On September 19th, 2020, a guest lecture was organised by Retail Management & Marketing Department(RMM) of ITM Business School through virtual mode. The topic of the session was an overview of six sigma and its benefits in retail sector. It was an impactful session, full of valuable insights and learnings that is required by an individual in retail sector. The speaker was Mr. LS Kannan who is currently the Director of CSense Management Solutions. He is master black belt in lean six sigma and certified lead auditor for ISO 9001. He Implemented 100+ Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Projects, 15+ Black Belt Projects, and trained 1000+ Green Belts and 50+ Black Belts.
Mr.LS Kannan sir shared that he has been with the institute from past 4 years now. He also shared that lean six sigma certifications is related to retail and it adds immense value to the profile. It is helpful in filling the gaps of industrial requirements to institutional requirements.
LEARNING IS AN EXPERIENCE :-
Kannan sir focused on how IT industries is a major consumer of lean six sigma. It has taken over the other manufacturing industries and involves many retailers globally. There are some problems which could be solved by
-change in customer perception which is based on the improving pricing and reducing the billing time, quick responses, enquires.
-improving floor space involves sales as per sq. ft’
-in metro cities all retails have visual merchandising. They can be measured by the customers perception and customer purchases.
-long projects were to be taken to reduce shrinkages
-inventory is a heartbeat of retail profit by improved order, supplier or purchase team.
- encouraging employee’s involvements and loyalty.
He also explained the determining sales impact of markdown reductions and sales impact of bundling products with accessories as well as reduction of cycle-time in getting merchandise into the building.
Cost of poor quality is deducted by price and by cost which gives a profit in six sigma. Identified customer requirements and technological requirements can help the business to improve by satisfying the changing needs of a customers. Then there is a journey to business excellence where from customer requirements to receiving payments is involved after which customers recommendation and feedback is needed.
The reduction in time lapse from customer order to payment by reducing unnecessary processes or steps consuming time is lean. It usually eliminates fat or waste .
The six-sigma approach- an investigative problem solving methodology. The usual approach is having a practical solution to a practical problem. It involves statistical problems which is measurable to a statistical solution that is analysing. The objective of six sigma can be identified by project y which helps to establish a relationship between y and Xs where y = f(X1,X2,X3……….Xn).
Mr. LS Kannan sir enlightened the students with the DMAIC approach which is the combination of project management, statistics and best practices. Certain project management tools are toll gate review, best structure and responsibility, stakeholder analysis, communication plan, control plan, standardisation and so on.
DMAIC process is a five-step approach which is a modified version of a four-step approach MAIC to reach the highest level in sigma skill that is six sigma. Six sigma which is originated from manufacturing though it is much effective in service and retail companies.
Some concepts and terminologies were not known to the students so they were quite interested to know more. Kannan sir very diligently explained some of these concepts to the students with equal passion. Towards the end of the session, students asked some informative questions. It got quite interesting as the audience were also getting involved and asking questions. The speaker answered to each and every question which resolved the doubts and queries for every individual. As it is a great step toward creating learning organisation with its well-defined roadmaps and management structure. With most new methodologies six sigma will mature and grow as it expands into new areas.
At last the students are grateful to the RMM Department for arranging such a wonderful and insightful session. Also, for providing this opportunity to learn something new. We look forward to attend more sessions like these in the future.