Case study Lean Six Sigma: Digital Six Sigma initiative at Motorola

I will start this case study with a quote by Kofi Annan ” Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” Same saying is applicable to this case study of Digital Six Sigma. Setting up digital website and quality content is one of the way, where you can impart lean six sigma knowledge.

What does it take to turn a company with six very autonomous and competitive sectors, each accustomed to driving its own business and initiatives, into one collaborative team sharing the same goal? With the objective of driving overall profitability, Motorola brought together leaders from each of the company’s business units to share best practices, improve profitability, and achieve US$3 billion in cost reduction within three years through its Digital Six Sigma initiative.


Operating within a decentralized environment, Motorola has always given each of its sector leadership teams a great deal of independence in how they run their businesses. However, the success of Digital Six Sigma was dependent upon company wide buy-in and collaboration, and this long history of autonomy became the first challenge the organization needed to overcome.


Motorola then invited the Cisco Systems® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) consultants to work with the teams on the customer care process. “They helped us conduct an assessment to discover where each sector was in terms of self-service capabilities,” explains Karen Hamilton, senior director, Personal Communication Sector, Service and Support at Motorola. “We took a look at what we already had on the roadmap vs. what we weren’t even thinking about yet and identified strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.” The IBSG assessment identified three critical areas of focus within customer care—business-to-business (B2B) support, B2B field service, and business-to-consumer (B2C) support.

The Cisco IBSG consultants also demonstrated how Motorola could take advantage of networking and Web tools in the areas of service and support to implement automated contract management, software downloads, updated product specifications, and requirement gathering for remote monitoring and support. “Cisco put us on the right path, solidifying clarity around our roadmaps, bringing a structured view as to how to go about this, and accelerating the implementation of the initiative,” Hamilton says.



Opportunities being pursued include: • B2B support—Automation of key process areas to reduce costs, including case management, remote diagnosis and resolution, and software downloads • B2B field service—Use of Web-based tools to support revenue growth as well as cost reduction in the service and support business area through product redesign that can enable remote monitoring and service • B2C support—Increased revenue opportunity through improved customer support, which also serves to increase customer loyalty and customer lifetime value


As of November 2004, Motorola is ahead of schedule in reaching its original goal of US$3 billion in cost savings within three years from its Digital Six Sigma effort. About halfway through the initiative, the company has already saved US$1.8 billion, much of that coming from improved engineering productivity, reduced cost of poor quality (CoPQ) and increased procurement effectiveness. The team is on track to hit the third billion over the next 12 months.

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