An integrated DEMATEL Six Sigma hybrid framework for manufacturing process improvement
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Six Sigma is a widely practiced, systematic, and structured methodology embedded with statistical methods and managerial philosophies for quality improvement by large firms along with small firms in the industrialized economies. Application of Six Sigma in Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in developing economies is limited due to several barriers these firms face. In academic literature, there is unavailability of sufficient evidence of successful implementation of the practice in these firms to encourage and provide a roadmap for its implementation. Thus, there is a need for studies that presents frameworks with illustrative case studies demonstrating the implementation of Six Sigma in MSMEs. In the present times, MSME firms in developing economies are facing competition from world leaders, and thus it has become essential for them to focus on the quality of their manufacturing products and at the same time being productive and efficient. Moreover, in the literature, it is observed that the potential of operations research (OR) methods is not sufficiently explored in Six Sigma studies. OR-based methods and tools should be integrated into Six Sigma implementation frameworks as these methods expand the application portfolio and tackle some of the barriers that limit the application of Six Sigma in small-scale firms. In this paper, a Six Sigma implementation framework for an MSME organization is developed incorporating Multi Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) tool Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory, apart from other conventional tools like cause and effect analysis, benefit effort analysis, Pareto analysis, control charts, etc. The proposed framework is illustrated in detail with the help of a real-life case study of an MSME in India. The results obtained after the implementation of this framework signify that the incorporation of MCDM in Six Sigma lead to a significant improvement in the sigma level of the firm despite of unavailability of sufficient resources.
KeywordsSix Sigma Micro Small Medium Enterprises Multi-Criteria Decision Making Operations research Cause and effect matrix
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