SIPOC Diagram – Definition

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SIPOC Diagram Definition

SIPOC is an acronym for:

S – suppliers

I – inputs

P – process

O – outputs

C – customers

A SIPOC diagram is a tool used for the identification of all the elements of a business as well as the processes. It is also referred to as a six sigma tool that helps in documenting the elements of a project or business, identify the scope of the business, and find out other details about the processes.

A Little More on What is a SIPOC Diagram

As a six sigma toil, the SIPOC diagram aims to define, measure, analyze, improve and control a process or methodology. When used for a business, it considers kep parts of a business such as its suppliers, inputs, process, output and customer and how these are well integrated in the business to achieve results. There are five questions that SIPOC asks, these are;

  • Who is the supplier of inputs to a process?
  • What are the specifications of the inputs supplied?
  • What type of improvement is being achieved through the process?
  • What are the outputs and clients of the process?
  • What are the needs and specifications of the customers?

Sample SIPOC Diagram

Before you commence a business or process, plotting a SIPOC is essential. This diagram helps to uncover all the core elements of the process, the inputs needed for the process, the target clients and other important factors before a project commences. Also, the SIPOC diagram helps to identify and break down a complex process or project. It maps out the scope of the project and provide necessary details.

Steps to Complete the SIPOC Diagram

When plotting a SIPOC diagram, there are some basic steps that you should follow. They are;

  • Create a sketch for the SIPOC diagram.
  • Make a template that will enable the team contribute to the diagram, thee may include headings, charts, note pads.
  • Make rooms that will accomodate all the steps in the processes.
  • Identify the core process, inputs, customers and outputs of the process.
  • Identify all requirements and specifications needed for the project.
  • Hold extensive discussions with team members, stakeholders, and project sponsors.

References for SIPOC Diagram

Academic Research on SIPOC Diagram

SIPOC: A Six Sigma tool helping on ISO 9000 quality management systems, Marques, P. A., & Requeijo, J. G. (2009, April). SIPOC: A Six Sigma tool helping on ISO 9000 quality management systems. In XIII Congreso de IngenierĂ­a de OrganizaciĂłn (pp. 1229-1238).

A hybrid framework based on SIPOC and Six Sigma DMAIC for improving process dimensions in supply chain network, Mishra, P., & Kumar Sharma, R. (2014). A hybrid framework based on SIPOC and Six Sigma DMAIC for improving process dimensions in supply chain network. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 31(5), 522-546.

Developing SIPOC diagrams, Johnston, M., & Dougherty, D. (2012, February). Developing SIPOC diagrams. In Six Sigma Forum Magazine (Vol. 11, No. 2). ASQ. Suppliers, inputs, process, outputs and customers (SIPOC) diagrams typically have a limited role in Six Sigma programs. This article describes a method for making them the basis of a new or expanded Six Sigma project. The SIPOC diagram is designed from the inside out, beginning with identifying the process, its beginning and end. Then outputs are identified. Next, the customer and the customer’s expectations are determined. The required inputs are defined and their suppliers identified. Finally, the expectations of the process from each unit are delineated. A case study involving multiple functional groups in a large department shows how this method can be used to achieve process improvements.

Using Six Sigma–SIPOC for customer satisfaction, Yeung, S. M. C. (2009). Using Six Sigma–SIPOC for customer satisfaction. International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage, 5(4), 312-324. The aim of this paper is to explore the use of ‘Suppliers, Inputs, Processes, Outputs and Customers’ (SIPOC) in Six Sigma to monitor products and services provision for customer satisfaction. This paper has been supported with literature in Six Sigma, quality management and marketing management with a case of a retail shoe shop in Hong Kong. Previous researches seldom covered the application of SIPOC in marketing management to fulfil customer need, customer satisfaction, concerns of stakeholders and the community. A case of integrating SIPOC of Six Sigma into a social responsible and ethical retail shoe shop has been demonstrated in this paper. However, adopting quality concepts in marketing management is still not common, neither in academic curriculum nor in business practice. It is suggested carrying out further researches on the use of quality concepts in analysing the relationship between consumer behaviour and business performance.

Design process improvement through the DMAIC Six Sigma approach: a case study from the Middle East, Hamza, S. E. A. (2008). Design process improvement through the DMAIC Six Sigma approach: a case study from the Middle East. International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage, 4(1), 35-47. This study proposes the DMAIC Six Sigma approach of Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve/Implement and Control (DMAIC) to improve the design process in a local engineering design organisation in the Middle East. The DMAIC approach showed a wider application and how the engineering organisation can achieve competitive advantages, efficient decision-making and problem-solving capabilities within a business context. The paper identifies each stage in detail, discusses the tools required and points out the cultural barriers to the success of the improvement initiatives. The paper develops an Engineering Design DMAIC Model (EDDM) that can be used as a template for engineering design development training.

Six Sigma helps a company create a culture of accountability, Brewer, P. C. (2004). Six Sigma helps a company create a culture of accountability. Journal of Organizational Excellence, 23(3), 45-59. How do you make employees feel more accountable for results? With many opinions but no hard facts about how to achieve this, one company turned to Six Sigma to find the answer. Six Sigma methodology, no longer confined to production departments, helped this company discover that a culture of accountability, first and foremost, is a function of strategically aligned employee expectations and an effective system of rewards and consequences

Methodology to increase the adaptability and flexibility of the supply chain of automotive company through lean manufacturing, Amelec, V. (2015). Methodology to increase the adaptability and flexibility of the supply chain of automotive company through lean manufacturing. Advanced Science Letters, 21(5), 1517-1520. As part of a strategy to increase its global competitiveness, automotive manufacturing company has developed a comprehensive tool applicable to all processes it. This is called Excellence System, which is a management model that is based on the principles of Lean Manufacturing, and culture of continuous improvement. The research aims to develop a methodology to implement Lean Manufacturing techniques developed in the system of excellence in Supply Chain Company. For this collection began with bibliographic information related to the topic of study and gathering information on the different functional areas of logistics processes, analyzing how Excellence System is applied to each of these. At the conclusion of the research process entered the stage of analysis, in which the information collected was adapted to develop a proposal for a manual final product of the project and essential tool guide, reference and consultation for all players Industrial Management, who will use it to incorporate Lean Manufacturing techniques in the supply chain. The implementation of this manual within the organization allowed to increase the adaptability and flexibility of the supply chain by 55% and 45% respectively.

Process improvement using Six Sigma–a case study in small scale industry, Reddy, G. P., & Reddy, V. V. (2010). Process improvement using Six Sigma–a case study in small scale industry. International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage, 6(1-2), 1-11. Nowadays most of the organisations are showing keen interest in using Six Sigma approach to improve their operations performance. Motorola coined the concept of Six Sigma and General Electric popularised it. This case study was conducted at bearing manufacturing facility located at Hyderabad. One of the important steps in bearing manufacturing is inner ring and outer ring processing to tight tolerances. Improvement in the rejection rate of bearing rings was taken up as Six Sigma project. One of the basic aims of Six Sigma is to reduce variation by statistical thinking. Various statistical tools and techniques were employed in this study to improve the operations. Rejection rate of bearing rings has been reduced from 2.7% to 0.65% and sigma level of process increased from 4.04 to 4.44.

Applying Lean Six Sigma and TRIZ methodology in banking services, Wang, F. K., & Chen, K. S. (2010). Applying Lean Six Sigma and TRIZ methodology in banking services. Total Quality Management, 21(3), 301-315. Service operations now comprise more than 80% of the GDP in the United States and are rapidly growing around the world. The cost to maintain and service an application is typically more than the initial purchase price. The revenue growth potential of improving the speed and quality of service often overshadows the cost reduction opportunities. The Lean Six Sigma approach is a popular methodology to improve the business opportunities in customer satisfaction, cost and process speed for manufacturing. In this study, we attempt to extend the Lean Six Sigma approach to a broader application in the service industry and integrate TRIZ methodology to enhance the traditional techniques of Lean Six Sigma. Theoria Resheneyva Isobretatelskehuh Zadach (TRIZ) is an effective method for analysing customer needs and developing innovative solutions to meet those needs. A sample problem of the banking service is used to demonstrate how TRIZ can be applied to a real-world problem while in a Lean Six Sigma DMAIC process. The results show that the application of Lean Six Sigma methodology with TRIZ performs effectively in the improvement of banking services.

Six sigma—strategy for organizational excellence, Thawani, S. (2004). Six sigma—strategy for organizational excellence. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 15(5-6), 655-664. Today’s business environment expects speed, flexibility, adaptability, accuracy, ease of doing business, with product and service performance as a minimum requirement. To meet this new set of business needs, organizations need to deploy tools, which can enable them to remain competitive and grow in the increasing digital age. Six Sigma is one of the strategies and tools which leading organizations have started using to achieve accuracy and speed and at the same time reduce cost and increase customer satisfaction and profits. Sigma is a Greek alphabet character and the sigma value indicates how often defects are likely to occur. Six Sigma’s target is to achieve less than 3.4 defects or errors per million opportunities, hence the name. According to Michael Hammer, at least 25% of the Fortune 200 companies claim to have a serious Six Sigma program. Six Sigma has been deployed strategically to change the culture of organization through inculcating process control discipline applied in manufacturing and non-manufacturing businesses. The issue is no longer whether Six Sigma should be considered or not, but a question of when and how, since an organization cannot do today’s job with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow.

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