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Six Sigma Skills Attractive in A|E|C Market

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More than ever, A|E|C organizations are under pressure to streamline operations and enhance profitability. Operational Excellence is a popular pursuit for both large and small organizations, and Six Sigma is a strategic tool in achieving this goal. Professionals who are certified in this business improvement concept are increasingly in demand for various roles. This article discusses Six Sigma and the traits of certified professionals that make them highly attractive to progressive A|E|C firms.

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Six Sigma Skills Attractive in A|E|C Market

  1. 1. Construction Real Estate EngineeringFacilities R E T A I N E D E X E C U T I V E S E A R C H Six Sigma Skills Attractive in A|E|C Market ore than ever, organizations within the Architecture, Engineering & Construction (A|E|C) industry are feeling the pressure to improve their operational efficiencies and enhance their profitability. As FMI’s Gregg Schoppman wrote in a recent blog, “Maintaining pace with the competition is no longer good enough. Efficiency is quickly becoming the mantra across construction organizations.” With this mindset, Operational Excellence has become a popular pursuit within the A|E|C realm. Operational Excellence is a philosophy of leadership, teamwork, and problem solving whose purpose is the continuous improvement of an organization in all areas of performance, including decision making, ongoing investment, profitability, customer and partner services, and human resources capabilities. Its key priorities are customer satisfaction, employee empowerment, and operations optimization. A primary tool in the quest for Operational Excellence is Six Sigma (6σ), which is prompting strong interest within the A|E|C industry for professionals who are certified in this business improvement concept. By Sami L. Barry & Wesley R. Miller M What is Six Sigma? 6σ is a methodology that uses statistical analyses to identify and eliminate defects in business processes and to measure and improve a company’s performance. Similar to Operational Excellence, 6σ focuses on enhancing customer satisfaction, business systems, productivity, and financial performance. Key results of 6σ that can be realized by A|E|C organizations are: ✓ Increased profits. ✓ Enhanced company reputation in the marketplace. ✓ Improved safety and reliability. ✓ Enhanced customer satisfaction through improved value. ✓ Better use of resources, which translates to better workforce utilization and productivity. ✓ High employee satisfaction with increased confidence. ✓ Stronger business partnerships that encourage long- term relationships.
  2. 2. The attractiveness of Six Sigma candidates in A|E|C For organizations that are closely scrutinizing their processes to make them more efficient and streamlined, 6σ certified professionals, and more specifically, 6σ Black Belt- and Master Black Belt-certified professionals and their well-developed skill sets are highly attractive. These particular individuals are high-performing professionals who are either already in leadership positions or have the capabilities to grow into leadership roles. They possess advanced 6σ knowledge and experiences, and they are recognized as change agents with the abilities to identify inefficiencies, develop and implement innovative solutions, and lead those changes. 6σ Black Belts and Master Black Belts also add value through their: Communication & Motivation Skills While their strong process knowledge and analytical skills are their most important qualities, 6σ Black Belts’ and Master Black Belts’ communication and motivation skills are critical as well. This is because, many times, they are expected to simplify complex ideas and communicate them in positive and motivational ways with all levels of employees. Business Acumen & Technical Aptitude 6σ Black Belts and Master Black Belts possess deep knowledge of an organization’s services and its market environment and are able to identify current and potential challenges to drive a program accordingly. While it is not necessary for these professionals to have backgrounds in engineering or statistics, they have an inclination towards data analysis, and using statistical calculations and techniques. As progressive companies analyze and improve their processes to achieve Operational Excellence, Helbling & Associates, executive search consultants who specialize in the A|E|C sector, have seen increased interest in candidates with 6σ certification and experience. Wes Miller, a Managing Consultant with Helbling, works extensively with A|E|C firms on searches ranging from business development to senior executive management. He says, “A|E|C companies know that having senior executives, market leaders, and other key employees who are certified in Six Sigma promotes a strong reputation. A firm that can market its leaders and employees as being Six Sigma certified (Black Belt and Master Black Belt, as well as Yellow and Green Belt) immediately differentiates itself among the competition. Six Sigma professionals bring a different perspective to challenges, and they garner trust with current and potential customers.” Miller goes on to say, “Our larger and more sophisticated A|E|C clients are committed to attracting and securing candidates who can add dimension to their teams and are capable of developing long-term strategies and plans to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. It does not matter the levels or functions of the roles for which we are conducting searches. Six Sigma-certified candidates are attractive for a multitude of positions because their knowledge and training in reducing redundancy, improving processes, and better utilizing Six Sigma Skills Attractive in A|E|C Market Summer 2013 Navigator A firm that can market its leaders and employees as being Six Sigma certified (Black Belt and Master Black Belt, as well as Yellow and Green Belt) immediately differentiates itself among the competition.
  3. 3. Sources: Health Facilities Management, FMI, Six Sigma Online Authors: Sami L. Barry, Strategic Business Development Wesley R. Miller, Managing Consultant Read more of Helbling’s perspective articles on A|E|C, Facilities Management, Talent Management, and Career Development by visiting our Knowledge Center. Subscribe to Helbling’s quarterly eNewsletter and New Search Alerts by visiting our home page at www.helblingsearch.com. Social Media: Blog: blog.helblingsearch.com Twitter: @helblingsearch internal resources and time can be applied throughout an organization. These elements can lead to higher profits, and improved customer and employee satisfaction.” 6σ is also an asset in talent acquisition, a significant challenge in today’s A|E|C environment. It enhances a company’s culture, employee engagement, and the ability to attract high-caliber professionals. Miller explains, “Our clients who utilize Six Sigma are very attractive to potential candidates, especially those who are high performers. It shows that the organization is advanced, open to change, and is concerned about its employees and its customers. Therefore, Six Sigma provides a competitive edge with customers and it provides an advantage with hiring exceptional talent as well.” Today’s highly competitive A|E|C environment is prompting firms of all sizes to closely review their processes and efficiencies going forward. As they push for Operational Excellence, Six Sigma is a viable tool, and it inherently provides a competitive edge because it reflects a company’s commitment to efficiency and customer satisfaction. Therefore, 6σ-certified professionals will continue to be attractive candidates within the industry as it is these individuals who have the mindsets and skills to act as facilitators in successfully implementing new and advanced strategies throughout an organization. Six Sigma Skills Attractive in A|E|C Market RESPONSIVE Motivation  and  urgency  to  fulfill  your  needs RESOURCEFUL Extensive  network  of  contacts  in  your  industry RELIABLE Comprehensive  and  accurate  market  intelligence RESULTS Performance  that  exceeds  your  expectations RELATIONSHIPS Consulting  based  upon  trust  and  commitment H E L B L I N G & A S S O C I A T E S , I N C . R E T A I N E D E X E C U T I V E S E A R C H w w w . h e l b l i n g s e a r c h . c o mP i t t s b u r g h 7 2 4 . 9 3 5 . 7 5 0 0 Summer 2013 Navigator

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