Introduction of new technologies in the manufacturing industry, has left a gap between robotic process automation (RPA) and human intelligence. The forces promoting global manufacturing sector change since the late 20th century, such as inventory flows, skilled and semi-skilled labor, and technological innovation, continue to impact production line operations. Solutions to managing change in the manufacturing revolution are found in Lean Six Sigma approaches to quality assurance (QA) assessment.

A Road Map for QA Management

The Lean and Six Sigma methodologies originally defined two separate approaches to quality assurance (QA) assessment. Lean and agile quality management techniques date to the 1980s, when JIT (Just-In-Time) was innovated by Japan’s automaker factories. A cost-cutting measure to control line-production losses resulting from automated processes, JIT soon became associated with a number of new quality management techniques (i.e. Kaizen, TQM) sourced in multinational manufacturing practice.

Six Sigma combines qualitative, environmental scanning (i.e. SWOT and PESTLE) methods, with statistical computations (i.e. Chi Square) to assess process efficiencies, cost reductions, and return on investment benefits occurring in management decision. Benchmark performance measures to emerge from new QA management techniques, are readily integrated into the Lean quality control systems applied by manufacturers.

The Lean Six Sigma Revolution

The role of Lean and Six Sigma practices in shaping corporate production goals since the 1980s is clear. Introduction of results-driven process improvement solutions in line manufacturing methods, has boosted manager confidence in iterative, not just automated technologies. Now that IT trends have effectively transformed QA processes in the manufacturing sector, line managers have the opportunity to credential in Lean Six Sigma certification.

Lean Six Sigma assessed value chains improve benchmark performance. Change QA processes have also revolutionized team-building competencies, as well as line manager responsibilities, and CIO leadership goals. The next step is application to all QA management productivity, including product integrity, service efficiency, and regulatory compliance. As IT ecosystems continue to alter line production activities, the latest updates in value chain assessment will be found in training.

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