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This chapter is from the book

Selecting a Six Sigma Provider

Now that you have learned what is required to properly launch Six Sigma, you are in a position to decide whether to hire a Six Sigma provider (consulting firm) to help with the training and initial deployment of Six Sigma. Almost all companies get external help of some kind, which makes good business sense. Hiring a Six Sigma provider enables a company to learn from those who have gone before and move up the learning curve more quickly. The consultant costs should be much more than covered by the returns of the higher number of projects that can be completed using the expertise of a seasoned consultant. Black Belt projects can also produce bottom line results before the training is completed, as quick fixes are often found in the measure and analyze phases of the DMAIC process. It is not unusual for 30-50% of the projects to produce bottom line savings before the training is complete, and for these benefits to more than cover the training costs.

This point is so important it is worth repeating: employing an outside Six Sigma provider is cost effective and can help an organization move up the learning curve more quickly.

Using an outside provider is also a high-yield strategy because executives and managers will listen to those from the outside more readily than to the company's employees. It is difficult to be a prophet in your own land, even when the knowledge to do the work exists within the organization. Specific advice on how to choose a Six Sigma provider is presented with the questions and answers after Chapter 8.

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