Texas. In fact, all the towns within 50 miles of Oxbow are small, with approximately 1,500
residents each. Most businesses survive in this region because competition is scarce. Not all
the towns have every convenience. There may be a the- ater within a cluster of three towns
within 30 miles of each other or a major grocery store in one town while the others have small
convenience stores. No one is sure how this process developed; however, it has ensured a
respectable living for those in the county.
Johnny Cruz’ automotive repair shop benefitted from this type of arrangement. His business
has been steady for several years with a strong customer base from four towns in the area.
However, Rosie Lamb opened an automotive repair shop six months ago in Knuckle Falls, Texas,
and is competing for the same customer base. At first Johnny wasn’t worried. He had a solid
reputation as a good mechanic and he never gouged anyone. However, as the months slowly
passed, Johnny noticed that some of his regu- lar customers stopped coming in for routine
maintenance such as oil changes and brake jobs. Some others with major repair needs were
going to Rosie as well.
Johnny was a good businessman and knew he needed to stem this flow of customer defections
quickly. He went to the local community college and talked with a busi- ness professor about
the situation. One thing Johnny understood was that he needed data so he could analyze the
problem, develop solutions, and make effective decisions. Johnny had read about programs
such as Six Sigma. Although he wasn’t familiar with it, he did realize that it meant to identify a
problem, collect data, analyze the data, and develop alternative solutions. Then, he could
select what appeared to be the best solu- tion, implement it, and then circle back around and
see how effective it was.
1. Is Johnny Cruz approaching this situation sensibly? Do you think Six Sigma is the best
approach or is it overkill? Do you agree with Johnny? If so, explain how Six Sigma can help
Johnny. If you don’t agree with Johnny, what alternatives does he have?
2. Six Sigma has a lot of tools Johnny can use. Be the community college professor in Oxbow,
Texas, and explain which tool or tools you would use and in what order. What would each tool
enable Johnny to do?
3. Using the problem of defecting customers, develop a fictional cause-and-effect diagram.
Develop the four main categories and add the bones of possible causes or issues. Explain,
based on your hypothetical scenario, what you see as Johnny’s possible major causes.