Would you be satisfied without telephone service for more than four hours a
month? How about no electricity at home for an hour each week? Clearly
It's no different with our customers. They want better than 99% problem-free
performance when they buy Honeywell products to use in their airplane engines,
automobiles, computer chips, chemical end products, or other critical
equipment. They also want fresh ideas that help them build their future. Our
"Six Sigma" initiative delivers on that promise and takes Six Sigma to
the next level.
Premier companies don't satisfy almost all their customer's expectations; they
exceed all of their expectations. Business success is a moving target and we
must get better and better each year at providing products and services.
At Honeywell, Six Sigma refers to our overall strategy to improve growth and
productivity as well as a measurement of quality.
As a strategy, Six Sigma is a way for us to achieve performance breakthroughs.
And it encompasses tools from all of our improvement initiatives, including
those in Operational, Technical and Customer Excellence. It applies to every
function in our company, not just those on the factory floor. That means
Marketing, Finance, Product Development, Business Services, Engineering, and
all the other functions in our businesses are included. It also incorporates
the rigorous assessment process used in determining Malcolm Baldrige Award
Six Sigma is a measurement of total quality to know how effective we are in
eliminating defects and variation from our processes. The processes at a Six
Sigma company operate at only 3.4 defects per million opportunities – or
99.9997% error-free. Most companies operate at about the Three Sigma level,
which is 66,810 defects per million or 93% error-free. Honeywell is already
approaching Four Sigma and many individual processes and businesses are well
beyond that mark. However, we believe that settling for this level of
performance is like shooting for the moon when you can reach distant stars. Our
goal is Six Sigma.
We selected this standard because it is widely understood in the business world
as a quest for process perfection. Our Total Quality journey began in the early
'90s, and some of our businesses have been using Six Sigma "language"
since 1995. Although the businesses that make up Honeywell today are very
different, we now have a single, common way to describe our work toward
becoming premier - by applying Six Sigma to all of our work processes.
Just making the jump from Four Sigma to Five Sigma requires a 27-fold
performance improvement. The move from Five Sigma to Six Sigma requires
approximately another 60-fold improvement.
Consider what it means to achieve this ultimate level of performance:
|If your water heater operated at Four Sigma, you would be without hot water
more than 54 hours each year. At Six Sigma, you'd be without hot water for less
than two minutes a year.
|With a Four Sigma packaging process, approximately six out of every 1,000
packages will be outside of specifications. At Six Sigma, only three packages
in every million will miss specifications.
|If your electricity operated at Four Sigma performance, your lights would
be out an hour a week. At Six Sigma, you would be without lights about two
seconds a week.
|With a Four Sigma design process, six out of every 1,000 design elements
relating to a new product are flawed before the product is fully
commercialized, versus a Six Sigma process, where only about three of every one
million design elements are flawed.
|If your telephone operated at Four Sigma, you would be without service for
more than four hours a month. At Six Sigma, it would be about nine seconds a
|At Four Sigma, about six out of every 1,000 invoices will contain incorrect
information. At Six Sigma, mistakes will occur only about three times in every
|If your car operated at Four Sigma performance, you would spend 37 minutes
in the repair shop for every 100 hours you operate the vehicle. At Six Sigma,
you would have only 1.2 seconds of repair for every 100 hours of
|A Four Sigma process will typically result in one defective package of
product for every three truckloads we ship. A Six Sigma process means one
defective package for every 5,350 truckloads.
As you can see, the payoff is huge. That's why Honeywell uses every resource
available to improve, and focuses on the building blocks of productivity and
Do it right the first time; eliminate non value-added steps, becoming lean;
reduce process variations, and exceed customers' application and performance
Special tools, such as Activity-Based Management (ABM), to go beyond the
typical understanding of cost to achieve the product cost necessary to meet
customers' price expectations.
Simplified, or "lean," processes to improve workflow throughout
every function of the supply chain and meet customers' delivery
Tools to focus on understanding customers' needs, then delighting customers
by meeting, and even exceeding, their expectations.
We're creating a culture of self-improvement throughout the organization as
learning continues to provide all employees with a new way of thinking and
sophisticated new tools. Here are some we use most frequently:
|Brainstorming, which encourages open thinking and allows team
members to build on each other's ideas;
|Flow Charts and Process Maps, allowing a team to: identify the
order of events in providing a product or service, uncover problems, and
compare the "ideal" work flow to what actually happens in the
|Pareto Charts, which identify the critical few issues that impact cost
and/or customer satisfaction;
|Root Cause Analysis, a method to help determine the true cause of problems;
|Control Charts, a method to observe and improve process performance.
We have great people working on great teams, generating world-class results.
Our teams typically have members from every level of the organization focused
on improving processes to satisfy customers. Many improvements are
"bottom-up" suggestions; solutions do not always result from a
Customers are recognizing the value we create for them and rewarding us with
larger orders. By delighting our customers, building value for shareowners and
enhancing employees' work experiences we'll achieve our aggressive growth