APPLICATION OF LEAN SIX SIGMA TO A SMALL ENTERPRISE IN THE GAUTENG PROVINCE: A CASE STUDY
Keywords:Six Sigma, Lean Six Sigma, Small and Medium Enterprises, DMAICT
The quest to improve customer satisfaction is one of the core aims of businesses in the competitive global market. This paper aims to apply the principles of Lean Six Sigma for continuous improvement in a small enterprise in the service industry in South Africa. A case study approach was used to carry out the investigation using the Lean Six Sigma ‘define measure analyze improve and control’ (DMAIC) approach. Data collection was done in a face-to-face interview and brainstorming session with the business owner and consultants. Observations and a time study were also used to collect additional data. The results showed a lack of knowledge and awareness of Lean Six Sigma among the business owner and the consultants. The commitment to and engagement of management in the project contributed positively to the implementation of the DMAIC approach. The process improvement changes were applied over a period of three months, after which the process performance was reviewed. The case study resulted in a 60.3% reduction in total non-value-added time and an increase in both the value-added time (53.85%) and the amount of uptime (10.74%). Furthermore, downtime was also reduced (47.7%). This study shows that the application of the Lean Six Sigma tool could solve the challenges of productivity and waste in a bookkeeping and tax consulting SME in the Gauteng province with a direct implication for operational efficiency and customers’ satisfaction.
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