An integrated approach of Six Sigma and QSAM methodologies for a pharmaceutical company: A shipment improvement process

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Rocha-Lona, L. ; Edith Alvarez-Reyes, E. ; Garza-Reyes, J. A. ; Kumar, V. (2015)

This paper presents a shipment improvement project in a pharmaceutical company to reduce distribution costs of a set of products shipped to Germany. The project consisted in the diagnosis and improvement of the shipment process through the deployment of Quick Scan Audit Methodology (QSAM) as a precursor to Six Sigma implementation. The original sample-shipments process was analysed to improve it and achieve the targets based on optimised sub-processes. The results showed a set of non-value added activities in transportation, motion, waiting, defects and the sub-utilisation of people. Based on the application of quality tools such as VSM, CFD, VOC, CTQ-Three under the Six-Sigma approach, the improvements achieved a 26% reduction in cycle time, and no complaints from customers were reported since the implementation. A control plan was deployed to track shipments and maintain open and close communication with the customer. The resulting benefits had a significant impact on reducing distribution costs.
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