Lean Six Sigma for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises: A Practical Guide, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Lean Six Sigma for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises

A Practical Guide, 1st Edition

By Jiju Antony, S. Vinodh, E. V. Gijo

CRC Press

215 pages | 53 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781482260083
pub: 2016-05-18
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It is no secret that Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is not as popular with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as it is with larger ones. However, many SMEs are suppliers to larger entities who are pushing for superior quality and world-class process efficiencies from suppliers.

Lean Six Sigma for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises: A Practical Guide provides a roadmap for the successful implementation and deployment of LSS in SMEs. It includes five real-world case studies that demonstrate how LSS tools have been successfully integrated into LSS methodology. Simplifying the terminology and methodology of LSS, this book makes the implementation process accessible.

  • Supplies a general introduction to continuous improvement initiatives in SMEs
  • Identifies the key phases in the introduction and development of LSS initiatives within an SME
  • Details the most powerful LSS tools and techniques that can be used in an SME environment
  • Provides tips on how to make the project selection process more successful

This book covers the fundamental challenges and common pitfalls that can be avoided with successful introduction and deployment of LSS in the context of SMEs. Systematically guiding you through the application of the Six Sigma methodology for problem solving, the book devotes separate chapters to the most appropriate tools and techniques that can be useful in each stage of the methodology.

Keeping the required math and statistics to a minimum, this practical guide will help you to deploy LSS as your prime methodology for achieving and sustaining world-class efficiency and effectiveness of critical business processes.


"… it constitutes a valuable addition to the Lean Six Sigma literature that is often focused on the needs of large multinational corporations. … Lean Six Sigma is not only for large corporations and this book proves it…an excellent reference text for running continuous improvements in small and medium organizations."

—Alessandro Laureani, Master Black Belt, Google, Republic of Ireland

"The book is intended for senior managers, middle managers and people on the shop floor who are preparing to become lean Six Sigma deployment champions, green belts and yellow belts. The authors provide a road map for small and medium-sized enterprises, detail metrics and the wide variety of available tools, take the reader through project selection and provide five case studies.

The projects chosen are a small-scale foundry, an automobile supplier, die-casting process, a camshaft manufacturing organization in India and a lean Six Sigma application to road construction for wind turbine installation, also in India.

So don’t let your organization’s small size deter you. Lean Six Sigma can reduce defect and rework in any enterprise."

ISE Magazine, Book of the Month, November 2016 Issue

"This practical guide, keeping the required math and statistics to a minimum, covers the fundamental challenges and common pitfalls that can be avoided with the successful introduction and deployment of LSS in the context of SMEs.

At the end of this book five different case studies are presented that clarify, with the use of real data, metrics, pictures and tables and diagrams, how LSS can really improve the business of SMEs achieving concrete positive results.

All in all, this practical guide is suggested for industrial management students and company managers who need to improve their practical knowledge of Lean Six Sigma in SMEs. The language, the examples and the organization of this book help people who have only a general knowledge about Lean Six Sigma concept to go in depth in this practice."

Alessandro Perini, Production Planning & Control: The Management of Operations March 2017 Issue

Table of Contents

Introduction to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)


Definition of SMEs

SMEs’ Contribution to World Economy

Characteristics of SMEs

SMEs versus Larger Firms



Continuous Improvement Initiatives in SMEs

What is Continuous Improvement?

Continuous Improvement Practices in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

Critical Success Factors in the Implementation of CI Practices in SMEs

Leadership for CI

Sustainability of CI Initiatives



Lean Six Sigma

What is Lean Production System?

Key Principles of Lean Production System

Benefits of Lean Production System

What is Six Sigma?

Some Common Myths of Six Sigma

An Overview of Six Sigma Methodology

Benefits of Six Sigma

Some Pros and Cons of Lean and Six Sigma

Why Lean Six Sigma?

Benefits of Lean Six Sigma

Challenges in the Implementation of Lean Six Sigma



Lean Six Sigma Road Map for SMEs

Readiness Factors for the Successful Introduction of LSS

Lean Six Sigma Implementation Infrastructure

A Road Map for Implementing Lean Six Sigma

Managerial Implications



Lean and Six Sigma Metrics


Introduction to Common Metrics of Lean

Introduction to Common Metrics of Six Sigma

Lean Six Sigma Metrics

Overall Equipment Effectiveness



Six Sigma Methodology


Define Phase

Measure Phase

Analyze Phase

Improve Phase

Control Phase



Basic and Advanced Tools of Lean and Six Sigma for SMEs

Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs and Customer

Value Stream Mapping

5S Practice

Single Minute Exchange of Dies

Visual Management

Standard Operating Procedures

Cause and Effect Analysis

Pareto Analysis


Scatter Diagram and Correlation Analysis

Control Charts

Run Charts

Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

Voice of the Customer Analysis

CTQs and a CTQ Tree

Project Charter

Hypothesis Tests

Regression Analysis

Kanban System

Poka-Yoke (mistake proofing)

Root Cause Analysis or 5 Whys Analysis

Design of Experiments

Process Mapping

Measurement System Analysis

Solution Selection Matrix



LSS Project Selection

What is an LSS project?

Project Selection and Prioritization

Management of Project Reviews

Some Tips for Making Your LSS Projects Successful



Industrial Case Studies of Lean Six Sigma

Case Study 1: Application of Six Sigma Methodology in a Small-Scale Foundry Industry

Case Study 2: Application of Six Sigma Methodology in Road Construction for Wind Turbine Installation

Case Study 3: Application of Six Sigma Methodology to Reduce the Rejection and Rework in an Automobile Supplier Company

Case Study 4: Application of Value Stream Mapping in a Camshaft Manufacturing Organization

Case Study 5: An Application of Lean Six Sigma to a Die Casting Process



About the Authors

Jiju Antony is recognized worldwide as a leader in Six Sigma methodology for achieving and sustaining process excellence. He founded the Centre for Research in Six Sigma and Process Excellence (CRISSPE) in 2004, establishing the first research centre in Europe in the field of Six Sigma. Professor Antony has successfully completed a BE in mechanical engineering from the University of Kerala (South India), an MSc in industrial engineering from the National University of Ireland, Ireland, and a PhD in quality engineering from the University of Portsmouth, UK.

S. Vinodh is an assistant professor in the Production Engineering Department of the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli. Dr. Vinodh completed his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, India; and master’s degree in production engineering and PhD in mechanical engineering at Anna University, Chennai, India.

E.V. Gijo has worked as a faculty member in the Statistical Quality Control and Operations Research Division of the Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore, India for the last 17 years. Dr. Gijo has successfully completed an MSc in statistics at M.G. University (Kerala), an M. Tech. in quality, reliability and operations research at the Indian Statistical Institute (Kolkata) and a PhD in statistics at M.G. University (Kerala).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Quality Control