Lean-Sigma for Product Improvement Using the VoC for Enhancing the Product Competitiveness

  • Aldo Salcido-Delgado
  • Li Zhou
  • Noé G. Alba-BaenaEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes on Multidisciplinary Industrial Engineering book series (LNMUINEN)


Managers are using metrics such as productivity, quality and low costs, to reach their objectives and keep companies success; however, customer expectations in the twenty-first century are not only including deliveries on time, good quality, and low costs; but they are also looking for values such as long term commitment, strategic integration and innovation as competitive values. For the mentioned conditions, today’s managers need to learn how to adapt to such challenges by using flexible methodologies that help them to integrate more qualitative requirements to the conventional metrics. For this challenge recently, Lean-Sigma has proven to be a flexible and adaptable methodology that can incorporate such requirements. For proving this concept, this chapter describes a case study in which the initial valuation of the metrics shows that a product has been delivered as expected with the quality and productivity values in the best levels. However, the customer perception is different and product competitiveness is at risk, signals that the operations management presented as a priority requiring actions and a later solution. Using the Voice of the Customer (VoC) and Lean-Sigma, this study focuses in an operation framed in the automotive industry. The assembly process is the target in specific in the cutting step of rubber hoses, which have to measure different lengths depending on the product models. At first sight, with a production rate of 1000 pieces per hour, the 7 complains in a year looks as expected for the variability in the process. However, the quality perception and confidence of the customer are at risk. Actions were taken and in two weeks the team incorporated the qualitative requirements to the operations’ quantitative targets and responded to the customer concerns and kept the product competitiveness. The adjustments and implementations results are reflected in the measured values at the cutting process, achieving an 80% reduction in the process’ variation, and an increment in the capability index (Ppk) from 0.97 to 1.97.


Lean-Sigma Variation reduction Production process 


  1. 1.
    Alba-Baena, N., Estrada-Orantes, F., Valenzuela-Reyes, C.: Use of lean-sigma as a problem-solving method in a restrictive environment. In: Managing Innovation in Highly Restrictive Environments, pp. 35–57. Springer, Cham (2019)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Alba-Baena, N., Estrada, F.J., Torres, O.O.S.: Using lean-sigma for the integration of two products during a ramp-up event. In: Handbook of Research on Managerial Strategies for Achieving Optimal Performance in Industrial Processes, pp. 405–427. IGI Global (2016)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Arnheiter, E.D., Maleyeff, J.: The integration of lean management and Six Sigma. TQM Mag. 17(1), 5–18 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Blanchard, D.: Census of U.S. Manufacturers – Lean Green and Low Cost (2007). Accessed 24 July (2018)
  5. 5.
    Brun, A.: Critical success factors of Six Sigma implementations in Italian companies. Int. J. Prod. Econ. 131(1), 158–164 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dahlgaard, J.J., Mi Dahlgaard-Park, S.: Lean production, six sigma quality, TQM and company culture. TQM Mag. 18(3), 263–281 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    De la Cruz Rodríguez, M.I., Orantes, F.J.E., Mendoza, M.D., Saldaña, J.F.E., Rodríguez, R.R.: Metodología para el mejoramiento continuo de procesos de manufactura, basado en lean sigma y aplicada al proceso de elaboración de arneses automotrices. CULCyT 56 (2016)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Del Angel, C., Pritchard, C.: Behavior tests six sigma. Ind. Eng. 40(8), 41–42 (2008)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Estrada-Orantes, F.J., Alba-Baena, N.G.: Creating the lean-sigma synergy. In: Lean Manufacturing in the Developing World, pp. 117–134. Springer (2014)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Estrada-Orantes, F.J., García-Pérez, A.H., Alba-Baena, N.G.: The E-strategy for Lean-Sigma solutions, Latin American case study in a new product validation process. In: Best Practices in Manufacturing Processes, 297–322. Springer, Cham (2019)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gracia, O.C., Orantes, F.J.E., Pérez, F.H.: Aplicación de la metodología Lean-Sigma en la solución de problemas en procesos de manufactura: Caso de Estudio. CULCyT 57 (2016)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Krafcik, J.F.: Triumph of the lean production system. MIT Sloan Manag. Rev. 30(1), 41 (1988)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kumar, M., Antony, J., Singh, R., Tiwari, M., Perry, D.: Implementing the lean sigma framework in an Indian SME: a case study. Prod. Plan. Control 17(4), 407–423 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    McMahon, T.: Top 10 reason why lean transformation fails (2013)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Pavlović, K., Božanić, V.: Lean and Six Sigma concepts–application in pharmaceutical industry. Int. J. Qual. Res. 5(2), 143–149 (2011)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Pay, R.: Everybody’s jumping on the lean bandwagon, but many are being taken for a ride. Ind. Week 5 (2008)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Pepper, M.P., Spedding, T.A.: The evolution of lean Six Sigma. Int. J. Qual. Reliab. Manag. 27(2), 138–155 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Snee, R.D.: Lean Six Sigma–getting better all the time. Int. J. Lean Six Sigma 1(1), 9–29 (2010)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aldo Salcido-Delgado
    • 1
  • Li Zhou
    • 2
  • Noé G. Alba-Baena
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Industrial and Manufacturing EngineeringAutonomous University of Ciudad JuarezCiudad JuárezMéxico
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringHunan Institute of EngineeringXiangtanChina

Personalised recommendations