let us use this opportunity as a catalyst for business and government reform and increased efficiencies in order to provide the best products and services for our customers, and to avoid a repeat of the current state of affairs.