QSI Facilities Blog

What the Heck Is 6 Sigma in Facilities Management?

Posted by QSI Facilities on February 09 , 2018

The use of 6 Sigma in Facilities Management processes has become among the leading practices in modern business. It reduces risks and enhances opportunities, and 6 Sigma in Facilities Management can revolutionize disjointed systems and practices. Unfortunately, many Facilities Managers may feel overwhelmed and confused when it comes to Six Sigma in action, so let’s take a closer look at 6 Sigma in Facilities Management.

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A Bit about the History of 6 Sigma in Facilities Management

The concept of 6 Sigma was created in 1984 by Bill Smith, a Motorola engineer, with the specific goal of reducing defects in manufacturing, explains Tech Target. Over time, the principles have been widely adopted to reduce defects in all industries and business processes, including Facilities Management.  

Why Are Facilities Managers Interested in 6 Sigma Principles?

The use of these principles in Facilities Management allows for the identification of more than just errors and defects; Facilities Managers can actively look for ways to improve operations by identifying opportunities. This occurs in tandem with the continuous identification of risks. Both processes rely on a continuous stream of data and information to use in determining the best course of action. After analysis of existing systems and assets, Facilities Managers implement processes that hasten positive outcomes, explains TRADELINE. This is where preventative maintenance and vendor selection comes into play. The cycle continues to drive guaranteed savings and better workflow management.

An Example of 6 Sigma in Facilities Management

Consider a common part of Facilities Management—changing the filters to HVAC systems.

Changing filters is a form of maintenance, but how can an organization use the 6 Sigma principles to save money with this ordinary task?

The organization identifies the problem, changing the filters when air output seems low. By measuring the air output, as well as its temperature relative to the air intake, Facilities Managers can determine when filters should be changed. Although most units have prescribed intervals, location-specific factors, like areas prone to dust storms, will require a more frequent schedule. This information is used to create a better process for replacing filters by scheduling replacement at set intervals. The continued tracking of HVAC system performance allows Facilities Managers to revisit the problem and refine the schedule. If necessary, changing the filter brand may further improve efficiency. Afterward, a new schedule is created, and the process restarts.

In outsourced Facilities Management, 6 Sigma enables the continuous improvement of all processes and decreases costs.

Take Advantage of the Benefits of 6 Sigma in Facilities Management Today

The use of 6 Sigma methodology is a proven and effective resource in lean Facilities Management. Data and process charts put the power to continuously improve processes, vendor relationships, and more in the hands of Facilities Managers. Take the time to learn what it means and how it can be leveraged to reduce costs and drive efficiency now. For assistance in deploying 6 Sigma principles in your organization, contact the trained account managers at QSI facilities online today.