Six Sigma

Analyze – With GSQA . . .

Executive Overview

Ongoing process improvement using six sigma methodologies requires a steady stream of data. The data are used to determine cause and effect, and to provide proof of a given condition, enabling root cause analysis.

GSQA simplifies each step in the Six Sigma process. GSQA provides the data to perform root cause analysis on both raw material and in-process variance that cause product variability. This reduces the amount of time needed to solve the problem, allowing six sigma black belts to tackle more problems, increasing the return on investment on the six sigma program.

Detailed Study

Six Sigma activities use the following methodology to make change within an organization.

PaintCo, a paint manufacturer sells paint to the building market. Builders value having consistent color and reflectivity across the paint that they purchase from different production runs. PaintCo stores production samples so that they can compare productions runs to assure consistency with past batches. They have strong supplier relationships, and have multiple sources for their raw materials.


Contractors have been calling stating that the paint color is inconsistent between cans, and that they cannot trust the paint between cans to have the same color when dried. The customer remedies the problem by mixing multiple cans into a larger bucket so that when they paint a house it is all the same color. These activities, though produce significant waste. Builders want to be sure that the paint color that they are putting on their walls is consistent.


After reviewing returned paint and performing lab analysis, the problem has been isolated to one of two factors:

Solving this problem requires correlating the following data points for the errant batches:

Analyze – Without GSQA:
Performing the analysis takes a significant amount of time and effort. It is difficult to not only gather the data, but also to perform the analysis.

The data necessary to perform the analysis includes:

All of this record gathering and correlation continues on while the paint is in production, increasing the cost of poor quality.

Analyze – With GSQA:
GSQA effectively manages the information that would have prevented this problem from ever occurring.


But, if a problem like this requires diagnosing, GSQA provides the tools to quickly and efficiently get to the root cause.

With GSQA, gathering and correlating this data is completed within one hour by one person. All certificate of analysis results, as well as the correlated test results, are shown on the GSQA time trends report. The internal incoming material lab test results are automatically compared to the supplier's COA results, showing any discrepancies. GSQA correlates production records with batch records, showing the conditions under which the suspected batches were produced.

To resolve the above example, an expert in process improvement would look at this and ask:

Improve and Control – Without GSQA:
Having found the root cause, the company goes out to make the necessary changes to their production lines, as well as fix the problem in the field. This has tremendous impact to their bottom line, as they must take back paint that is already in the field, test it, reformulate some, destroy some, or resell it at a lower price. Once the changes are made, the manufacturer must now test all incoming batches from this supplier. With each test costing approximately $300, this increases their administrative overhead. In addition, the factory must hold a higher inventory quantity to provide a buffer for these materials.

To summarize, the costs include:

Improve and Control - With GSQA:
Using GSQA simplifies collaboration using a common data driven platform. If the problem had been with a supplier's materials, GSQA provides the statistical analysis to demonstrate cause and effect. Once identified as a supplier issue, GSQA provides a closed loop tracking system through its supplier nonconformance management feature. The supplier would have had to produce a root cause analysis on this problem. In addition, GSQA tracks all costs associated with this problem, and provides a good starting point to recover the costs associated with this problem.

If the problem had been with the manufacturing process, changes could have been tracked and monitored, and the results confirmed within GSQA. Also, a history of this problem would be present, and would easily be tracked in case it occurred in the future.


GSQA provides a collaboration platform for manufacturers to quickly and efficiently get to the root cause of problems. Issues are quickly identified. Most importantly, GSQA enforces accountability throughout the whole process.

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