Six Sigma at Saab Avitronics - Recommendations for implementation : MBA-thesis in marketing
Abstract: Aim: This study investigates the degree of Six Sigma implementation in the aviation industry where it has been successful and is widely spread. Six Sigma is a quality measurement and improvement program and provides businesses with the tools to improve the capability of their business processes. The paper scrutinizes the possible consequences of implementing Six Sigma in a strictly controlled environment and how the defined success factors for implementation could be interpreted in this context. The concept of Six Sigma is examined with the objective to define recommendations for implementation at Saab Avitronics, a company within the aviation industry. Method: The theoretical background presents what theories for Six Sigma successful implementation that are present and seeks to give the topic depth and perspective to establish a basis on which the analysis later is built on. Phases for implementation of improvement programs and success factors for Six Sigma are investigated. To establish the environment in which the theory is adapted the empirical part of the study presents a marketing audit and a SWOT analysis of Saab Avitronics. An internal survey is also performed to examine Saab Avitronics’ view on its own knowledge in the area of Six Sigma, improvement methodology, statistics, and the attitudes towards implementing a methodology based on Six Sigma. The analysis is performed by applying the theoretical background in the light of the reality of Saab Avitronics. The possibility of a successful implementation is discussed. Result & Conclusions:Continuous improvements are a general prerequisite for survival and success and the study shows that this has also become a requirement imposed on companies within the aviation industry. Although special conditions apply to the aviation industry and Saab Avitronics there is nothing preventing from implementing the improvement concept in general, but special criteria have to be considered when choosing suitable projects. The study concludes with recommendations for Saab Avitronics on five phases for implementation; Plan, Pilot, Implement, Expand and Integrate, and main activities within these phases are defined. Finally the most important success factors for implementation at Saab Avitronics are defined and also how these should be interpreted for continuous improvement and future success. Suggestions for future research: The investigation is limited to the aviation industry and to Saab Avitronics. Future research projects could further study the consequences at Saab Avitronics after implementation of Six Sigma, case studies of implementing best practise theories like these recommendations, and studying selection criteria for success factors. Contribution of the thesis: The study contributes with recommendations to Saab Avitronics when implementing Six Sigma and also to the know-how and knows-what, to others than Saab Avitronics, when studying the same topic or when planning their own implementation of Six Sigma.
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