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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Understanding and Utilizing Lean and Six Sigma in the Histology Laboratory. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Competitive Advantages Provided by Lean and Six Sigma

In today's highly competitive, global economy, laboratories have come to realize that process control and continuous improvement are critical to having a competitive advantage. Lean and Six Sigma methods can help maximize customer value which in turn provide a competitive advantage by driving rapid improvements in the following areas:
  • Cost reductions
  • Productivity
  • Increased throughput
  • Defect reduction
In short, Lean helps organizations focus on what is really important to their success. Six Sigma compliments Lean methods, by reducing errors and deviations that cause waste and rework. The adoption of Lean and Six Sigma can have a far-reaching impact on the entire organization by supporting a culture that has the following desirable attributes:
  1. A customer-centric focus
  2. A clearer unification of all levels of the organization as they work on clearly defined, shared goals
  3. More definition of roles and responsibilities which supports engagement, ownership and provides framework of support for future improvement efforts
It has been estimated that Six Sigma alone has saved companies an estimated $427 billion, and that 53% of all Fortune 500 companies and 82% of Fortune 100 companies currently use Six Sigma.