Six Sigma is a standard in which company’s efforts are aimed to improve business performance and customer satisfaction. It uses facts and data to illuminate waste variation and activities that don’t add value. In short, Six Sigma is mainly quality control. Raytheon is a leading commercial, defense electronics, and aviation company; which has many locations across the United States and 70 locations world wide. In order to improve quality while tracking cost Raytheon decided on January 2000 to implement a Program called “Raytheon Six Sigma”.
Before Raytheon Six Sigma, Raytheon had reduced its earnings expectations for 1999 and 2000. Charges amount to $638 million pre-tax that was recorded in 1999, and an additional $30 million in 2000. Daniel P. Burnhan, Raytheon chairman and chief executive officer said, “we are frustrated with this performance, but I can assure you we have dug deeply to understand the issues and are dealing with the problems. We’ve also come to the conclusion that fundamental changes are taking place in our business and in the industry, and as a result we are changing some key assumptions in our business model to arrive at a new baseline for Raytheon that is fact-based and realistic”.
He also explained, “while Raytheon moved quickly and decisively to consolidate and integrate several new defense electronics business into the company’s portfolio, this put a tremendous strain on people and systems”. He also stated that new key initiatives were underway, the initiative was Raytheon Six Sigma.
The purpose of this essay is to provide an overview of Raytheon Six Sigma. It will describe its plans and objectives. It will emphasize empowerment to employees and leaders. A brief description on the leader duties to the customer, employee, and the company, and the way to achieve the goals set by Raytheon Six Sigma. It will also touch up on some of the tough goals and targets that the new and improved stradegy conquered.
The program will be empowering employee’s from the lowest practical levels to make decisions. The program is to make leaders and motivate all employees. It makes every employee go through some form of training and encourages “lean thinking” and “bureaucracy busting” to make efficient use of all resources.
Raytheon’s chairman and CEO was the one who brought the Idea of Six Sigma to Raytheon. He witnessed the
benefits the strategy had on a real company. He wanted Raytheon to take advantage of those same benefits.
In 1999, the goals for Raytheon were to educate 800 leaders of the company; to have 75 legacy experts complete accelerated training; to graduate 125 new experts; to have 250 training experts in the training pipeline by the end of the first year; and to have 250 specialist graduate. In 2001, Raytheon would have had 1200 trained experts taking care of major cost savings process and 25000 specialist adding value to their work area.
According to Robert Blair: All leaders are trained to understand their roles and the process. Each leader is responsible for communicating opportunities and creating urgency. Incorporating Raytheon Six Sigma in a strategic and operational plan will balance operational need and capacity. It will fund training and development and sponser projects to support business goals.
Raytheon Six Sigma will provide the best materials and labor to reduce the cycle times and the number of manufacturing defects. The challenge for Raytheon was that it had thousands of employees scattered across the world, and sharing information would be difficult. However Raytheon was ready for the challenge.
Raytheon chose Power Steering Enterprise to conquer the problem of distance and communication with its leaders. Power Steering Software Inc makes Power Steering Enterprise.
Power Steering is a web based work management software platform that would allow Raytheon managers and project members to share best practices, detailed process information, track projects, and cut costs across the Raytheon organization.
Power Steering Enterprise’s features took care of the tasks Raytheon had:
- Creating an Updating Projects
- Sharing and Tracking documents
- Reporting threaded discussions for team collaboration
- Reporting financial rollups
- Providing visibility into projects at all levels
- In particular, the visibility into projects was a powerful tool, enabling users to pull together reports on single, or whole portfolios of projects both enterprises wide or focused on specific business units.
In essence, Power Steering Enterprise has enabled knowledge sharing across the enterprise instead of having team member relearn what they already know.
They’re other companies that are learning from the Raytheon Six Sigma program. One company is Chase EMS Group, which is a supplier to Raytheon. Raytheon is working in conjunction with Chase EMS to improve process efficiency, cutting cost, and improving quality.
Teaching Raytheon Six Sigma to its suppliers gives an advantage to Raytheon. The reason it is because of the following:
- Customer satisfaction
- Improved efficiencies
- Reduction of cost
- Business growth
- Empowerment of the employees
- Elimination of non-value added activities
- More cost effective processes
- Significant overall cost savings in connection with the program
Joel Taves, N&MIS Strategic Souring Manager for Raytheon said, “Teaching Raytheon Six Sigma to valued Suppliers like Sunburst allows Raytheon to optimize the supply chain and deliver significantly more value to our customers”.
In “How to 2000: A Proven Comprehensive Year 2000 Metrology” by Raytheon, Raytheon E-Systems, and Dean Sims, task-by-task coverage of the procedure’s required for compliance in technical planning for each planning phase.
The author states, “You should tailor this material to your needs and use it in conjunction with other managerial briefing materials”, Also, “ Your management briefings must also address concerns of executives, managers, and staff who you think the Year 2000 problem has exaggerated. You should place Year 2000 in proper context: It’s not a complex technical problem, but a series of difficult management and business problems that can have a real impact on your organization’s profitability, customer service and production”.
The passage basically means that in order to really make changes; you must address the address the concerns of all people involved in production.
In conclusion what we have just talked about what lead to the development of Raytheon Six Sigma. Raytheon, having being the leading commercial, defense electronics, and aviation company worldwide, and it’s reduced its earnings expectations for 1999 and 2000, there is no thought why Raytheon Six Sigma was created. The program will be empowering employee’s from the lowest practical levels to make decisions, make leaders, and motivate all employees.
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