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International Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences IJBAS-IJENS Vol:13 No:06 21

Lean Six Sigma in Food Industry


Kostic-Nikoli. S.1, Nikolic, I.2.
Megatrend University,
11000 Belgrade, Republic of Serbia
skocticnikolic@gmail.com, ivanakinikolic@gmail.com

Abstract It has been widely investigated that the widely investigated that the application of operations
application of operations management techniques is not management techniques is not only based on technical factors,
only based on technical factors, but it is mainly associated but it is mainly associated with organizational factors such as
with organizational factors such as culture, previous culture, previous policies and procedures, and etc. (Hope and
policies and procedures, etc. A very good example of Mhlemman, 2001; Noronha, 2003; Ayoob, et al., 2003;
promisng operations practices is Lean Six Sigma (L6). Psychogios & Wilkinson, 2007).
The main research question for L6 is related to its In this respect the purpose of this paper is to explore the
liabilities regarding its implementation and how to do it in Critical Success Factors (CSFs) that are related to the
food industry. Therefore, this paper aims to explore the application and implementation of L6 in food industry. The
impact of the new tool L6s and explain what are the context of the analysis is food industry since it has been
critical factors related to applying L6. The context of the neglected from the international literature of L6 that mainly
analysis is in the general view of food industry. Since it focusing on manufacturing industry (Psychogios et al, 2012).
seems that it has been neglected from the literature that Generally the Lean Six Sigma (L6) is a methodology of
mainly focuses is on manufacturing and service sector business improvement that maximizes shareholder value by
(telecommunication; healthcare and airline industry). The achieving faster rate of improvements in customer satisfaction
methodology was based on the structure interviews, of the and behavior, cost quality, process speed and investment
16 companies in Europe in food sector. The 16 top- capital (Sunhilde & Simona, 2007; Hill et al, 2011). New
managers will be exanimated on adequate way. tools bring changes and opportunities that go with a new
The findings and results will help to give appropriate approach, as is L6. Using and implementing this
justifications, such as why food industries must apply L6. methodology; companies could improve business
And also give occasion to compare with the literature environment and therefore performance. It could be a
review and theory. On the end it will show that there are management approach that is focused on quality and
ten (10) particular factors that influence the continuous improvement, based on participation of all
implementation of L6 in food industry. employees to get success on long term (Lubowe & Blitz,
2008). The tool has been successful applied in manufacturing
Index Term- Lean Six Sigma, Key-Success Factors, industry production and service and get good results in both,
Managers, Food Industry increasing efficiency of procedures and improving product
quality (Bowen & Youngdahl, 1998; Engelund et al, 2009).
I. INTRODUCTION Having all this in mind and along with the fact that the
In new dynamic world of global competition, where the recourses, sometime are limited for this research, the research
knowledge is most important, companies should follow and is separated into two parts; that is the investigation of
adopt new technology, tools and trends on market and managers behaviors and the analysis of articles from
continuously innovate and create new products and services. well-known journals about this topic for the period of 2003
With this approach they will be able to survive on the market until now. Starting with the philosophy about what is L6 and
and lead the battle and win competition (Vince, 2008; Jenica from what parts it is made.
et al, 2010). Todays big marketplace, followed by Most of people dont have enough knowledge about this
globalization, continuously technological advances, it could new approach but according to what is discovered here, L6
be said that the innovation is key for success for many is connected with many ordinary things. The part of findings
companies (Sunhilde & Simona, 2007). To survive in this will explain and give opportunity to understand connection
world, industries has to apply new ideas and processes and between L6s and CSF, with training courses, innovation and
also pay good attention to agility while they try to constantly etc. Training courses are equally important for both the
focus on quality, cost and efficiency (Edward et al, 2010). managers and the employees. With these courses they will get
Traditional management tools and mentalities cannot cope new experience, knowledge, and improve their skills. With
effectively and efficiently with current business demands new training courses comes also and innovation (in the way
(Itkin, 2008; Chee, 2008). This is the reason that large how to implement new tools/ techniques and programs).
industrial entites continuously develop and implement However obtaining only the knowledge behind L6
management tools and systems (Saravanan, 2006; Chang, methodology is not enough. After evaluation of the literature
2006). However, whether organizations in different sectors review, it is discovered that the implementation of L6,
and different places with different cultures can really adopt highly depends on several CSFs, which are mainly
promising quality management practices is still under responsible for success of the implementation. These factors
investigation. A prime example of such promisng practices is are: strong organizational culture, quality improvements,
Lean Six Sigma (L6) which is a synthesis of Six Sigma and customer satisfaction, tools and techniques and innovations.
Lean Manufacturing/Management. Similar to other
management tools, the main question for L6 is related to The data from qualitative exploration, from three case
liabilities and/or constrains regarding its implementation in studies, that are collected during research will be analyzed
different organizational and sector contexts. It has been with appropriate research methodology. After presenting the
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appropriate methodology, it will be discussed about findings waste is everything that increase cost without adding value for
and results in the charts with appropriate explanation. From the customer (Dahlagaard & Dahlagaars-Park, 2006). That is
these explanations, it could be realized that the companies the main target of lean thinking.
will start to apply this approach because it will give
opportunity to resolve some problems that already exists in II.2. SIX S IGMA OPERATION
the companies. Evaluation on the findings could bring In middle of 1980s, Motorola Inc., was the first company
conclusion, with the overall analysis. It will give good how launch the Six Sigma program (Anderson et al, 2006; Mc
opportunity to bring good explanation of implementation L6 Carty & Fisher, 2007; Mossa & Sajid, 2010; Schon et al,
with appropriate CSFs in service industry and also on the end 2010; Psychogios & Tsironis, 2012). It was developed by
it will give good recommendations for the future research. efforts of Bill Smith, how was reliability engineer in
Motorola. In 1988, Motorola received the Malcolm Baldrige
II. LITERATURE REVIEW National Quality Award, using Six Sigma methodology which
increases interest from other organizations to start to
II.1. LEAN OPERATION procedure this. Motorola manage to save, in period from 1986
to 1990, by using the Six Steps, about 1.5$ billion in
The Lean production or Lean philosophy/thinking is manufacturing and additional 1$ billion in
focused on achieving improvements in most economical way non-manufacturing. The concept of Motorolas Six Steps to
with special focus on reducing waste (muda - Japanese word) Six Sigma is present in Table I.
(Dahlgaard & Dahlgaard-Park, 2006). Also it involves the
speed of the process and how products can be delivered
quicker to customers by eliminating waste and also by using Table I
fewer materials in the actual assembly of the products Motorolas quality improvement process Six Steps to Six Sigma
(Cooper, 2008; Lane, 2008).

The origin of Lean production is Japan.


(Dahlgaard and Dahlgaard-Park, 2006, p. 264.)

According to Bendell (2006) the first who employed the


word Lean, to describe the new techniques introduced by
Taiichi Ohno at Toyota, is John Krafcik. His researched was
published in book The Machine that Changed the World
(Womack et al., 1990). In the book Lean Thinking, the
author explains that the muda is everywhere and it is very
important to observe not only in relation with lean but also
with TQM (Womack and Jones, 1996). The concept of muda
become one of the most important concepts in quality
improvement activities which is found by Taiichi Ohnos, (Source: Dahlgaard & Dahlgaard- Park, 2006)
famous Toyota philosophy from early 1950s , (Bendell, 2006,
Dahlgaard & Dahlgaard-Park, 2006, Stevenson, 2009). This Additionally, 6 is a quality improvement method that
philosophy is widely called Toyota production system (TPS) seeks to eliminate variations in the production process that
in Japan and provide lean production as an well-known term can be measured, controlled and improved by applying
that attract together the five elements the product statistical process control (Chang-Tseh, 2007).
development process, the supplier management process, the
customer management process and the policy focusing Beyond the positive results that can be achieved, Lean
process for the whole enterprise (Arnheiter & Maleyeff, Operations cannot bring a process under statistical control,
2005; Pepper & Spedding, 2010). while 6 alone cannot dramatically improve the speed of the
production process and reduce invested capital (Carreira,
The goal, which Toyota describes Lean operation is to get 2005). A combination between the two methods is required.
right things to right place in right time, the first time, while These two concepts are complementary (Ferguson, 2007).
minimizing the waste and being open for change (Cuc &
Tripa, 2007, p. 2527). Engineer Ohno discover that Lean II. 3. LEAN S IX S IGMA OPERATIONS
could be presented as mathematical result, known as Littles
These days, a lot of companies couldnt be focused only on
Law (Gerst, 2004).
speed or on quality of products or services (Ferguson, 2007).
The Lean Time presents the amount of time that is taken With new globalization demands and modern markets,
between the phase when work enter to the process and last integrating these two approaches Lean and Six Sigma, it
phase when work enter from process. For the Things in appears new quality philosophy that has a phrase Lean Six
Process we use numbers of requisitions, in product Sigma and present necessity of modern society and new
development it will be number of Projects in Process and in powerful tool (Antony et al, 2003; Nslud, 2008; Burgess,
manufacturing the amount of the Work in Process. 2010; Vince, 2008; Shan et al, 2008). It is a mix of three most
Lean philosophy has been market as a new organizational adopted and implemented tools Total Quality Management
change and improvement method, a cost reduction mechanism (Pshycogios & Priporas, 2007; Moosa & Sajid, 2010), Six
(Achanga, 2006; Nslund, 2008). The vision is to focus on the Sigma (Iwaarden et al, 2008; Aboelmaged, 2010) and Lean
individual products and its value stream (trying to identify operations (Andersson et al, 2006; Pshychogios et al,
value-added and non-value added activities), and to eliminate forthcoming). After all, it takes advantage-speed of Lean and
all waste (muda) in all areas and functions with systems. The the quality of Six Sigma.
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International Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences IJBAS-IJENS Vol:13 No:06 23
There is a lot of literature data that explain this integration, be used in various sectors. Also, according to the literature
creating a new tool with the goal to achieve more together (Pande, et al. 2000; Cross, 2007; Dreachslin, 2007) there are
than they could do separately. Table II summarizes the variety of methods used in order to apply the L6. Also,
synergy of the key steps from Lean along with Six Sigma There are several sectors and industries where L6 has been
tools that can be used as a utility to achieve each task applied.
(Andersson et al, 2006).
Table II Manufacturing and service industries are both aware of the
Synergy of Lean and Six Sigma fact that in this era of new technologies, they must be able to
react fast in the changing world, embrace innovation and
Concepts Six Sigma Lean become smarter than in the past. This refers on new
Origin The quality The quality evolution
customers demands and also on market completion
evolution in Japan and in Japan and Toyota
(Donovan, 2009). Many companies feel a pressure since they
Motorola
think that competition will overcome them or that they will be
able to survive in market. For that reason many companies try
Theory No defects Remove waste to apply Lean Six Sigma since they believe that with this new
approach it will be able to avoid risk of losing business, get
Process view Reduce variation Improve flow in lower cost and be better than competition (Nashiappan et al,
and improve defects processes 2009).
Approach Project management Project management Successful stories of L6 implementation are common in
general industry. It can be used in various sectors. According
Methodologie Define, measure, Understanding
to the literature (Psychogios and Tsironis, 2012) there are
s analyze, improve (or customer value, value
variety of sectors and industries that starts to apply L6s and
design), control(or stream, analysis, flow,
until now they achieve good results. Most of examples come
verify) pull, perfection
for the private sectors but in it could also be seen in public
Tools Advance statistical Analytical tool sectors. The first organization that applied L6, in 1995 was
and analytical tools General Electrics (GE) and become one of the most
successful companies in the world (achieving in first five year
Primary Save money Reduce lead time of implementation, more than 10$ billion. It has been lead
effects with sentence Why predict the future when you can create
it? and it was very proud on success, since they achieve to
Secondary Achieves business Reduce inventory,
reduce their cycle time by 45%. It was a major success for
effects goals and improves increase productivity
them and they were very pride to share that with rest of the
financial performance and customer
world.
satisfaction
However, most of the examples are coming from the
Criticism Does not involve Reduce flexibility, manufacturing, although there are some cases from the
everybody, doesnt causes congestion in the service industry as well (Naslund, 2008; Byrne et al, 2007;
improve customer supply chain, not Brett and Queen, 2005).
satisfaction, doesnt applicable in all
have a system view industries The biggest goal of L6 is to transform the organizations
from separate reactive operations, which are functionally
(Source: Adapted from Pepper and Spedding (2010)) oriented, into-cross functional process. The best result will be
It can be seen here, that Lean and Six Sigma, fit one into a customer focus, employee empowered and flexible
the other and like that it could be used for incorporating new organization. L6 is biggest key for the corporate strategy,
methodology, the methodology that have key elements of driven by customer and business needs and lead to achieve a
both and with the goal to achieve more together than they good competitive advantage. The nature of competitive
could do separately (Nabhani, 2009; Burgess, 2010; Jenica et advantage for L6s, Lean and Six Sigma can be displayed
al, 2010).Each stage can be follow by the Six Sigma five graphically in Picture 6 (Atnheiter & Maleyeff, 2005; Pepper
steps: define, measure, analyze, improve and control (DMAIC & Spedding, 2010).
model). One of most important things for development and
implementation of L6 methodology are critical success
In the respect to all, L6 concept emerged as a balanced factors (Achanga, 2006; Nslund, 2008; Salah et al, 2010;
approach between Lean Operation and Six Sigma, attempting Pshychogios and Tsironis, 2012; Pshychogios et al,
to create a synergy between their functionalities (Arnheiter et fortcoming). Critical success factors are necessary in order to
al, 2005; Ferguson, 2007) and create extra value to successfully implement any L6 efforts. The factors are
organizations. In other words, L6 integrates 6 and Lean known such as: leadership alignment, top management
processes, where Lean aims on cycle time and waste commitment, proper selection of the people and projects -
elimination while 6 seeks to eliminate defects and reduce teamwork, organizational understanding of work progress,
variation (Lubowe and Blitz, 2008). The integration is made education and training, motivation, accountability, customer
because Lean principles cant achieve good process control, satisfaction, information technology, quality -driven culture
only goal is on cycle time and elimination of waste while Six change, marketing and supply chain management and
Sigma cant alone achieve process speed and flow because it achieving financial success (Jeyeraman and Teo, 2010;
focuses on elimination of defects and reduce variation Pshychogios and Tsironis, 2012). Exploring the literature of
(Lubowe & Blitz, 2008; Stivenson, 2009; Psychogios & CSF and implementing, all of these factors that was mention
Tsironis, 2012). could be classified in two aspects: management oriented and
L6 methodology is not a standardized procedure so it can HR- oriented aspects.
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International Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences IJBAS-IJENS Vol:13 No:06 24
All of them are mixed together. For example, quality the environment, man came to the conclusion that it is
system requires appropriate culture change and this led to necessary to produce only quality, clean and safe food
continuous improvement and customer satisfaction (Furterer (Kostic-Nikolic, 2005). These days when everything turns
& Elshennawy, 2005; Psychogios & Tsironis, 2012). Or fast, the food industry was successfully developed from raw
training course and teamwork require high level of knowledge material production, procurement and handling, to
and also bigger budget, so the L6 could be understood and manufacturing, distribution, and consumption of food
implement properly (Antony et al, 2003). products (Kovach & Cho, 2011; IFS News, 2011). However,
Beyond the above evidence, there is a growing literature these developments start to increase the risk of foodborne
attempting to investigate the factors that influence the illnesses. A simple mistake in step of food production could
application of this practice. In particular, according to cause a large group of people to get sick in different locations
Psychogios et al (2012) there are both institutional and at the same time, which makes food safety one of the hottest
contextual factors. Also, these factors could be categorized topics in the 21 Century. (Kovach & Cho, 2011)
into generic that applied in all types of organizations and A new style of life provides to the consumers rights to buy
sectors, as well as in organizational-specific (corporate safety, biologically valuable food, and with the main purpose
culture, national mentality and working habits, particular to improve the life quality/ health. Having in mind, that the
PMS, quality system) and in industry-specific (services or customer is always right, especially when the topic is food
manufacturing). Finally, the factors that have a positive (Iwaarden et al, 2008; Kovach & Cho, 2011). They want
impact on the implementation of L6 are the facilitators, always use safety and healthy food both at home and on
while the ones that present barriers to successful abroad. Usage of food additives and ingredients is more
implementation are the inhibitors (Psychogios et. al, 2012). complex and responsive starting form technological,
Another, classification can be emerged from the distinction of economic, and environmental, health and normative aspects.
these factors into management-oriented and people-oriented With this starts to appears the problem/question of whether
(Psychogios and Tsironis, 2012). In particular, consumption of current food takes a risk to the health of
management-oriented factors include the integration of L6 consumers. Problem could be resolve looking at the current
with business strategy (Lubowe and Blitz, 2008; Fornari and process and products used in procedure (Kovach & Cho,
Maszle, 2004; Antony et al., 2007; Kamensky, 2008), 2011).
selection and management of the right project (Antony et The food industry is extremely huge, collective, varied
al., 2004; Laosirihongthong et al, 2006; Ladhar, 2007; business with complex network from farming to production
Breyfogle, 2008), and customer satisfaction (Antony et al, to packing to distribution (Kovach & Cho, 2011). Because of
2003; Antony et al., 2007; Andel 2007; Lubowe and Blitz, that, food companies couldnt be focused only on quality of
2008). The people-oriented factors include Committed the product (Ferguson, 2007; Lane, 2008). Every single
leadership (Laosirihongthong et al., 2006; Maleyeff, 2007; company, no matter which sector they are, work on that to
Stuenkel and Faulkner, 2009; Carleysmith et al., 2009; rebound economy. Most of them try to find a way in
Ladhar, 2007), Quality-driven Organizational Culture optimization of the process creating competitors advantage,
(Furterer and Elshennawy, 2005; Maleyeff, 2007; Lubowe diversification by planning new strategy, making new choices
and Blitz, 2008; Koning et al., 2006; Koning et al., 2008; and minimalizing costs (Burgess, 2010). This is one of the
ORourke, 2005), training (Anthony et al., 2003; Ladhar, reasons why large industries, such as food industry, try to
2007; Caldwell, 2006; Antony et al., 2004; Delgado et al., improve and implement new tools and quality programs
2010), teamwork (Neuhaus and Guarraia, 2007), and (Psychogios & Tsironis, 2012). Implementing the L6s could
Supportive Technical systems (Kamensky, 2008). easily to improve efficiency and quality in many area of
In short, there is some literature that suggests factors like company and keep the competitive advantage in food industry
leadership, strategic orientation, teamwork, technical (Hostetler, 2010).
approaches (metrics-systems), and training will probably Unfortunately, there has been little implementation of L6
affect L6 application. All the above are complemented by a in food industry (Stivenson & Jain, 2005). Sometimes
strong organizational culture which emphasizes on quality applying new tools is not only technical nature more or less
improvement and customer satisfaction. However, the depends of company policies, procedures, culture, fierce
in-depth exploration of the interrelationship of these factors competition, high variable material costs, regulatory
seems to be neglected by the literature. In other words, there requirements, quality management and etc. (Cutler, 2007).
is not yet an attempt to develop an integrated framework that The law and regulations are most important for food industry.
can contribute to our understanding regarding the With license and regulations, companies are responsible to
implementation phase of L6. Also, the majority of the above deliver safety food. For example, the European Union main
factors have emerged from studies conducted mainly in food safety law is CE 178/2002 and it is applicable from the
manufacturing industry, while service industry seems to have 1th January 2005 (Europa-Food Safety, 2011). And a
neglected. Therefore, there is a need to explore further the company in this region has to implement this with local law.
application of the above factors in service context. In this Compared to the automotive industry, trust and contract
respect, the present study attempts to expand our complexity between buyer-supplier is significantly different
understanding regarding the factors influencing the (Moore, 2007). The concept of achieving quality control and
application of L6. continuous improvement is extraordinary critical in the food
industry (Nachiappan et al., 2009). The generic quality
III. LEAN SIX SIGMA IN FOOD INDUSTRY criteria classification in food industry is present in Table III.
Starting from ancient people, thousands of years ago, it is
notice that soured or contaminated food made people sick.
Throughout history, several of methods and tools were
implemented to preserve food and to reduce the illnesses. To
ensure biological survival and prevent further degradation of
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International Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences IJBAS-IJENS Vol:13 No:06 25
Table III
Quality criteria classification in food industry,
Quality criteria classification in food industry
Criteria Description

Safety/ Food for human consumption has to be


1
Reliability safe for the health.
Compliance Product and food processing must
2
comply to the national food laws
Product Food industries have to deliver food
mensuration packaging respecting the announced
3
measures such as weight, size, trace
element composition, fat content
Product Processed food must be delivered with
nutritive quality its original vitamins, proteins, trace
4
elements and all other components for a
balanced diet.
Appetizing Smell, colors and texture have to be Picture 1. Major Six Sigma elements in the food industry
5 product attractive and compliant to the local Source: Lean Six Sigma in Food Processing, 2011
usage.
Ease of use and Ease of use is going from cooking
6 packaging information, prepared food to manageable The main task of the food industry becomes development,
packages. and implementation of scientific achievements goes when
elements of customer satisfaction, expected quality attributes,
Product All legal and practical information on
process control, equipment capability and commodity. If
7 information the product must be available (on the
some of these elements miss, the product will suffer and that
package, website)
will have big effect on customer satisfaction, complains,
Processed in All precaution for environment vague quality expectations, missing or wrong process check,
respect of SRE protection and waste management are high levels of waste or downtime in production, declining
8
taken during processing and for the raw profitability.
material.
Some research explored that approximately 30% to 50% of
Source: IFS News, 2011 the costs in food industry are due to costs related to the slow
processing speed or performance to meet customer needs and
A quality criterion is very important because it represents demand. Process cycle efficiency (PCE) was improved from
what customers expecting and from other hand what public 5.02% to 17.46% due to the implementation of Lean
authorities control. The customers are looking for variety of practices. The data demonstrates that L6 tools will contribute
food, pleasant tastes easy to prepare (comfort criteria) but to the implementation of the food safety system to minimize
most of them look for food that will not damage the health risk, improve productivity and quality of products, and reduce
(safety criteria) (Kovach, & Cho, 2011). Due of L6`s unnecessary waste and time.
importance, all industries are leaving the traditional way of Also using L6 tools provide lowest costs; process can be
operating and start to apply these new tools (Burgess, 2010; defined, measured, analyzed, improved, controlled and finally
Kamran & Sajid, 2010). benchmarked through other facilities. It creates the speed of
But some sectors from food industries try to keep the the process (reducing cycle time) and efficiency (minimum
traditional way of producing in hope that they will be time and cost of invested capital). It reduces defects and
different from competitors. Picture, shows the major L6 variations in the process (Collier & Evans, 2007). So when
elements in food industry. the defects are reducing by 10%, the speed of process will
increase for 40%. In other words, design of L6 is a technique
that is specially focuses on supporting design and delivery of
new technology. It would reduce variations, increase profit
and eliminate defects and waste will consider form, fit and
functions.
Some companies from food industry (Table IV)
successfully use L6 for several years to improve mainly the
area of packing and supply chain. The main food standards as
HACCP, ISO 9001, ISO 22000, ISO 14001, Traceability and
etc. can get benefit from this activity (Lean Six Sigma in food
processing, 2011).

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Table IV environmental standards. By establishing direct ties with the
Food companies that introduce some quality operations consumer/customer, i.e. the creation of partnerships in the
Food industries network of associates, some criteria of justification may not
be acceptable to all participants: required selection criteria for
Company Quality Sector
each individual network members.
Management Tool
Kelloggs Six Sigma on packaging
IV. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Britvic Soft Six Sigma on packaging and
Drink logistics
The study introduces the newly wide spread tool L6, and
all the knowledge, tools, and understanding that surround it.
Mars Six Sigma on packaging Moreover, the feasibility to apply its methodology as well as
Twining Lean and Six Sigma on conditioning an overview of the industries it can be applied along with the
and packaging critical success factors for each industry are being discussed.
Virgin Drink Lean Logistics
The work is also focusing on management innovation, giving
special emphasis on published research, articles and
Socopa Traceability and meat processing development activities, opportunities and changes according
Lean Management to many authors. According to the literature review, the points
Fleurys Six Sigma diagnostic / of importance for worldwide organizations to use this
Michon through Consumer Help innovation, L6, are the higher positioning and credibility that
Desk companies receive; that is to go one step ahead in the highly
Euroserum Traceability and Six milk processing competitive markets and improve their level. And that is
(Entremont) Sigma management because they face every day with poor process executions that
directly affect client service and satisfaction; something
Hero France Traceability and canning industry important to avoid. Following up from the literature review,
Lean Management the purpose of the research is to investigate the theoretical
Coop de France Lean Management Agriculture understanding of L6 and any possible ways of linking it with
Rungs fishery Quality Management / practice. The research consists of two parts. The research will
and Lean Management investigate generic theoretical purpose of L6s, according to
theory and literature. The practical part, will follow the
Source: Pratiques Lean et Six Sigma-L6 in Food Industry, 2011
discoveries from the literature review by exploring whether
According to some research, business improvements that and how companies in the food industry use a process quality
L6 will bring in food industry are: management tool like L6 in order to improve their
to focus on quality criteria expected from the market production or service. L6 is very recently introduced in the
to benchmark it is quality and efficiency level and to food industry, and there are little evidence found in the
compare it with the European level literature that concerns its applications and critical success
factors. The companies involved in the research are from
to link financial and operational objectives through Europe.
the quality criteria
to use the future LSS ISO standard (ISO 13035) As was revealed in literature review, the main objectives in
this work is to analyze what are the critical success factors
Experiences of using L6 as an improvement method have for L6 implementation and also to investigate how they
demonstrated decrease in general costs from 25 to 40% impact on quality management towards company performance
without new investment. Knowing the type of criteria and in multinational food manufacturing industries in order to
level of quality that are expected, food companies can make a improve better production or service.
business plan that will take advantage and easily enter to new
markets. The quality of business plan should be built on
principles of L6. IV.1 METHODOLOGY APPROACH
According to Kovach & Cho (2011), the four major During the research done over some articles (Nslund,
sources of variations in processes, which L6 in food 2008; Snee 2010, de Koning et al, 2010; Zhang et al, 2012a)
industry, will reduce are: that explore methods used to analyze L6s implementation,
1. Insufficient design margins (poor design machinery and discover what are the CSF in L6s (Hilton & Sohal, 2012;
and operating environments) Psychogios & Tsironis, 2012; Psychogios et al, forthcoming),
2. Inherent variability of any manufacturing process and according to the research questions and objectives set,
(the 5 Ms- machine, methods, materials, man and appropriate methodology and strategy for collecting data
measurement) needs to be defined. The type of methodology that will be
3. The measurement systems inherent variability, used is exploratory study, (Saunders et al, 2007). The
which could cause up to 25% of the problems and defections exploratory study is chosen for the reason that will give
in productions opportunity to establish and explain relationship between
4. Variable productions provided by subcontractors and common variables that are found in theoretical and practical
vendors parts. The first part of the research aims at discovering how
L6 application "behaves" in practical context. To achieve
Cooperation between producers and other partners this, structured interviews will be used on the most
interested in opening a number of innovation issues that are appropriate population sample to the research objectives and
still looking for answers. One of the outstanding issues raised relative theories (Saunders et al, 2007).
in the study: the question of the justification for further
development. Justification, which is at the heart of this work,
should include not only economic but also social, ethical and
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V. FINDINGS The second step will present according to the most
In this section the 16 structured interviewees will be important CSFs that are found in the literature review, the
classified by the overall knowledge that is discovered in opportunity to make connection with the answers that are
literature review. Analyzing the answers from the mangers presented on this topic. As was mentioned before,
interviewees will give opportunity to answer the main the second section of the interview is about strategic planning,
question for this research and also give opportunity to answer capacity of the quality projects and applications of the quality.
some basic research questions that are important for the The results from the questions will be sorted regarding to the
research. Considering basic questions, it will be easy to find research questions and presented in the Table VIII.
objectives. In the first step, the general data about companies Furthermore, it will give opportunity to the find better way to
are presented in charts and it will give opportunities to reach research objectives. The begging of this section is the
statistically interpret. The charts will be classified in order to section regarding the current situation in the company. The
present the number of the companies according to the place responses from questions will give the ability to explore and
that they take in the world, sectors that they operate, see the current situation of the companies that are examined,
organizational size and the last the level of the education since they provide answers on the questions about
background and the position of the managers that are measurement, tools and improvement of the process/ products
examined. and also it will consider the problems that companies face in
this time.
The analysis of qualitative data gathered through in-depth
interviews with managers in all three cases resulted in the
emergence of ten (10) key success factors regarding L6
implementation in service industry. These factors are
summarized in table I.

Table I
10 Key Success Factors of L6 Application in Service Industry
Fig. 1. Type of Organizations
1. Top management commitment, involvement & support
According to the Figure 1 it could be seen that just12% of
2. Quality-driven organizational culture
total are SME National companies, 44% are Large National
companies, other 33% is SME National companies and 13% 3. Quality-driven training
of all companies is Multinational. From this it could be seen
that the Multinational companies either do not know about the 4. Teamwork in problem solving
new methodology L6 or they does not have enough
5. Direct link between L6 and Customer satisfaction
knowledge about this approach. Also the companies could be
presented in Figure 2, from the part of the sectors that are in 6. Strategic orientation of L6
their filed.
7. Supportive technical systems (Tools & Techniques)

8. Clear Selection of L6 projects

9. Prior implementation of other quality improvement programs

10. Supportive performance management system

Also, table II shows in which of the three cases the above


factors emerge after the interviews with managers. As it can
be seen the great majority of the factors have been identified
in all three cases. Moreover the analysis shows that there are
two categories of factors emerged. The first category refers to
Fig. 2. Sectors of the companies factors that have been underlined by other studies while the
second category refers to two new factors emerged only in the
What was discovered and very interesting for the research current study.
are the age-group, the educational background of the
examiners and their position in the organization. About 67%
of examiners are in the group age from 30-39. Small part, just
some 11% belongs to the group of 50-59 ages.

According to this the percent of the people with high


education (University and Postgraduate MSc) is about 67%
and number of the people how are with high school is 33%.
About the work place just 14% is in the place of Director
(CEO), about 58% is on the place of the First-Line Manager
and Middle Manager and the percent of the people how works
as First-Line Employee and Supervisor is 28%.

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International Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences IJBAS-IJENS Vol:13 No:06 28
in service and manufacturing industry. In this case, it will also
Table II be seen what action should be taken to implement L6
10 Key Success Factors of L6 across the research according to the level of the CSFs, which are found, in the
service industry.
Key success factors of L6 identified in
other studies The approach of this study was designed to explore the
existing literature review and discover ways to successfully
1. Top management commitment, implement L6, and what are in general the CSFs for
involvement & support implementation in different industries. In addition it will
attempt to reveal why L6 isnt still applied in the service
2. Quality-driven organizational
industry.
culture
This cooperation is made to ensure that the application of
3. Quality-driven training
the L6 will bring successful results and have good influence
4. Teamwork in problem solving in the customer satisfaction, improvement of employees
performance with the new training courses and on the end
5. Direct link between L6 and have big influence in the products and processes.
Customer satisfaction
As is it could be seen L6 start to be the philosophy of the
6. Strategic orientation of L6 business as well as the new strategy that helps companies to
gain the competitive advantage and be ahead of their
7. Supportive Technical systems
competitors in this cruel world of globalization. It will bring
(Tools, Techniques & IT)
the competition thorough the reduction of the waste, defects
8. Clear Selection of L6 projects in processes and products, improvement in employees
performance, bring company in high level from economic part
2 Key success factors of L6 identified of way and on the end bring high level in the eyes of the
in the current study customers.

9. Prior implementation of other


quality improvement programs VI.3 OBSERVATION
The literature review conducted for this study provides the
10. Supportive performance understanding of the evolution of L6. Trough Quality
management system Management, Lean Operations and Six Sigma it has been
made one new approach L6. Every of these approaches have
their advantages and disadvantages but some of them are not
able to bring good results alone.
VI. CONCLUSION This study has four major advantages. Firstly, it expands
The previous chapter presented the findings of the research, our understanding regarding the implementation of L6 in
and give opportunities to present appropriate answers. food industries, in which the application of management
However, the overall picture will present in this part and with models is more complex and problematic. Secondly, it
critical discussion of the key points that are discovered in the focuses on the responses of managers, who always play the
findings and as well in the literature review. The chapter will most significant role in the adoption of such techniques.
try to present the conclusions based on the analysis of Thirdly, supports current literature on the key success factors
received data from the qualitative exploration of three case of L6 application. Finally, it contributes two more factors
studies. that need to be considered in L6 process. The main
limitation of the study is the fact that only managers and
top-administrators were approached. Frontline employees
VI.1. THE COMPARISON OF THE FINDINGS WITH THE who are also directly involved in L6 approach, may offer a
EXISTING THEORY more clear view on issues related to the impact of critical
According to the literature review, there are the evidences factors on L6 application. Therefore, it is critical future
that the development of the L6 in manufacturing and service studies to investigate first-line employees that always play an
industries brought important benefits to the business of the equally substantial role in the application of integrated quality
company, and then continuing with employees, managers, management initiatives like L6 (Psychogios et al. 2009).
supply chain, and on the end with customers. It could be seen
that for the successful implementation of the L6 are need for
the good company management and commitment are the key VI.2. RECOMMENDATIONS
for the successful implementation of Lean and Six Sigma and The responses that are received from examiners and with
also continuously improvement. Organizational culture by the relevant literature that is found and presented give the
strategy that company has already will try to focus on opportunity to identify benefits, opportunities and CSFs for
developing and implementing the right methodology, tools, implementation of L6 according to initiatives.
techniques in way to manage better conditions and
First is that the organizational culture must line up with the
opportunities for the new business challenges.
main targets of the L6, and the seconds is that the processes
The main expectation from this study is to identify the should be changed with appropriate requirements of the tools.
outcomes, which are categories with CSFs that are identified Here could also be included the resources and capabilities,
in the literature review and are responsible, according to the such as knowledge, or, time or labor, courses. Nevertheless,
large number of authors for successful implementation of L6 implementation of the CSFs that follow these sectors of
135906-8484- IJBAS-IJENS @ December 2013 IJENS IJENS
International Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences IJBAS-IJENS Vol:13 No:06 29
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