Six Sigma at Motorola

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Case Details:

Case Code : OPER050
Case Length : 13 Pages
Period : 1988-2005
Organization : Motorola
Pub Date : 2005
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : US
Industry : Telecom

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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The Implementation

On January 15, 1987, Galvin launched a long term quality program, called "The Six Sigma Quality Program," with the goal of achieving no more than 3.4 defective parts per million. The Corporate Policy Committee of Motorola updated its quality goal to "Improve product and service quality ten times by 1989, and at least one hundred fold by 1991." It aimed at achieving Six Sigma quality by 1992. Galvin initiated measures to develop a culture that focused on continuous improvement to assure total customer satisfaction. He said, "There is only one ultimate goal: zero defects in everything we do." The new quality standard was used in all products, processes, services and administration.

Operations Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

The Benefits

The first five years of Six Sigma implementation were highly rewarding for Motorola as sales grew dramatically and products of better quality were introduced. The company regained its reputation of developing high quality products...

Next Generation Six Sigma

Six Sigma was originally created as a continuous quality management and quality improvement technique (Refer Table IV for differences between Six Sigma and Quality Management) but over a period of time, it evolved into a new way of doing business. In the fifteen years after its launch, Motorola transformed its initial approach of counting defects in product manufacturing to managing variation and systematically improving not just manufacturing but all its business processes. Most importantly, by 2002, Motorola transformed Six Sigma from a tool for improving product quality to an overall business improvement methodology...


Exhibit I: The Six Sigma Concept
Exhibit II: Five Year Financial Summary (1990 - 94)
Exhibit III: Region Wise Market Share of Motorola (Immediately after Six Sigma Implementation)

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