The Six Sigma Benchmark Survey Results

What is Best Practice?
Best practices can be defined as "those practices that have been shown to produce superior results; selected by a systematic process; and judged as exemplary, good, or successfully demonstrated", these practices are then adapted to fit a particular organisation (American Productivity and Quality Centre, 1997).

The use of best practices, when incorporated within all areas of an organisation, including its stakeholder relationships, can lead to an organisation attaining world class performance.


What is Benchmarking?
Benchmarking is a powerful technique that comprises the practice of learning through comparing. Although experts break benchmarking into several types, there exist two main types of benchmarking

Six Sigma Survey Summary 2002 - 2003

This survey was conducted electronically via the internet through Benchnet.Com to their global customers. This report separates “Companies Using Six Sigma” from “Companies NOT Using Six Sigma” in order to compare them.

Out of 492 responses, 224 use Six Sigma (46.5%) and 266 do not use Six Sigma (53.5%). The responses from Six Sigma users came from over 170 different companies of every size. 22.3% of the responses from Six Sigma users were outside of the USA.

50.7% of Six Sigma users are non-manufacturing, 43.3% measure service performance and 39.7% measure manufacturing performance. 33% of Six Sigma users are from companies less than 1,000 and 53% are from companies under 5,000 so its not just for big companies anymore 56% of Six Sigma users have been using Six Sigma less than two years.

Only 25% use Six Sigma as their primary Quality Management System (QMS), but 71% use it as one of their QMS’s and 84% use it to improve. 62% use internal Black Belts to conduct the training.

38% spend less than $50K on Six Sigma and 58.5% spend less than $1,000 per student. Over 77 % of the respondents measure their cost savings and/or profit increases as result of their Six Sigma program.

Six Sigma is used more for cost savings than Profit Increases.
66% train two to twenty students at a time. 71% of the respondents use Six Sigma as one of their QMS’s. The top ten Process Improvement “Tools Used” and had the “Greatest Benefit” whether Six Sigma was used or not are:

Process Mapping, Root Cause Analysis, Cause & Effect Analysis, Benchmarking, and Problem Solving.

Respondents NOT using Six Sigma use ISO, TQM, Malcolm Baldrige, Lean Thinking and internally developed QMS in that order.

Respondents NOT using Six Sigma as a program, use many Six Sigma tools through another QMS or as stand alone tools.

Respondents NOT using Six Sigma as a program, rate ISO-9001 as the #1 QMS and #1 “Greatest Benefit” Process Improvement tool.

How are you conducting Six Sigma Training?

  • Internal Blackbelts - 62.1%
  • Classroom Internal - 58.0%
  • Internal Greenbelts - 38.4%
  • Consultant Based - 26.8%
  • Classroom External - 21.0%
  • Web Based - 17.9%
  • Self Study - 15.2%
  • Outsourced - 12.5%
  • CD Based - 8.0%


  • How much are you spending on Six Sigma

  • over $1,000,000 - 16.1%
  • $10,000 to $25,000 - 13.8%
  • under $10,000 - 12.5%
  • $25,000 to $50,000 - 12.1%
  • $50,000 to $100,000 - 8.9%
  • $100,000 to $250,000 - 7.6%
  • none - 5.4%
  • $250,000 to $500, 000 - 4.9%
  • $500, 000 to $1,000,000 - 2.2%
  • What Quality Management Systems are you using?

  • six sigma – 71.0
  • 9000 series - 59.4%
  • lean thinking – 34.8%
  • tqm – 29.0%
  • malcolm baldrige – 20.5%
  • ansi/mil-std. – 12.9%
  • cmm-sei – 9.4%
  • asq/cqa – 8.9%




  • What profit $ increases do you attribute to Six Sigma?

  • None - 17.0%
  • $1,000,000 to $10,000,000 - 12.9%
  • over $10,000,000 - 12.5%
  • $100,000 to $250,000 - 7.6%
  • Under $10,000 - 6.7%
  • $10,000 to $25,000 - 5.4%
  • $500, 000 to $1,000,000 - 5.4%
  • $25,000 to $50,000 - 4.5%
  • $250,000 to $500, 000 - 3.1%
  • $50,000 to $100,000 - 2.7%
  • What cost savings $ do you attribute to Six Sigma?

  • over $10,000,000 - 18.3%
  • $1,000,000 to $10,000,000 - 14.7%
  • $500, 000 to $1,000,000 - 8.5%
  • $250,000 to $500, 000 - 8.0%
  • Under $10,000 - 6.7%
  • $50,000 to $100,000 - 6.3%
  • $100,000 to $250,000 - 5.8%
  • None - 5.8%
  • $10,000 to $25,000 - 4.0%
  • $25,000 to $50,000 - 3.1%


  • How many students do you train in Six Sigma at a time?

  • Ten to Twenty - 35.7%
  • Two to Ten - 30.4%
  • Twenty to Thirty - 11.2%
  • Thirty or more - 5.8%
  • One - 4.9%


  • Which Process Improvement Tools are you using?

  • Process Mapping - 80.8%
  • Root Cause Analysis - 77.7%
  • Cause and Effect Analysis - 76.3%
  • Benchmarking - 75.0%
  • Control Charts - 73.7%
  • Performance Metrics - 67.9%
  • Problem Solving - 67.4%
  • Statistical Process Control - 67.0%
  • Failure Mode Eval. Anal. - 67.0%
  • Process Capability - 64.7%
  • Project Management - 63.4%
  • Work Flow Analysis - 57.6%
  • Variation Measurement - 55.4%
  • Which Process Improvement Tools are you using?

  • Trend Analysis - 53.6%
  • Design of Experiments - 53.6%
  • Process Management - 52.7%
  • Process Re-engineering - 48.7%
  • Customer Driven Processes - 48.7%
  • Mistake Proofing - 47.3%
  • Change Management - 47.3%
  • Decision Making - 43.8%
  • Poka-Yoke - 43.3%
  • Management By Fact - 33.5%
  • Work Breakdown Structure - 32.1%
  • Set-Up Reduction - 31.7%
  • Knowledge Management - 28.1%


  • Which Quality Management System/Process Improvement Tools have yielded the greatest results?

  • Six Sigma - 53.6%
  • Process Mapping - 35.3%
  • Root Cause Analysis - 33.5%
  • Cause and Effect Analysis - 31.3%
  • LEAN Thinking/Manufacturing - 26.3%
  • Benchmarking - 25.0%
  • Problem Solving - 23.2%
  • 9000 Series - 21.0%
  • Process Capability - 20.1%
  • Statistical Process Control - 20.1%
  • Performance Metrics - 19.2%
  • Control Charts - 19.2%
  • Process Management - 18.8%
  • Project Management - 17.9%
  • Customer Driven Processes - 17.9%
  • Design of Experiments - 17.4%
  • Fault Mode Evaluation Analysis - 17.4%
  • Which Quality Management System/Process Improvement Tools have yielded the greatest results?

  • Mistake Proofing - 6.5%
  • Poka-Yoke - 16.5%
  • Process Re-engineering - 16.1%
  • Change Management - 14.7%
  • TQM - 10.3%
  • Variation Measurement - 10.3%
  • Malcolm Baldrige - 9.8%
  • Work Flow Analysis - 9.8%
  • Decision Making - 8.9%
  • Trend Analysis - 8.0%
  • Management By Fact - 6.7%
  • Set-Up Reduction - 6.7%
  • Knowledge Management - 5.8%
  • Work Breakdown Structure - 3.1%
  • CMM-SEI - 3.1%
  • ASQ/CQA - 2.7%
  • ANSI/Mil-Std. - 1.3%





  • Which Process Improvement Tools are you using?

  • Benchmarking – 62.0%
  • Performance Measure – 53.8%
  • Project Management – 53.0%
  • Process Management – 43.2%
  • Process Mapping – 42.1%
  • Root Cause Analysis – 42.1%
  • Problem Solving – 41.4%
  • Change Management – 41.4%
  • Cause and Effect Anal. – 40.6%
  • Trend Analysis – 38.7%
  • Work Flow Analysis – 38.0%
  • Customer Driven Process 36.1%
  • Control Charts – 31.6%



  • Which Process Improvement Tools are you using?

  • Process Re-engineering – 30.5%
  • Knowledge Mgmt – 28.6%
  • Decision Making – 27.8%
  • Stat. Process Control - 21.8%
  • Work Brkdn Structure - 21.4%
  • Process Capability – 19.9%
  • Fault Mode Eval. Anal. – 18.4%
  • Management By Fact - 14.7%
  • Design of Experiments - 10.5%
  • Mistake Proofing – 9.4%
  • Variation Measurement – 9.0%
  • Poka-Yoke – 7.9%
  • Set-Up Reduction – 6.8%





  • Which Quality Management System/Process Improvement Tools have yielded the greatest results?

  • ISO 9000 Series – 31.6%
  • Benchmarking – 27.1%
  • Performance Measurement – 23.3%
  • Process Mapping – 18.8%
  • Process Management – 16.9%
  • Root Cause Analysis – 16.5%
  • Project Management – 16.2%
  • Cause and Effect Analysis – 16.2%
  • Problem Solving – 15.8%
  • Change Management – 15.4%
  • TQM – 14.7%
  • Trend Analysis – 13.9%
  • Process Re-engineering – 13.5%
  • Customer Driven Process – 13.2%
  • Work Flow Analysis – 12.0%


  • Which Quality Management System/Process Improvement Tools have yielded the greatest results?

  • Malcolm Baldrige – 10.2%
  • LEAN Thinking – 9.4%
  • Process Capability – 9.0%
  • Decision Making – 8.6%
  • Control Charts – 7.9%
  • Statistical Process Control – 7.5%
  • Knowledge Management – 6.4%
  • Management By Fact – 6.0%
  • Work Brkdn Structure – 5.6%
  • Fault Mode Eval. Anal. – 5.3%
  • Mistake Proofing – 4.5%
  • Poka-Yoke – 4.5%
  • CMM-SEI – 3.8%
  • Set-Up Reduction – 3.4%
  • ANSI/Mil-Std. – 2.6%



  • The new 2003 Baldrige Criteria For Business Excellence has been placed in service on The Benchmarking Exchange (a.k.a. BenchNet) for public access.

    You can use this application to obtain a report card on how your department, division or entire organization measures up using the 2003 Baldrige Criteria. The report will also show how you scored compared with others in your industry and across all industries combined.

    Many organizations also use this application to compare like departments within their own organization, anywhere in the world. By comparing report cards for each department organizations can learn which departments need assistance in certain processes and which department is the best choice to learn from (this is what benchmarking is all about!).

    For more information you may contact - Rob Bryant or Access to TBE's Online Baldrige 2003 Self-Assessment which is free to anyone. To begin your report card visit: Baldridge Self-Assessment and select "Generate Profile". After you complete the online form you will be sent an email containing a link to your report card.