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Six Sigma has worked wonders for Wipro GE

Anju Ghangurde

MUMBAI, May 20: Wipro GE Medical Systems on Thursday said that the Six Sigma quality initiatives, which have become a focus area for GE, had helped its customers see significant productivity gains in India.

Six Sigma is a rigorous quality process embraced by GE three years ago to achieve a quantum jump in the quality of all its products and the processes, in areas of critical importance to its customers.

Wipro GE is a joint venture between GE and domestic information-technology (IT) major Wipro, and serves an installed base of over 10,000 hospitals throughout South Asia.

GE Medical Systems president and CEO Jeffrey R Immelt said: "Healthcare providers are facing similar issues everywhere - keeping abreast of new technology and the pressures of delivering quality care at an affordable cost.

"In the sub-continent, the added challenges are the difficult logistics and varying power supply and environmental conditions. We are glad that we are directly addressing these issues by improving product qualityand reliability as well as service-delivery processes, which will give an immediate benefit to our customers equally, whether they are big tertiary care hospitals or small diagnostic centres".

Company executives, a release adds, also outlined three examples of Six Sigma projects underway, including a pilot project undertaken with a major 800-bed hospital in Mumbai to change the spare parts ordering and supply chain. This will reduce the cycle time for getting spare parts from Europe, the US, or Japan by over 50 per cent. The project will establish a direct high-speed satellite link from Mumbai to the global parts distribution centre in Singapore. The hospital administrators will work closely with Wipro GE executives to implement a faster ordering and supply system. Their goal is to cut short the cycle time for delivery of parts by at least 40 per cent and increase the uptime of the equipment.

"This process will be extended eventually to all major hospitals with multiple scanners and hi-end X ray equipmentfrom Wipro GE. Similarly, the company is reducing the order to installation time for complex scanners by over 30 per cent, so that customers start using the equipment much earlier and realise payback of their investment earlier," the release said.

Copyright © 1999 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.

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