Samsung Electronics Co. (SEC) of Seoul, Korea, is perfecting its fundamental approach to product, process and personnel development by using Six Sigma as a tool for innovation, efficiency and quality. SEC was founded in 1969 and sold its first product, a television receiver, in 1971. Since that time, the company has used tools and techniques such as total quality control, total process management, product data management, enterprise resource management, supply chain management and customer relationship management. Six Sigma was added to upgrade these existing innovations and improve SEC’s competitive position in world markets. The financial benefits made possible by Six Sigma, including cost savings and increased profits from sales and new product development, are expected to approach $1.5 billion by the end of 2002. Strategic Objective SEC wants to be a borderless, global brand that is a household word wherever its products and services are available. SEC’s strategic objective is to create both qualitative and quantitative growth and deliver competitive value to all stakeholders—customers, partners and shareholders—while maintaining profitability. The objective is focused on the value chain of the company’s four major businesses—home, mobile and office networks and core components. The emphasis is on creating a solid framework for these businesses by optimizing the supply chain to make operations as efficient and timely as possible. To achieve the goal of efficiency and timeliness, SEC has integrated Six Sigma into its entire business process .

SEC saw the universal adoption of Six Sigma throughout the company’s 16 businesses worldwide as the way to perfect its fundamental approach to product, process and personnel development. Deployment As a foundation for its Six Sigma thrust, SEC began by pursuing a pervasive goal of developing its internal resources, especially people, to put innovation first in the development and design of products, in manufacturing and marketing, and in the growth of employees. With its strategic objectives established, the foundation was ready for the Six Sigma process to begin in late 1999 and early 2000 with training for SEC’smanagement, Champions and other employees responsible for deployment planning.

The Juran Institute Inc. provided this training. After only three years of deployment, the number of Master Black Belts (MBBs), Black Belts (BBs) and Green Belts (GBs) already approaches 15,000—or almost one of every three employees. With a corporate goal of 100 MBBs, 3,000 BBs and 30,000 GBs by 2004, SEC obviously is serious about developing Six Sigma capability in a workforce of about 49,000 worldwide in 89 offices and 47 countries. No individual or operation in SEC is exempted from the training—including staff members in management, personnel, accounting and procurement. BBs are expected to guide several projects per year, which further increases each project’s return on investment. Promotion and other awards and incentives are awarded by the operation in which each employee is assigned. Starting in 2000, the use of the Six Sigma began in manufacturing using the define, measure, analyze, improve and control (DMAIC) discipline.


This was then expanded to use design for Six Sigma using the DMAIC phases for designing new products. Transactional Six Sigma was applied next to business and support processes internally and externally where customer needs and interactions have become increasingly critical. Through Sigma Park, an intranet site available worldwide to all SEC facilities, SEC provides reference materials, benchmarking opportunities, reports to senior management and enhancement for Six Sigma projects whose team members span several continents. Cross-border organizational learning is advanced as the Six Sigma methodologies are applied consistently from location to location.

Source :