Kaizen, a Japanese term, is a system of improvement and self-changing. It refers to practices that focus upon continuous improvement of processes. In manufacturing, Kaizen can quickly impact an organization’s bottom line. There are various benefits to a company willing to implement Kaizen.
Bottom Line Benefits:
- Improving Visual Controls
- Eliminating Clutter
- Reducing/Eliminating Waste
- Implementing Standardized Work
- Improving Material and Information Flow
- Organizing Tools and Fixtures
- Reducing Setup and Change Over Times
- Creating Repeatable Processes
- Reducing Floor Space
- Improving Company Morale
- Reducing/Eliminate Overtime
- Training Team Members to Identify and Eliminate Waste
- Improving Communication
- Fostering Team Environment
- Quickly Impacting the Bottom Line
Kaizen is a system that involves every employee – from upper management to the cleaning crew. Everyone is encouraged to come up with small improvement suggestions on a regular basis.
This business strategy, which was introduced in the 1980’s, involves setting standards and then continually improving those standards. To support the higher standards, a company utilizing Kaizen also needs to provide the training, materials and supervision that is needed for employees to achieve these higher standards and maintain their ability to meet those standards on an on-going basis.
When successfully implemented, Kaizen enables companies to:
Reduce waste in areas such as inventory, waiting times, transportation, worker motion, employee skills, over production, excess quantity and processes.
Improve space utilization, product quality, use of capital, communications, production capacity and employee retention.
Provide immediate results by continually making small improvements that improve processes and reduce waste.
A significant obstacle for many corporations is that problems are seen as negatives. Using the Kaizen approach, problems are opportunities to improve. We want to find, report and fix problems. The Kaizen model encourages and rewards the identification of problems by all employees.
If you would like to learn more about Kaizen or develop your own Kaizen event, Manex can help. Manex offers a Kaizen Program that includes a hands-on, onsite workshop to help improve your operation and production activities and often has immediate and measurable ROI.
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