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gauravdkverma

How Is Six Sigma Useful In Front End Areas Viz. Marketing, Business Development, Sales, Customer Service, Etc??

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Dear Gaurav,

Here are some example projects that could be launched in these areas:

  • Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the sales force
  • Reducing the time taken to respond to quiries
  • Improving customer satisfaction scores (net promoter scores)
  • Improving revenue growth
  • Reducing the time for new product development
  • Reducing the number of iterations and errors in product literature
  • Improving profitability (focussing on 80-20 rule - high value add products)
  • Improving effectiveness of advertising dollars
  • Improving the project management process
  • Reducing risk

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Hello Suresh,

Along with the above mentioned points,could you also elaborate on how to improve workability of the staff. How would six sigma help improve human efficiency and reduce errors that lead to customer dissatisfaction as good customer feedback is of topmost priority in service sectors. What kind of tools would be used to train personnel? Also in this industry there are no exhaustive data available so how would six sigma prove benificial? 

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Dear Namrata,

 

Good questions. Clearly, we have a problem statement (say improve efficiency, or reduce errors etc). Six Sigma is a structured methdology to arrive at the solution. It does not say what the solution is, but just what steps you need to take to arrive at the solution and hence solve the problem. Ideally, when you start a Six Sigma project, the root causes of the problems are not known and the solutions are not known. The root causes may differ from company to company.

 

The Six Sigma project team follows the methodology to arrive at the causes of the problem and the solutions. If you have a good cross functional team, you come up with good solutions to attack the problem at hand. As pointed out by you, one of the causes could be lack of proper training. We can collect some data regarding this issue and use Six Sigma to identify if training really is the cause of the problem (if so, how much) and which method of training provides the best improvement.

 

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Hi Suresh,

Nicely explained.Thanks. But how can a few people working on a project ensure that rest all, say the general staff who isnt even aware of the concept would co-operate and ensure that the methodology is followed and implemented.So basically everyone needs to be trained right? And what about areas which are entirely human to the core like sales and front desk? What kind of improvement can be done in these areas?

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Dear Namrata,

 

You are right. Green Belt and Black Belt project leaders not only have to work on the technical side of the problem and suggest good solutions but also have to ensure that they work on the human element - so that the solutions that they recommend are deployed within the organization. Hence, resistance analysis and change management are integral to the success of the Six Sigma resources / projects.

 

SJ

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Dear Suresh & Namrata,

 

The real tough task is implementing the solution, at various levels to make it really happen. Six Sigma concepts leaves with what is the steps that you will take to address the problem analyzing the root cause. But we have Six Sigma tools to help us while implementing, your steps should be explained as instructions that should be carried out at various levels to check the variation based on the existing data. The results have to be communicated at regular period or intervals and the results have to be checked for variance using the tools.

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Dear All,

 

To explain how human elements affect performance and how Six Sigma deals with them, let me give you an example.

 

One of my friends is a Sales Wiz with wonderful selling skills with little Six Sigma knowledge. In his previous job, he was leading Sales in an IT company. His job profile rotated mainly around closing deals initiated by junior Sales Executives.

 

He spent a lot of time in resolving quotation related issues with clients. Issues arose almost everyday because Clients used to call different Sales persons in the company and used to get different pricing or discount offers. These different quotes for the same models to clients were within the discount authority available to Salespersons. Even after lot of counselling sessions, these issues continued and were accepted as a way of life.

 

My friend as a Sales Head, had a challenging job of reaching each disilllusioned client (some of them feigned it to get an advantage) >>>explaining why the difference in quotations arose>>>>doing some numbers jugglary and >>>finally getting the Order. He used to get most Orders as he was too good with his Sales pitch and relation building abilities and the product was quite good. This sequence of tasks also provided him a feeling that he was doing a really worthwhile job resolving some big issues and an achievement feeling almost every day. He was made to feel special by juniors who honestly respected and admired him for his special abilities that succeeded in bringing them out of troubles so many times.

 

He recently joined a process driven (Six Sigma implementing) company where some good Six Sigma projects had been done. One Six Sigma project had ensured that there was absolutely no possibility of different quotes landing up with a clients for the same model, even if different Sales persons are reached by the client.

He found the new job boring as the entire fascination in his previous job was due to troubleshooting and firefighting which was a daily affair. Here the scope was little as he found the working to be quite streamlined. There were no quotation disputes, no erroneous invoices, no delayed invoicing, lesser delays in shipments, rare mismatches between order and delivery to name some of the areas. (All this was achieved through persistent Six Sigma afforts project by project)

After some time with this new company, this person realized that the only way he could use his creative energies was by working on some futuristic tasks. This led him to work and succeed with some big deals which were reached with collaborative efforts with associate companies. He had to spend very little time here with juniors. And whatever time he spent went into discussions about strategic clients and deals. He realized that this was impossible in his previous job as his creativity was being utilized in firefighting issues (those issues did need a lot of creativity as each case had to be managed in a unique fashion).

This brings us to the questions

  • Are their ways to which we can spend more of our time in futuristic tasks that can bring success and laurels for self/ company/ nation?
  • Are we using our creative energies in futuristic tasks (like worthwhile projects and improvement activities)? or are we losing ourselves in repetitive work?

 

Warm Regards,

VK

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Thanks Viswadeep

Very well explained.

I acknowledge and admire ,” WELL ESTABLISHED PROCESS” save lot of time, reduces inter personnel issues and leaves lot of time for thinking / future focus.

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Hi Gentlemen,

This forum seems be very interesting. I am new for Benchmark, but am not new to advantages Six Sigma. sine 2000-2007 I worked in various call centers in Delhi (starting from grass root level) and have experienced many designations.

Worked in collaboration with 6Sigma Green and Black Belts out of which many became very good friends of mine. Thus, I am aware of all the advantages of 6 Sigma.

However, what I wanted to know is, now I'm working for an company which is into Education Business, will Six Sigma really help me in streamlining things in that company and will the futuristic approach be effective in my field?

Regards,

KD

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Dear VK,

Issue is well explained.

The issue is that we are engaged more in crisis management and forgetting (or unable to do) the fact that there are more things to do for future. Also success in crisis management gives immediate attention and appreciation from many ,which make the person feel good.

Regards

 

Krishnan PM

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Hi,

My name is uma, i currently work for a Event Management organization as Database Administrator - Manager (Non-Tech), completed my Benchmark Six Sigma Green Belt a year and half ago. So far i have seen no opportunity in this area, i tried my level best to get into this field, I would like to know the prospective of this and also how can i perceive my career in this area and how do i go about. Can you guys help me.

uma v reddy

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Hello Uma,

Some of the important elements in database management for an event management company are -

  • Improving accuracy of contact mobile numbers.
  • Reducing duplicates
  • Improving data quality of documents --completeness
  • Improving data quality - correctness
  • Improving data quality - timeliness.
  • Ensuring zero errors in contact detail updates.
  • Ensuring zero errors in document version control
  • Improving effectiveness of direct response communication
  • Improving correctness of contact email addresses

I am not sure how many of the above are included in your profile. Let me know more about the activities in your profile. I am sure you should be able to find opportunities for applying some of the techniques straight away.

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Hi,

 

I went through the discussions and the thoughts about the application of six sigma in marketing & sales domain on this page and feel that as far as marketing and sales is concerned in a corporate, the management is more focused on numbers and the bottom line.

 

I have been working in marketing analytic for 4 years and have observed that the accumulated data about the customer speaks a lot about their preference, behavior, and choice of products the customer wants to purchase.

 

Few top companies have now started to understand the implication of quantitative analysis on the customer data and use the data to predict the choice of the customer.A very good example will be the use of regression analysis to understand the behavior of the customer.

 

Let's take an example of the sales & marketing for Insurance products.Suppose the sales agent randomly selects a list of 100 persons to be targeted and he visits each and every customer to make a sales pitch.His success rate may be 2% i.e 2 people purchases the insurance product from the agent out of 100.

We can study the behavior pattern of those 2 customers who have opted for the product.The 2 customers may be between a specific age group, they might be living in 100 - 150 square yard house, between a specific income group etc.

 

So the regression analysis can give us an insight into the customer behavior and decision-making ability.Using this technique generally, doubles the response rate.The regression analysis can be an effective way of using it in the 'ANALYSIS' phase for our projects.

 

I hope this small introduction can ignite the thinking process and help us achieve our marketing and sales target efficiently and effectively.

 

Thanks,

Himanshu Sangar.

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Hi all,

 

My name is Saptamita, I have worked in Financial Services in the capacity of business,ITES and Telecom as a service person,currently am looking for suitable oppurtunities in QA/ Service Delivery in ITES industry majorly involving improvement of business processes,customer satisfaction, call coaching and monitoring etc.I am completing my Benchmark Six Sigma Green Belt this month.I am interested to get into this field shifting from a business profile. I would like to know how to go about it and how six sigma can help me to change my industry along with my job profile.

 

Any help on this would be highly appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Saptamita De

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Hi

I am an MBA having 7 yrs exp. in Retail Fiance and now i would like to move out of Sales and want to enhance my skills in the area of Quality/Operations.Considering that i have alredy spend 7yrs of my career wheter its suggested to Join Six Sigma course or not as this is going to be a fresh start for me, what kind of Job i am going to get.

 

Thanks & Regards

Abhishek Srivastava

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Hi Abhishek,

 

Based on your Qualification (MBA) and Experience (7 Yrs in Retail Finance), it is certainly possible that you grow by enhancing your skills in the area of Quality/ Operations. For this, you will have to start your Six Sigma journey by doing a Green Belt first, after which it is recommended to apply your learning in your current domain by completing a project and then graduate to the next level i.e. Black Belt. Following the right path would help you significantly in your desired career interest.

For further details, please feel free to contact us on our TOLL-FREE number 18001023003 or alternatively, you can write to me at shradha@benchmarksixsigma.com.

 

Regards,

Shradha

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