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Achieving Six Sigma Quality in Financial Services

Summary: In the financial services industry, superior service quality is critical to achieving customer satisfaction, value creation, and growth. Yet few of these companies are making use of Six Sigma, one of the most robust quality and cost improvement methods available, because of doubts about the method's applicability and effectiveness. While Six Sigma had its beginnings in manufacturing, it is both a blueprint and a toolkit for improving any business processes. Six Sigma helps companies less skilled at quality management develop a stronger process and customer focus. There are special challenges to applying Six Sigma methods in a financial services environment, but GE Capital, Bank of America, and other large financial services corporations have chosen Six Sigma as their vehicle for achieving world-class service quality and expense savings. Some of these companies are applying the Six Sigma toolkit to streamline mortgage applications, provide more accurate investor reports, reduce turnaround time, and even improve customer communication. Financial services companies now using Six Sigma report impressive quality improvement gains that are achieved in a relatively short time. And they are likely to experience significant benefits beyond these quick wins by promoting new ways of thinking and by driving operations to ever-higher levels of efficiency.

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  • Topics: Leadership, Six Sigma, Quality Tools
  • Keywords: Business plans,Commitment,Financial industry,Leadership,Six Sigma,Upper management,Service sector,Quality improvement (QI),Quality tools,Lessons learned
  • Author: Attenello, Dennis; Uzzi, John
  • Journal: Six Sigma Forum Magazine