Using Six Sigma statistical thinking to improve business processes
A Cummins case study

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Page 3: Cummins Operating System business model

The focus for any business model is a vision that shows a clear idea of where an organisation is going. The company's vision is 'making people's lives better by unleashing the Power of Cummins'. This vision is then translated into objectives such as:

  • motivating people to act like owners working together
  • exceeding customer expectations by always being first to market with the best products
  • partnering with customers to make sure that they succeed
  • demanding that everything Cummins does leads to a cleaner, healthier and safer environment
  • creating wealth for all stakeholders.

Achieving this vision is based on a single business operating system known as COS - Cummins Operating System, utilised throughout the company. This incorporates 10 major practices, as illustrated, with Six Sigma as the primary process improvement method. COS practices understand the requirements of both internal and external customers. Having understood these requirements Cummins can then compare its desired and current performance.

Six Sigma is not simply a quality initiative and nor is it just about solving problems. It is about making major process improvements in key areas of the business where a gap exists between desired and current levels of performance. This starting point provides an opportunity for Cummins to look carefully at every input into its business processes.

Six Sigma therefore helps Cummins to understand the key processes in helping it to deliver results; and provides an appreciation that the business outputs are determined by the processes that the inputs go through to become outputs. Using Six Sigma to improve business processes for selected projects thus enables positive gains to be made in key areas of the business.

Cummins | Using Six Sigma statistical thinking to improve business processes