SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

Aberdeen Group

November 10, 2009 10:00 ET

True Six Sigma Leads to Performance Improvements Beyond Manufacturing

Top Performers Slash Costs, Improve Quality and Reduce Cycle Times

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - November 10, 2009) - Continued turbulence in today's economy is driving many companies toward business improvement initiatives in pursuit of immediate operational cost savings. According to the Lean Six Sigma study announced by Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), Six Sigma initiatives continue to produce better results than other less rigorous programs. Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma were 1.4 times as likely to be top performers and those respondents which fell into the category of "True Six Sigma" were more than twice as likely to achieve top performer status.

Lean and Six Sigma are initiatives that were born from the pursuit of operational excellence within manufacturing companies. While Lean serves to eliminate waste, Six Sigma reduces process variability in striving for perfection. When combined, the result is a methodology that serves to improve processes, eliminate product or process defects and to reduce cycle times and accelerate processes. To achieve and maintain a competitive position in today's turbulent economy, companies in all walks of life are pursuing a variety of different business improvement initiatives.

"Our recent survey indicates that those following the true rigors of Lean Six Sigma are better equipped to improve operational performance to immediately reduce costs without losing sight of the longer term goals of profitability and performance," said Cindy Jutras, vice president and research fellow, Aberdeen. "Not only are manufacturers extending these same principles beyond manufacturing to front and back office processes, but other industries as well are recognizing their quality improvement and cost saving potential."

The study goes on to reveal impressive performance improvements achieved through Lean Six Sigma programs, with top performers achieving 19% improvement in profit margins, 43% improvement in quality and 24% improvement in cycle times within the first two years of these initiatives. Total financial results in the same time period ranged from $5.4 million to tens of millions of dollars.

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About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen provides fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having queried more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen or call (617) 854-5200, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748.

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