Technical Side of our Data Analysis

When you remove the lower performing cattle in a herd and reduce the variability in the remaining cattle, you are actually bringing the ideas of the manufacturing world to the pasture. At least that’s the way we view our approach at TCS. We bring common sense ideas from manufacturing and apply them to the cattle production system.

The two main areas of our focus are derived from a combination of what is known as Lean Six Sigma and systems thinking.

The term Six Sigma originated from terminology associated with manufacturing, specifically terms associated with statistical modeling of manufacturing processes. The maturity of a manufacturing process can be described by a sigma rating indicating its yield or the percentage of defect-free products it creates. A six sigma process is one in which 99.99966% of the products manufactured are statistically expected to be free of defects. Six Sigma is a set of tools and strategies for process improvement originally developed by Motorola in 1986. It seeks to improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of defects (errors) and minimizing variability in manufacturing and business processes. It uses a set of quality management methods referred to as DMAIC. DMAIC is an abbreviation of the five improvement steps: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. All of the DMAIC process steps are required and always proceed in this order.

DMAIC refers to a data-driven improvement cycle used for improving, optimizing and stabilizing business processes and designs. The DMAIC improvement cycle is the core process used to drive Six Sigma projects. DMAIC is not exclusive to Six Sigma and can be used as the framework for other improvement applications (such as cattle production). Systems thinking is the process of understanding how things, regarded as systems, influence one another within a whole. In nature, systems thinking examples include ecosystems in which various elements such as air, water, movement, plants, and animals work together to survive or perish. In organizations, systems consist of people, structures, and processes that work together to make an organization “healthy” or “unhealthy”.

Systems thinking has been defined as an approach to problem solving, by viewing “problems” as parts of an overall system, rather than reacting to a specific part, outcomes or events and potentially contributing to further development of unintended consequences. Systems thinking is not one thing, but a set of habits or practices within a framework that is based on the belief that the component parts of a system can best be understood in the context of relationships with each other and with other systems, rather than in isolation. Systems thinking focuses on cyclical rather than linear cause and effect.

These combined approaches are how we tackle herd issues. By defining, measuring, analyzing, improving and controlling effects in the cowherd, we bring leading production technologies to your operation.

If you have questions or would like to place an order, please contact us at (931) 996-2253 or info@totalcattlesolutions.com