How to Use Lean Six Sigma Principles to Optimize Facility Planning

How to Use Lean Six Sigma Principles to Optimize Facility Planning

By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

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Planning ahead is critical when you’re designing your company’s facilities, and there are some common mistakes that sadly seem to get repeated far too often even in modern companies. Understanding how Six Sigma can help you in this stage of your company’s setup can be very beneficial, even if you already consider yourself experienced with the important points of Six Sigma in general. Facility planning can suddenly become a breeze when you approach it in a systematic manner, applying well-established solutions that you know you can trust.

Preparing for Measurement and Data Collection

One of the core aspects of Six Sigma is working with data as much as you can to improve the current state of your facilities or operations in general. When planning for a new facility, you should do as much as possible to ensure that you already have some solid foundations for these data collection practices in place, allowing you to just put each piece into its corresponding place later on when actually putting the facility up.

This is even more important today with the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) becoming so prominent in the standard organization of most production facilities. Many production plants that were brought up before this trend took over simply cannot facilitate proper data collection because they don’t have the appropriate organization of their available space. When building a new facility, you don’t have to worry about that at all, and you can even make the place work for you in certain clever ways.

Streamlining Repetitive Tasks

Another important detail about implementing Six Sigma in your organization is to reduce waste as much as possible. Repetitive tasks are a common area of interest for such optimizations, and you should take a good look at the things your workers are required to do on a daily/weekly basis, and think about ways that those procedures can be reduced in either frequency or complexity.

It often turns out, for example, that you may be able to combine certain types of regular reports into one more simplified process. Or, on the other hand, you may be able to remove a particular report from the workflow because it’s already covered in another area. The key here is to ensure that your workers don’t have to waste their time on repetitive tasks, and this can be made quite easier by creating the appropriate environment that encourages this.

This idea is actually quite heavily emphasized in lean practices and Six Sigma in general – examining your workspace from a physical perspective can help you spot some details that might normally not be as obvious, especially with regards to the production practices and the wait/travel times associated with various tasks. Indeed, there is often much more room for optimization in this regard than most leaders realize, and once you take a look at a good overview that shows your facilities’ physical organization in a more sensible way, you will probably start getting some ideas.

Ensure as Much as Possible Is Done Digitally

Expanding on what we mentioned above about using modern technology more adequately in your workflow, you should do your best to reduce things like physical paperwork and other tasks that can be delegated to digital tools. Computers can relieve you of a lot of work if you use them in a smart way, so definitely spend some time thinking about how you can integrate them more efficiently into your current workflow. This doesn’t only apply to companies working in the IT field – it’s valid for pretty much any type of organization, especially production plants. The point is whether you can integrate computers in your workflow in some way, not if they’re a central part of it.


Six Sigma can be a very helpful tool when planning a new facility, especially when you want to organize its more complex aspects in a clear, sensible manner. When getting a new facility up and running, it makes no sense to build it according to old principles that have fallen out of use – check what modern methodologies can do for you first.

The post How to Use Lean Six Sigma Principles to Optimize Facility Planning appeared first on Shmula.

By: Shmula Contributor
Posted: December 11, 2017, 1:00 pm

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