MIAMI—More than 150 top-level executives gathered for two full days in Miami for the 4th Annual Six Sigma Summit, January 21 to 22. Developed and run by the International Quality and Productivity Center (IQPC, London), and sponsored by Quality magazine, the summit brought together top-level companies that have implemented or are considering implementing Six Sigma methods.

Included among attendees and presenters were those from Glaxo-SmithKline, Rath & Strong, Sunbeam, Honeywell, TRW Automotive, Johnson & Johnson, IBM and Raytheon. Instead of focusing on the Six Sigma metrics themselves, many of the speakers examined issues such as return on investment, internal changes in attitude, actual implementation, integration of Six Sigma to the business plan, project management, use within the supply chain and other effects of Six Sigma on other such corporate wide issues.

“The goal is business performance, not Six Sigma,” says Jeff Osborne, vice president of Six Sigma Plus at Honeywell Engines, Systems and Services (Phoenix). “You have to look at how do you fit Six Sigma into the business, not the other way around,” he says.

Others speakers echoed this sentiment. Luis Pacheco, director of continuous improvement for Sunbeam Products (Boca Raton, FL), advised attendees that successful use of Six Sigma requires financial and business managers to buy into the program. He also instructed attendees on how to collect cost savings that result from Six Sigma and account for hidden savings.

IQPC will continue with its yearlong seminars on Six Sigma in May. Lean Six Sigma is the title of a conference to be held in Chicago, May 8 to 9, which will focus on integrating lean manufacturing practices and Six Sigma practices. Speakers from Whirlpool Corp., Visteon and Honeywell International are among those scheduled.

For more information, watch upcoming issues of Quality magazine or contact the IQPC directly through its Web site at or at (800) 882-8646.