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An integrated approach of six sigma and QSAM methodologies for a pharmaceutical company: a shipment improvement process.Rocha-Lona, Luis; Alvarez- Reyes, Silvia Edith; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; Kumar, Vikas; National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico City; University of Derby; University of the West of England (Inderscience Publishers, 2015-09-17)This paper presents a shipment improvement project in a pharmaceutical company to reduce distribution costs of a set of products shipped to Germany. The project consisted in the diagnosis and improvement of the shipment process through the deployment of quick scan audit methodology (QSAM) as a precursor to Six Sigma implementation. The original sample-shipments process was analysed to improve it and achieve the targets based on optimised sub-processes. The results showed a set of non-value added activities in transportation, motion, waiting, defects and the sub-utilisation of people. Based on the application of quality tools such as VSM, CFD, VOC, CTQ-Three under the Six Sigma approach, the improvements achieved a 26% reduction in cycle time, and no complaints from customers were reported since the implementation. A control plan was deployed to track shipments and maintain open and close communication with the customer. The resulting benefits had a significant impact on reducing distribution costs.