KSE Board is the monopoly distributor of the Electrical Energy for the state of Kerala except in few places where the distribution is managed by licensees, serving a consumer base to the order of 9.5 million as on date. The vision of KSEB can be summarized as follows:
1. Total customer satisfaction
2. Environment friendly Electrical Energy to all consumers
3. Reliability, Safety and Quality of power at affordable rates.
4. To become the top ranking public utility in India
In view of the emerging changes and consequent challenges in power sector, managing the utility with competent and motivated people is critical to the success and survival of KSEB. Also KSEB need to evolve a productivity management program in which the errors/inefficiencies are very less in the system/processes.
Hence KSEB has the plan to apply Six Sigma Methodology for enabling Total customer satisfaction by applying this Methodology in its process improvement.
Customer Vs Six Sigma
In Modern business era all organizations look for creating loyal customers by ensuring their continued association or retaining all of them. This is ensured by improving the service given to their customers and it is delivered in time to meet the expectations of the customer. Six Sigma provides an effective mechanism to focus on customer requirements, through improvement of process quality and delivery time.
Six Sigma Quality quantitatively means that at an average the process generates 3.4 defects per million opportunities to become defective – where an opportunity can be anything ranging from a component to a line of code or an administrative form or service offered to the customer. This implies that nearly flawless execution of key processes is critical to achieve the customer satisfaction and productivity growth. See Figure 1 which shows that the Return On Investment (ROI) of a firm strongly related to its loyal customer, which depends on the Quality and responsiveness of services offered to them, which in turn depends on the skill of the employees of the organization executing the operations. Hence it is evident that the organization has to impart the skill to all of its employees for best quality service to its customers in right time. Six Sigma applications is a systematic approach for achieving the same through Data driven decision making for process improvement.
The Six Sigma approach
For a business or a manufacturing process, the Sigma Capability is a metric that indicates how well the process is being performed. The higher the Sigma Capability, the better the accuracy, because it measures the capability of the process to achieve defect-free-work. (where a defect is anything that results in customer dissatisfaction).
Where in a service industry, the customer is more important and hence the process improvement through six sigma approach would be appropriate, provided that we may be able to provide with correct and timely data to take right decision at right time.
It focuses on reducing process variation, centering the process and on optimizing the process. The emphasis is on the improvement of process capability rather than the control of product quality, which includes the improvement of quality and reduction of cost of quality.
In short, the Six Sigma Approach focuses on:
- Customer needs
- Data-driven improvements
- The inputs of the process
And this results in:
- Reducing or eliminating defects
- Reducing process variation
- Increasing process capability
In this context, the customer requirements for our business are -
On-Time, Accurate and Complete Customer Service quality and Responsiveness. To achieve these goals the Six Sigma approach was adopted in all important processes to pinpoint sources of errors and ways of eliminating them.
The Normal Curve and Capability
The below mentioned graph illustrates the process capability and the probability of occurrence of errors. When the variations from the mean are very high the error percentage (Defects in process) will be very high.
Sigma level and Percentage error Relationship
The table below explains the relation between the sigma level of a process and the DPMO (Defects Per Million Opportunities)
A Six Sigma Project consists of the following phases:
Define: The product or process to be improved is identified. Customer needs are identified and translated into Critical to Quality Characteristics (CTQs). The problem/goal statement, the project scope, team roles and milestones are developed. A high-level process is mapped for the existing process.
Measure: The key internal processes that influence the CTQs are identified and the defects generated relative to the identified CTQs are measured.
Analyze: The objective of this phase is to understand why defects are generated. Brainstorming and statistical tools are used to identify key variables (X’s) that cause defects. The output of this phase is the explanation of the variables that are most likely to affect process variation.
Improve: The objective of this phase is to confirm the key variables and quantify the effect of these variables on the CTQs. It also includes identifying the maximum acceptable ranges of the key variables, validating the measurement systems and modifying the existing process to stay within these ranges.
Control: The objective of this phase is to ensure that the modified process now enables the key variables to stay within the maximum acceptable ranges, using tools like Statistical Process Control (SPC) or simple checklists.
Detailed steps in each phase of the DMAIC is shown below as a flow chart.
Major Projects Identified in Distribution sector
KSEB has decided to use six sigma methodology to reduce the defects in the following problem areas in Distribution sector, as identified by the team assigned for finding out the same. The CTQ (Critical To Quality) parameters to be monitored for each of the projects are shown against each.
• High rate of interruption
Number complaints /month /1000 consumers
Average Number of consumers affected /Interruption
• Delay in attending complaints
CAIDI-Consumer Average Interruption Duration Index (Hrs)
Average Interruption Duration /Interruption (Hrs/each)
• Delay in giving service connection
Delay time in Days for each new consumer for the month in the ES
Average Delay time in Days for new connections in ES for the month
• High rate of transformer failure
Percentage of failure
Cost of failure
Thus the thrust on Six Sigma Quality will help in creating and sustaining customer focus. Three major roles to be carried out are as follows. The synergy of these three roles determines the success of the project. Necessary training to each role may be imparted before taking up the projects.
• Learns the tools
• Implement the process
• Solves day to day problems
• Learns the methodology
• Manages a value stream
• Reviews project teams
• Establishes the vision for the future
• Sets priorities
The present leadership of the Board has taken some initiatives to bring in changes by defining a strategy for implementation of specific plan/schemes for coming years. It is really worth analyzing critically the change Management program of KSEB and to take necessary steps that the new system will be in place until it is fully accepted by all or it becomes a part of our system.