KAIZEN Method: Continuous Improvement at the lowest Cost
Discover the Kaizen method, grouping together the tools to progress in small steps by involving everyone through hazard management.
Valorization of the staff
THE KAIZEN GOAL
The word “kaizen” comes from the fusion of two Japanese words, kai and zen, which respectively stand for “change” and “good”. This is commonly translated as “ongoing improvement”. By extension, we take this to mean “analysing in order to make better”. Daily losses in productivity give rise to deviation from standard operating times. The result of these losses is generally expressed as a coefficient, (K). Using a game of chance (the “wheel of misfortune”), participants must put forward a variety of solutions to lost productivity situations in manufacturing. Participants input their answers. Their colleagues as well as the game host can add to these. Working in a group opens the way to anticipating difficulties and looking at what preventive actions can be implemented.
This Japanese approach is based on making small improvements every day, day after day.
It’s a gradual, low key approach, as opposed to the more Western concept of sweeping changes (“ditch everything and start again”) or of innovation by re-engineering.
Kaizen is more a case of urging all workers to think about their workplace and put forward improvements. Therefore, unlike innovation, Kaizen does not rely on financial investment but on having heavily motivated employees throughout the entity. Kaizen is a philosophy, a state of mind that has to be deployed at every level in the company. Proper implementation of this principle notably involves
- - reorienting the corporate culture
- implementing tools and concepts like Deming’s wheel (PDCA cycle), TQM (total quality management) tools, an effective suggestion system, and group working.
- standardizing the processes
- running a motivation programme (reward system, employee satisfaction, etc.)
- getting management actively involved in deploying the policy
- accompanying change in cases where switching to Kaizen represents a radical change of company direction
The basic rules of KAIZEN are learnt:
- - The art of improving the management of one's own workstation
- The elimination of waste (lost added value)
- Standardization (guarantee of quality)
Malfunctions that cause productivity losses are attacked at source. Can be implementation operationally for a substantial impact on results The basic principles of ongoing improvement are introduced; motivation is aided by the use of common sense
- - Big progress in small steps.
- Bringing the best out of staff