Throughout this site you will find references and resource material about the kaizen strategy. Another form of lean manufacturing, kaizen endorses general overall improvement through gradual daily change and modification.
Kai is an idea of change or the action to correct — Zen means "good"
"Kaizen is the means to achieve a corporate strategy, not the strategy." - Masaaki Imai
Kaizen is a Japanese business philosophy focused on making constant improvements. Its underlying concept stresses there will always be room for improvement. Fundamentally, kaizen aims to improve all activities and processes and eliminate waste and excess.
Having first been introduced in Masaaki Imai's 1986 book, Kaizen: The Key to Japan's Competitive Success, the Kaizen philosophy has been adopted by countless businesses throughout the world. The fact that people of all business levels can take part in kaizen — from the CEO to the mail clerk — makes it successful and effective. Implementation is achieved through daily steps to standardize and improve. The long-run effects are considerable, and has prompted the kaizen philosophy to be touted as a continual improvement technique.
The kaizen facility operates on the notion that every individual and his or her ideas are an asset to the company. Recognizing that a worker's mentality is key in how effectual a business plan is, kaizen-savvy managers champion every employee's role in the workplace to promote positive behavior and increased morale.
An environment where mutual respect and positive recognition are fostered will prompt open communication. Improvements can only be made when people are willing to voice suggestions. New ideas should always be welcomed and never criticized or overlooked. A team working toward continual improvement will surely have great benefits, both short- and long-term.
In a team setting, the following kaizen process would occur: Line personnel stop their moving production line when a problem is encountered, and, with their supervisor, examine the current operation, gauge current measurements against requirements, brainstorm new innovative ways to meet said requirements and eradicate the current problem, and finally standardize the new and improved operation.
Otherwise, workers of all levels should be constantly looking for ways to improve processes and activities to maximize efficiency and reduce waste.
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