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Wal-Mart's Performance Improvement Project Essay examples

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Wal-Mart's Performance Improvement Project
SYS/540
John Murdock
August 20, 2006

Wal-Mart's Performance Improvement Project
Wal-Mart has difficulty developing and implementing a process that can improve the product material quality since there are so many vendors, manufacturers and international companies involved. They need to implement a set of standards that every company needs to adhere to by setting acceptable standards that must be met across the board whether the company is a local business or a foreign company. Most of the material defective products come from overseas. The process that can afford the opportunity to fix this dilemma is the process known as Six Sigma. This method is designed to manage process variations
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"The convergent framework blends: lean/JIT Manufacturing techniques; Six Sigma methodologies; Theory of Constraints (TOC) and Learning Organization/Knowledge Management concepts." (EMA, Inc., 2003) This process offers the company a plan that can narrow the scope down to the fastest process with the lowest cost in monitoring the implementation and provide the company with the greatest return for their expenses. The team brainstorms problems that are validated through the analysis phase of the process. The metrics put in place allow the organization to locate priority sources that are enhancing defective merchandise and helps to validate the progress of every supplier and vendor as they implement Six Sigma processes. The graphic below shows the five phases of Six Sigma and how the phases are intertwined with one another to obtain the best results. (EMA, Inc., 2003)
Some metrics that can be used to ensure that the process is effective can include leading measures in the financial, customer, internal processes and employee learning. In the financial process areas such as cost per unit, cost of poor quality and overall project savings can be measured. In the customer process the top metric would be customer satisfaction. Other areas can include ensuring the product is delivered on time, product quality and safety. Metrics in the organization's internal processes can include supplier quality, cycle time, amount of
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