A Refocus on Customers

The focus of Six Sigma changed again in 1998. While ecstatic with the bottom-line impact Six Sigma was having on the company, senior management was disturbed with feedback from key customers. The quote that appeared in the 1998 Annual Report was: “When do I get the benefits of Six Sigma? When does my company get to experience the GE I read about in the GE Annual Report?”

Up until this point most projects had been focused on opportunities for GE to generate internal savings. While many of these process improvements ultimately affected customers positively, at that time it was certainly fair to say that Six Sigma had done more for GE's stockholders than for its customers.

In 1998 the direction was to focus more projects on ...

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