Josh Tapp 0:00
What is up everybody? Josh Tapp here again, and welcome back to the lucky Titan podcast. And today we have a very special guest on a mic. Her name is Cheryl Mays. Cheryl is here with us today to really share about a topic that a lot of people will glaze over about right six sigma. And the reason why a lot of people glaze over because it seems like a tedious process, or we think engineering. But Cheryl has a really amazing take on this. That is to help small business owners to optimize their processes, to be able to actually increase revenue without having to spend more money. This is something that is hugely important when you're going to create a small business and to scale. So Cheryl, let's hop in this day say what's up to everybody and tell something interesting about yourself that most people don't know.
Sheryl Mays 0:44
Well, hello, everyone. I am so excited to be here with him today. And oh my god, something that you have that you do not know about me. So I'm a caregiver for my mother. And so I would typically stop there because everybody probably now is going Oh yeah. I know where she's going. And and so it's interesting because when you're 87 years old, there's no filter. And you can literally just say anything that you want to say and it's okay. And and she does she uses that privilege very well. very liberal.
Yes. See that? And I'll tell you, Josh, it has
added an extra level of humor into my life because some things that she says you kind of look and you go,
she didn't just say that. And you're like, Yes, she did. Just say that.
So my next my stepbrothers coming over for the Fourth of July, and he says, He calls me up and he says, Hey, I'm going to come over for the Fourth of July and I'm on the phone with him and I said, Oh, and she's Who is that? No, nobody's getting in here. copas outside. Because now that's the name. It's called. COVID is outside person Then I told him I said, Well, I don't think you can come over because I can't have company. So yes, I am at the at the mercy of my mother. Even though I am far above parental permission, I still have to get permission from my mother. Yes, that is probably something you just don't know about me. I still ask mom.
I can have company. I
Josh Tapp 2:24
love that. Because what's really funny is, I think you have to learn to have a lighter sense of humor about those things, right? Because it's really sad and you can really wallow in your pity when you watch somebody you love starts you know, get Alzheimer's or what have you where they start to lose in my bed. I know. So my great grandma had that. And I was like 10 or 11 years old, but my my favorite memories about her were her like memory lapses because it was just so funny. She would say you're like, wow, that was so inappropriate.
Unknown Speaker 2:52
Josh Tapp 2:54
it's just it's fun. It's good stuff. And I think if you keep it in good light humor, I think it helps you have a better outlook on life but
Sheryl Mays 3:02
sometimes it's like every day is Groundhog Day you write the same questions, you talk about the same stuff. It's like,
Unknown Speaker 3:08
Josh Tapp 3:10
We should bring her on this interview. I think it'd be fun.
Unknown Speaker 3:14
I don't know. I don't know.
Josh Tapp 3:16
Like, I'm not doing that. Sure, I love that so much. I'm so glad you're able to come on and be transparent share those things. Because I think more than people know that sort of stuff really helps us as the audience and us who are learning from you to, to connect with you better and and I really want our audience to connect with you well, because what you're about to talk to talk about is so hugely important in business. So let's go into now, what you've taught you've been talking about right? So the Six Sigma process and how that applies, especially in a small business environment.
Sheryl Mays 3:50
So initially starts just when people hear Six Sigma and then you add Lean Six Sigma to it. It kind of confuses people because initially Think of Six Sigma as being an engineering or a manufacturing process. And a lot of times when you talk about it, people go, oh my gosh, no, that conversation is gonna be way too deep. It's gonna be way too heavy for me to even try to fathom how to understand it, let alone implement it. And so when I get to an opportunity to explain initially what it is, and truly what it is, it's very simple. It eliminates your waste. It reduces your cost. It provides efficiency in your process flow, which is what all businesses want. And for a small business, especially now as you're looking at how to streamline your business, how to reduce costs. This is an opportunity for you to use this in your process. What we've done at Rise and shine is actually take it to another level. So we've taken it and use it for sales. We've used it for leadership development. We've used it for organizational culture. When you are literally using what I like to call that third lens, when you are looking from the outside in and looking at your processes, but not from an internal aspect where you're looking down and going, Oh, this is running really smoothly, but you've actually listened to the voice of your customer. Because that's what Lean Six Sigma is. It's it's centered around people. And the voice of the customer is where you literally define, are you operating efficiently? Are you operating effectively? And what else could you be doing to add value to your customers experience?
Josh Tapp 5:37
See, and I really appreciate that explanation. Because, like you say, it's, I think it's just a really misconstrued concept. It's more about like you said, it's about eliminating waste. It's about finding those those simple processes and I do have to ask you a question about this is a genuine question because I myself, I do not have a personality type that I'm good at organization. And I do struggle with that. A lot. So I actually have a business partner who takes care of a lot of that for me, because he's an accountant. Right? He's a typical, like, process guy, right. And he does amazing at it. And what I found though is, is you almost can't do it for your own company without either somebody sitting there side by side with you or a consultant coming in. So, in your experience, how is the best way to apply this? Is it something you can do on your own? Or do you need to bring in outside help,
Sheryl Mays 6:26
you would need to bring in the best case scenario would be to bring in outside help. Now, if you have people in your employment that are considered black belts, so when you think of Lean Six Sigma, the roles that are assigned are based just like karate, so it's a white belt, yellow belt, Green Belt, black belt. And so if you have someone that is a black belt, then they can be truly instrumental in how this process works. If not, then the best thing would be to hire someone that that focuses solely on this because it's a it's not something that It's not a quick process. Because you truly have to look at the process from either, you know, from your internal customer, which could be that next department. What happens next. And a lot of times, that's what we find out also is that a lot of times people don't know what happens to their work after it leaves their department, right. And so you don't really know to the extent of, well, if this sits here for an extra 24 hours before I pass it on to the next department, what happens to that whole experience for the customer? Because now what you do with six sigma is you look for those waste opportunities. You look for areas of defect. And when we talked earlier, a lot of times when you talk about waste, people think materials, they think this they think you know this and they think you know those types of things. But when you are a practitioner, for Lean Six Sigma waste could be transportation, there's literally an acronym that we use. That's Tim woods and its transportation, its inventory, its motion. It's waste, it's over processing. It's overproduction its defects. Its skills underutilized. The waste has those eight areas where you can actually look at and then, you know, ask yourself four questions. And I always give these four questions to businesses as I'm actually working with them. Is there a better way for me to run my business? Is there a way to eliminate waste? Is there a way to be more efficient? Is there a way to improve the value to the customers because it's truly about adding value to the customers and eliminating those things that are non value added. So when you have an opportunity to literally sit down and literally I sit down and I do this, this global introduction of what it is, so that it comes in, you know, and I explain it in layman's terms, so that you can walk away and you can go, Okay, wait a second. That's pretty simple to understand. Right? It's not that difficult to understand. If you have someone that will explain it to you in layman's terms when you can walk away and then share it. So I my philosophy is this when you're, you're learning something and you don't understand that you'd have the person explain it to you, as if you were a five year old. It's like explain it to me as if I'm a five year old. So that way I can walk away and I can explain it to my team, I can explain it to my partner, and say, Hey, I think this is something that we should look at. So then let's call Cheryl back in, if it's my company, let's call her back in and do a deeper dive. And so then we get to the second level of explanations where we talk about the actual methodology. And there's a model that you follow and it's called the DMAIC model. It's DMA IC, which stands for design, measure, improve, analyze, and then control. And what that does is it differentiates this methodology from any other total quality management system because it has room for sustainability. And it actually implements a sustainability aspect into the entire process. So therefore, when you leave, you can look six months later and go, Okay, we're still, we're still, you know, we're still improving our process, we're looking at the finances, and we're still generating more money and we've lowered our costs, because it's a cost benefit analysis. If it doesn't save the money. If it doesn't save the company money, then that's not a project you want to work on. Right? So you know, so you definitely want to make sure that it's it comes from the top. So there has to be a champion that actually says, Hey, this is what my company we are going to do this. It's going to do exactly this. This is how much money it's going to save us. Because that way you can explain it to your stakeholders as to why this is important because it's going to save you money. You know, there there are when you look at A lot of the larger companies, you can say Amazon, or I'm sorry, there's a there's another one. I think it's CVS that I recently saw where they're actually having drones that will deliver your medications to you.
Unknown Speaker 11:12
Sheryl Mays 11:13
You know, when you start thinking about things like that, when you start thinking about Amazon, what was it when Amazon first started? Well, it would take you a week to get your packages, right. So now you can go they can deliver them to a locker for you, you can get it you can get amazon prime or you can get in 24 hours. So these are process these are process techniques that has allowed the customer to have a much better experience. And so this is the same concept for small businesses. You still have the ability to have the customer have a great experience through their quality through their, you know through the delivery process, as well as cost three pieces for customers. It's quality, delivery and cost.
Josh Tapp 11:57
I love that. See and you're bringing a lot have really awesome information that table there because you're saying, Hey, this is how you gauge where you're at. And then this is how you progress, right? And then what you're talking about with this, which is really awesome is that it's something that can be applied to literally any department. And most people who are listening to the show, right? We're kind of in a time of life where we no longer need full time employees. There's very few companies who need that in the online sector, right? If you're selling any sort of content creation, or what have you, because we can outsource everything, right? So on our team, right, we have me and my partner, who are the full time employees, and then we've probably got 27 other people, but they're all contractors, right? So whenever we need something done, I say, Hey, can we pay you to do this, we pay this. And processes become vitally important when you're working that way, because you don't have somebody dedicated to that process. Because you're having to say, Okay, here's a one page document that I can give, or one video that I can give to this virtual assistant and they'll be able to run this process for me. And so in your experience, and this is probably where you're going with this anyways. In a virtual assistant world, what have you found to be some of the best things to do to to run a an effective process with a virtual assistant?
Sheryl Mays 13:10
If you know, the huge aspect for Lean Six Sigma is communication, that is totally vital is communication,
and then transparency. And
a lot of times if you are virtual, what you have a tendency to do is not have that full on meeting, you know, because you're running from one zone to the next zone, or, you know, you just don't have that time to sit at a table where you would normally be in a staff meeting, right and your staff meeting might be an hour might be an hour and a half. Everybody gets to go around and say what they're going to do what they're working on and what they need help with. And when you're virtual, sometimes you're looking at a person's not even on the screen, right, they've got their their screenshot picture is up, which means they're multitasking, or they're doing something else. And so it's that communication One of the one of the best pieces of advice that I give individuals is if you do a virtual meeting, then you mandate that everybody is on the screen, that you can literally see every one. So now, you know, you're you're looking, right, and you're hearing them. And so that's part of the process is how is the information being disseminated? Right? You know, and it's huge, huge. Two pieces that Lean Six Sigma will definitely allow you to focus on and that's people in communication. Because those are two of the major pieces. A lot of times when you're instituting a change in a system, when you're instituting something that's going to change how a department might even operate or connect to the next department. If that's not properly communicated. Then you get, you know, you get the kickback, you get the, you know, oh my gosh, here's another program that they're going to put us through, you get all of the hip and the high end and and it's true because there hasn't been a communication piece that says, This is why we're going to do this. This is the amount of money that we're going to save. That's the transparency aspect. In, you know, in your mind as an employee you want to do what's the best for the company, but
you also want
to know what the company's doing, you know, and why they're doing it. And, you know, sometimes we're running 1000 miles a minute, you know, I think of, you know, myself and the companies that that I work with, where to your point, there's probably two people, you know, and everybody else is outsourcing. And even in outsourcing, you know, you still have to have a mechanism where you are monitoring the motion, you're monitoring the transportation. For example, if you tell someone even with your show, your program is going to be up in three days, your interview is going to be up in three days, and you're done. And so I would expect Okay, well, 72 hours, I'm going to see something, but now if it's up on that fifth day, well, that's a difference. Fact, now I'm looking at your company going well, that's not what they said. And so now I'm unsatisfied as a customer. And then you know, there's that train of events that happened after that unsatisfied. customer has that experience. And so even something in that regards of looking at how are my suppliers, getting me, the employees, the pieces that I need, so that I can then start my part of the process, because the suppliers are also part of your process. And so, you know, it's understanding how that works. So they have a term and Lean Six Sigma, and it's called Gigi get, gosh, it's Utica timsy. And it's called going see is literally what it means go and see. And that literally means go and see your process. You know, actually walk the process, you know, call up on the phone, be a part of the you know, be a part of the process and see what happens when you do To your customer service representative, how long are you on hold, right, which we all do that, you know, in quality calls, you know that a monitor, but you know how instead of hearing the cause just be a part of the process. So that way you get to feel if there's any frustration, what are you feeling when this happens? You know, how did how was the resolve? Did you feel like you were actually, you know, your issue was actually resolved in a timely manner. And so, you know, what I talked about the whole purpose of Lean Six Sigma, and we all look at the wisdom, right? What's in it for me, right? And so when you look at that, what's in it for you is you have an opportunity to grow your revenue, because we know what happens when you have customer retention. 80% of our business should be customer retention. 20% is new business, right, but that 80% and so a lot of times what I find is businesses are focusing on gaining more on that 20% and then leaving that 80% to just go Yeah, you're a customer and whatever product you're buying But that 80% that's where your focus should be, is that 80% to keep them coming back to keep them sharing the good news, as I like to say, right, sharing the good news, so that they can actually now refer you. And so it's, you know, you're not working harder. We always say work smarter, not harder. Right? That's literally where that cliche as it is, that's where it comes in. You know, and the other thing is, you know, to improve your delivery time to reduce your inventory and increase your customer satisfaction. That's the wisdom. Those four pieces are truly what's in it for any business that looks at Lean Six Sigma, and then sits down and thinks about their business. Internally, I go, you know, there might be some room, there might be some room for us to look at how we can actually reduce our costs and increase our customer retention. I mean, that's the goal of any business. Yeah. And and the thing that I love What I also share for for business owners is that the great piece about Lean Six Sigma is not a guessing game. Right? There's no there's no assumptions. There's no guessing there's no Well, let's see if this works, right? It is data, it is based on data and facts. And so you literally have the data to be able to say, this is why this should work. Right? And so it's not just you know, I don't want businesses to think, Hey, we can get a team together, we can look at a process and then we can put some things in place, because there's truly a systematic approach, which makes Lean Six Sigma so successful. And that's why companies like Toyota use it. That's why companies like Motorola has used it. That's why companies like GE have used it. Because it is a system that allows you to literally say this is why this is going to work.
And I think at the end of the day, that's what you want when you go to your station. coders and say, Hey, we're going to implement a plan, it's going to take maybe three months, might take four months, depending on the plan itself might be smaller projects. But when you do that you have the proof to be able to say, this is why. And that's how everybody gets buy in and they go, Okay, well, this makes sense, right? This is strategically it makes sense. So let's do it. And you know, what it does for your employees is it's amazing because it helps them with their capabilities. You know, one of the pieces of waste I talked about were skills underutilized. I am a huge advocate of employee development, and allowing your employees to ascend in their professional career because that also allows them to integrate their personal life and when you see one rise, you see the other rise, right and, and so I am a huge, huge advocate of anything that's going to allow that to happen and typically people go Lean Six Sigma, we're gonna you know, it's a cop. It's a process that allows you to eliminate employees. Well, that's not What it is, it allows you to allows you to enhance their capabilities, so that they can now be better for your customers. So they're not focusing so much on, you know, things that are not added value, but now they have their ability to have their attention on things that's going to add value to your customers. How do you know that focus groups, customer surveys, things where your customer has actually told you? This is what we want? Yeah, oftentimes, people are moving so fast. They're like, Oh, no, we're just keeping status quo. You know, a point in case I have a spectrum is my cable company. They're coming over here today. And so I called them yesterday, and I'm using I'm waiting for it yet. We'll get out there in five days. And I'm going okay, here it comes. And it said, Oh, we'll be out there tomorrow morning. And my eyes. I was like, Oh my gosh, this is also tomorrow to fix my problem. And so then when you get that prompt that says are you willing to fill out this feedback survey That takes about five minutes. Absolutely. I want to fill that out. Right? You did great. You know, but that's what you want. You want that customer to have that feeling like I had yesterday. This is oh my gosh, yeah, I love this. You know, and so that's what a business that wants to be sustainable. Even in this time that we're in, we're looking on how can we be sustainable? Right. You know, and so, I think this is an opportunity for people to literally, you know, take a look and go, let's try it.
Let's see what it's about.
Josh Tapp 22:35
See, I love that I mean, you've been bringing so I hope people are taking notes. I've been taking notes over here. There's a lot of amazing meat in this show. I mean, I wish we had more time to be able to go into like, like a rabbit holes. I could have jumped down. I i digress. We won't spend a lot of time on that. Right. But I do want to ask you though, for anybody who's saying hey, I do want help with this. This is a direction I would like to go with my company. Where should they go? Do you have some where they can connect with you or a resource you want us you want to give them to send them to?
Sheryl Mays 23:05
Absolutely you can connect with me on my website, www rising dash and dash shining.com. I seems a little lengthy but just think of Rise and shine and add the IMG. That's the best way to get in touch with me. There are also opportunities if you are looking at just getting more information, you can get a white belt certification, which is strictly informational. It's totally free. And it kind of gives you like that intro where you're going, Okay, I got this kind of makes sense. Now let me get somebody in that can actually, you know, show
me and now virtualize it get somebody in
that you can see on the screen. I can actually take you to the next level but there are opportunities for just knowledge purposes where you can get one of the courses is management and strategy Institute. That is a company that does a white belt certification, where you can just solely get more information on what is this thing called six sigma.
Josh Tapp 24:09
It's that's the bear we all know about but don't know anything about that. Well, I love that show. And thanks so much again for coming on the show today. I really appreciate the knowledge and the passion that you brought to this and thank you again.
Sheryl Mays 24:24
I am so excited to be a part of the show. Thank you guys. Have an amazing day.
And definitely think about looking at this for your business no
matter how large or small it will definitely help you. Thanks, Josh.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai