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Successful companies all know that in order to improve, each process within its "Value Stream" must first be standardized. And due to the tremendous impact the supply chain has on a "Value Stream", it has become essential for businesses to require their suppliers to adopt and implement a Quality Management System (QMS) standard.
While there are several popular QMS standards available, the vast majority of these are best described as "entry level" standards focusing on the most basic and fundamental quality concepts. And because these rudimentary QMS standards tend to focus on organizations who previously had no formal QMS, there has been an increasing demand for a more sophisticated QMS standard designed to meet the needs of businesses who have supplier requirements exceeding those provided by an "entry point" standard.
SQSA recognized this need for a more modern and robust "Next Level" QMS standard. And that inspired us to create the "Lean-6" Quality Management Systems (QMS) standard.
Acknowledging that many businesses lack the internal expertise and knowledge of a Supply Chain Quality Professional to develop meaningful quality requirements for suppliers, SQSA developed the "Lean-6" QMS standard to provide "Business-to-Business" (B2B) users a standardized set of minimum QMS requirements to:
Compliance with the "Lean-6" standard may also be voluntarily implemented; in order to differentiate a business from its competitors.
For mediocre suppliers who are struggling to satisfy basic quality requirements, the "Lean-6" QMS standard will provide a solid foundation upon which to structure their improvement efforts. And for suppliers who have already begun implementing Lean Six Sigma, the "Lean-6" standard will be a natural progression.
Upon its formal adoption, the "Lean-6" QMS standard will continue to be freely available for your suppliers to download.
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Upon reviewing the "Lean-6" QMS Standard, you’ll notice that it is very different from any other QMS Standard you’ve ever seen. The most immediate difference is that it is structured as a "Value Stream" fed by tributaries representing Kaoru Ishikawa’s 6Ms.
In addition to covering the common QMS concepts, it promotes implementation of Lean Six Sigma. And as a "Next Level" standard, it includes much more comprehensive and robust requirements, such as:
In order to promote consistent interpretation and application, the Lean-6 QMS Standard also includes several flagged, color-coded, text blocks containing interpretative clarifications and explanations regarding the "intent" of many requirements.
We encourage all businesses serious about supplier quality, to review and comment on the DRAFT Lean-6 Quality Management Systems standard.
Review & Release Timeline
Development of the "Lean-6" QMS standard began during early 2016. After 2 years of development, "Committee" DRAFTS began being released during March 2019. Due to (1) a very large increase in participants during Q4 2019 and (2) delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the reviews were extended. The first "Final Review" was limited to the committee members. The second "Final Review" focused on users. The third "Final Review" focused on external partners (e.g., training companies and consultants).
The "Final" release had been planned for Q1,
2021. However, the committee decided to separate the
standard into two parts in order to reduce the size of
the total document. The standard itself will remain
focused on requirements with only key interpretative
guidance. A second document will be created to focus
only on interpretative & implementation guidance.
The final release is now planned for either Q3 or Q4
Lean-6TM QMS Certification /
Upon final approval and release of the Lean-6 QMS
Standard, SQSA will begin approving training providers
to train SQSA Lean-6 auditors and accrediting
Certification Bodies (CBs) for the purpose of offering
consistent Lean-6TM QMS
registration. All Lean-6TM
registered companies will be listed in a single,
centralized online SQSA database allowing customers to
verify which suppliers have been independently verified
as consistently satisfying the Lean-6 QMS requirements.
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