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Final Kaizen
 

Final Kaizen

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Kaizen Project

Kaizen Project

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    Final Kaizen Final Kaizen Document Transcript

    • KAIZEN INTRODUCTIONINTRODUCTION Japanese term that means continuous improvement, taken from words 'Kai' means continuous and 'Zen' means improvement. Some translate 'Kai' to mean change and 'Zen' to mean good, or for the better. The same Japanese words Kaizen that pronounce as 'Gai San' where, Gai = The action to correct. San = This word is more related to the Taoism or Buddhism Philosophy in which give the definition as the action that 'benefit' the society but not to one particular individual. The quality of benefit that involve here should be sustain forever, in other words the 'san' is and act that truly benefit the others. Kaizen was created in Japan following World War II. The word Kaizen means "continuous improvement". It comes from the Japanese words "Kai" meaning school and "Zen" i.e. wisdom. 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 is not a once a year, or monthly activity. It is continuous. At Japanese companies, such as Toyota and Canon, 60 to 70 suggestions per employee, per year are written down, shared and implemented. 1
    • KAIZEN In most cases these are not ideas for major changes. Kaizen is based on making little changes on a regular basis--always improving productivity, safety and effectiveness, and reducing waste. Suggestions are not limited to a specific area such as production or marketing. Kaizen is based on making changes anywhere that improvements can be made. The Kaizen philosophy is to "do it better, make it better, and improve it even if it isn’t broke, because if we don't, we can't compete with those who do." Western philosophy can be summarized as, "if it isn’t broke, don't fix it." The Kaizen philosophy is that everything, even it isn’t broke can be improved. Kaizen is a system of improvement that in Japan includes both home life as well as business improvements. Kaizen even includes social activities. It is a concept that is applied in every aspect of a person's life. In business Kaizen encompasses many of the components of Japanese businesses that have been seen as a part of their success. Quality circles, automation, suggestion systems, just-in-time delivery, KanBan and 5S are all included within the Kaizen system of running a business. Kaizen involves setting standards and then continually improving those standards. To support the higher standards Kaizen also involves providing the training, materials and supervision that is needed for employees to achieve the higher standards and maintain their ability to meet those standards on an on- going basis. 2
    • KAIZEN Kaizen often takes place one small step at a time, hence the English translation: "continuous improvement," or "continual improvement." Yet radical changes for the sake of goals such as just in time, and moving lines also gain the full support of upper level management. Goals for kaizen workshops are intentionally set very high because there are countless examples of drastic reductions in process lead time to serve as proof of their practicality. The cycle of kaizen activity can be defined as: Standardize an operation – measure the standardized operation (find cycle time and amount of in-process inventory) – gauge measurements against requirements – innovate to meet requirements and increase productivity – standardize the new, improved operations – continue cycle ad infinitum. Learn-by-Doings The "Zen" in Kaizen emphasizes the learn-by-doing aspect of improving production. This philosophy is focused in a different direction from the "command-and-control" improvement programs of the mid-20th century. Kaizen methodology includes making changes and looking at the results, then adjusting. Large-scale preplanning and extensive project scheduling are replaced by smaller experiments in improvement, which can be rapidly adapted as new improvements are suggested. 3
    • KAIZEN HISTORY OF KAIZENHISTORY OF KAIZEN The history of this philosophy can be traced to as back as 1950’s. Although the term ‘KAIZEN’ first became apparent in the west in the mid 1980’s, its roots lie in the aftermath of the Second World War. The ‘birth’ of Kaizen as a management concept is closely bound up with Japan’s recovery & growth after world war-II, as a management concept, however it was first used in 1970 within post-war Japan there was clearly a pressing need to make manufacturing industry efficient, this led some of the major manufacturer ways to build on the ways of the team structures in their companies & to harness the full contribution of their system, became increasingly common. Then in 1986, Masaaki Imai published his influential book entitled Kaizen: ‘the key to Japan’s key to success’ in which he showed a number of companies were successfully using this ideas in an integrated way : kaizen as a management concept had been born. The Global economic situations which lead to evolution of KAIZEN as an important management tool are:- • Sharp increases in the cost of material, energy, labour. • Overcapacity of production facilities. • Increased competition in already saturated market. • Changing consumer values. • A need to have a lower breakeven point. 4
    • KAIZEN The traditional Japanese approach to Kaizen embeds it in a hierarchical structure, although it gives considerable importance to the employees as well, but within fixed limits. The key to applying this principle in practice the main points to be considered are:- • Attention to process, rather than end results. • Cross-functional management. • Use of QC’s and other tools to improve communication. Japanese organizations over the years have applied this philosophy and have reaped huge benefits. Unlike in the West where the emphasis is on one goal that is profit, in Japan the motto is to produce something in the best possible manner and in the process if possible try for profits. They have over the period put more stress on research and development to improve the existing process and make it more productive and also satisfy high quality standards. Japanese organizations believe it’s better to continuously improve the process rather than to go for innovations. According to theory its great strength of the Japanese companies to pay attention on the process rather than the results. 5
    • KAIZEN REASONS BEHIND THE WORKING OF KAIZEN IN JAPAN The essence of implementing Kaizen is the “attitude” & it is the attitude of the Japanese people (now known as Kaizen Attitude) that helped them in implementing Kaizen successfully. Many of Japanese people by nature are hardworking, attentive, training oriented and most importantly they feel a strong obligation to be responsible for their work. This is one of the basic reasons of success of kaizen philosophy in Japan. The following examples would throw light on the above mentioned point:- WESTERN ATTITUDE: - “As long as the targets are met don’t interfere.” KAIZEN ATTITUDE: - “Don’t aim for perfection it isn’t good enough.” WESTERN ATTITUDE: - “It’s a Marketing problem not a production one right.” KAIZEN ATTITUDE: - “There is a problem here; lets see what we can do about it.” 6
    • KAIZEN PRINCIPLES OF KAIZENPRINCIPLES OF KAIZEN There are certain basic principles which are followed in various Japanese companies which are listed below: - • Focus on customers: The Kaizen philosophy has only one prime objective of customers’ satisfaction. Kaizen permits no middle ground its either you provide best products and customer satisfaction or not. All the activities should aim at providing customer with whatever he wants and should help the firm’s long term objective of customers’ satisfaction at the same time building up good relationship. It is a responsibility of each and every person working in a Kaizen company to make sure that the product is up to the mark and it satisfies customers need. • Make improvements continuously: There is not a best way to do a thing; there is still a better way. In a Kaizen company, the search for excellence just does not end. We should work on the improvement implemented and see if we can make it even more effective. • Develop self-discipline: The most important evidence of existence of Kaizen in a company is the level of self-discipline in an employee. 7
    • KAIZEN • Acknowledge problems openly: Every company has certain problems related to finance, competition, change in demand etc. Kaizen companies are no exception, but by fostering an appropriately supportive, constructive culture it becomes easier for any team to get its problem in the open. • The whole organization works as a team to solve the problem: The problems are openly shared by the management with the employees which avoids rumours. It simply means “FIGHT WITH YOUR PROBLEMS DON’T RUN AWAY FROM THEM”. • Promote openness: There seems to be less functional ring fencing i.e. only the senior managers have private cabins. Otherwise the workplace is generally open and in many companies even the dress code and canteen for everyone is the same. • Create work teams: Each individual in a Kaizen company belongs to work team headed by a leader. Working in various overlapping teams draws employees into corporate life and reinforces the mutual understanding. 8
    • KAIZEN • Cross- functional teams: Kaizen states that no individual or team has all the required skill and knowledge to complete a task. Cross-functional teams help in getting all the valuable information’s from the view of all the related people. It calls for letting ideas to flow as wide as running on moon. • Right relationship process: This principle can be explained in one word as harmony. Harmony means a complete mixture of the best process and also the best results. • Inform every employee: Kaizen requires all the staff to be given all the information at the time of their induction and throughout their working tenure. This is very important to make sure that the employees have the right attitude and also that they respect their culture and help their co-workers. • Enable every employee: Enabling employees gives those skills and opportunity to apply the information provided. In a Kaizen company it is also important to give employees adequate training to sharpen their skills and also incentives should be provided. In case where a workers suggestion is implemented he should be given rewards. 9
    • KAIZEN IMPORTANCE OF KAIZENIMPORTANCE OF KAIZEN To answer this question let us first see what does Kaizen do or what are the benefits of Kaizen. The details of the same are follow: Kaizen involves every employee in making change--in most cases small, incremental changes. It focuses on identifying problems at their source, solving them at their source, and changing standards to ensure the problem stays solved. It's not unusual for Kaizen to result in 25 to 30 suggestions per employee, per year, and to have bovver 90% of those implemented. For example, Toyota is well-known as one of the leaders in using Kaizen. In 1999 at one U.S. plant, 7,000 Toyota employees submitted over 75,000 suggestions, of which 99% were implemented. These continual small improvements add up to major benefits. They result in improved productivity, improved quality, better safety, faster delivery, lower costs, and greater customer satisfaction. On top of these benefits to the company, employees working in Kaizen-based companies generally find work to be easier and more enjoyable--resulting in higher employee moral and job satisfaction, and lower turn-over. 10
    • KAIZEN With every employee looking for ways to make improvements, you can expect results such as: • Kaizen reduces waste in areas such as inventory, waiting times, transportation, worker motion, employee's skills, over production, excess quality and in processes. • Kaizen improves space utilization, product quality, use of capital, communications, and production capacity and employee retention. • Kaizen provides immediate results. Instead of focusing on large, capital intensive improvements, Kaizen focuses on creative investments that continually solve large numbers of small problems. Large, capital projects and major changes will still be needed, and Kaizen will also improve the capital projects process, but the real power of Kaizen is in the on-going process of continually making small improvements that improve processes and reduce waste. To add to all this we would further like to add the following: Kaizen closely associated with quality, quality refers to meeting specification and requirement, competitive cost and reliability, customer satisfaction, safety, consistency and so on. Kaizen signifies small improvement made in the status quo as a result of large investment. The word “Kaizen” refers to small and continuous improvement. 11
    • KAIZEN The wider meaning is continuous improvement consistently, every time, every step, every place leading to self development and hereby neighbourhood development. The kaizen philosophy is based on our life; our working life, our social life or our home life needs to be constantly improved for the betterment. In a management sense this means continual & gradual improvements through evolution rather than revolution. The reality is you can make improvements once if you try; you can make them more than once if you care. • Bad business ignores the sign of disaster. • Good business spots the sign of disaster and deals with them. • KAIZEN business constantly reviews and monitors to preclude disaster. To finish we would like to say that “CHANGE IS THE NEED FOR THE HOUR”, but this change is not easy. To implement these changes is not easy and to shed light on how Kaizen helps companies excel we have chosen this topic. 12
    • KAIZEN KAIZEN & THE FIVE SKAIZEN & THE FIVE S The Five S's, or just 5S, is the name for a Japanese system of workplace cleaning and organization. It first appeared at Toyota Motor Company shortly after the end of World War II by the ideas of Taiichi Ohno, and is considered a vital part of the Toyota Production System and Lean Production philosophy. The Japanese have long recognized the vital importance of workplace housekeeping. The Five Ss are: 1. Seiri, which can be translated as sorting, refers to the practice of sorting through all the tools, materials, etc., in the work area and keeping only essential items. Everything else is stored or discarded. This leads to fewer hazards and less clutter to interfere with productive work. 2. Seiton, or organizing, focuses on the need for an orderly workplace. Tools, equipment, and materials must be systematically arranged for the easiest and most efficient access. There must be a place for everything, and everything must be at its place. 13
    • KAIZEN 3. Seiso, which means cleaning, indicates the need to keep the workplace clean as well as neat. Cleaning in Japanese companies is a daily activity. At the end of each shift, the work area is cleaned up and everything is restored to its place. 4. Seiketsu, or standardizing, allows for control and consistency. Basic housekeeping standards apply everywhere in the facility. Everyone knows exactly what his or her responsibilities are. House keeping duties are part of regular work routines. 5. Shitsuke, which means sustaining, refers to maintaining housekeeping standards and keeping the facility in safe and efficient order day after day, year after year. 14
    • KAIZEN THE 3 MU’S OF KAIZEN 1. Eliminate Muda Muda means ‘waste’ and muda elimination in the context of kaizen implies an ‘on going’ and systematic elimination of waste. Seven kinds of muda elimination are; • Muda over production • Muda of stock • Muda of transport • Muda of defects • Muda of delays • Muda of motion • Muda of over processing 2. Mura Mura = Inconsistencies in the system • Happens sometimes • Happens some places 15
    • KAIZEN • Happens to some people • One side is ok; the other side is not ok All this is Mura. 3. Muri Muri = Physical Strain • Bend to work • Push hard • Lift weight • Repeat tiring action • Wasteful walk All this is Muri 16
    • KAIZEN FIVE W’S AND ONE H CHECKLIST FOR KAIZEN • Who? • Why? • What? • Where? • When? • How? The Five W’s and H, are an influential, inspirational and imaginative checklist (often used by journalists). The technique uses basic question generating prompts provided by the English language. The method is useful at any level from a formal checklist to complete informality. For example: 17
    • KAIZEN • Informal ‘back-of-an-envelope’ use is suitable as a quick-aide checklist, a private checklist to keep in mind when in an on going discussion, quick points scribbled down in a meeting, or to generate further questions. • To generate data-gathering questions, during the early stages of problem solving when you are gathering data, the checklist can be useful either as an informal or systematic way of generating lists of question that you can try to find answers for. • To generate idea-provoking questions, whilst brainstorming, brain writing or some other such similar technique, the checklist could be used as a source of thought provoking questions to help build on existing ideas. • To generate criteria, the checklist could help in generating criteria for evaluating options. 18
    • KAIZEN • To check plans, the checklist is a useful tool for planning implementation strategies. However, the ‘question words’ owe their strength to their fundamental place in the English language, and can conceal some of the assets of nature that our language copes less well with. The responses to the questions in the checklist are usually facts, rather than actions or problems. TEN COMMANDMENTS OF KAIZENTEN COMMANDMENTS OF KAIZEN 10. Though shall not speak falsehoods about the modifications. 09. Though shall not embark in any illegal activity. 08. Though shall not belittle another member's ride. 07. Though shall not monopolize the group. 06. Though shall not deviate from Kaizen doctrine and code. 19
    • KAIZEN 05. Though shall never criticize a member's final decision 04. Though shall not take out stress on thy ride or the group. 03. Though shall not totally rip-off another ride's design 02. Though shall not risk thy car recklessly. 01. Though shall not strut. KAIZEN & IT’S UMBRELLA CONCEPTKAIZEN & IT’S UMBRELLA CONCEPT 20
    • KAIZEN The Kaizen philosophy assumes that our way of life – be it our social life, our working life or our home life – deserves to be constantly improved. In trying to understand Japan’s post war “economic miracle”, scholars, journalists and businesspeople alike have dutifully studied such factors as the productivity movement, Total Quality Control (TQC), small group activities, the suggestion system, automation, industrial robots, and labour relations. They have given much importance to some of the unique Japanese management practices, among them the lifetime employment system, seniority-based wages, and enterprise unions. The essence of the “uniquely Japanese” management practices- be they productivity improvement, TQC activities, Quality Circles (QC), or labour relations – can be reduced to one word- KAIZEN. Using the term Kaizen in place of such words as productivity, TQC, ZD- zero defects, Kanban, and suggestion system paints a far clearer picture of what has been going on in the Japanese industry. Kaizen is an umbrella concept covering most of the “uniquely Japanese” management practices that have recently achieved such worldwide fame. 21
    • KAIZEN The implications of TQC in Japan have been that these concepts have helped Japanese companies generate a process oriented way of thinking and develop strategies that assure continuous improvement involving people at all levels of the organizational hierarchy. The message of the Kaizen strategy is that not a day should go by without some kind of improvement being made somewhere in the company. The belief that there should be unending improvement is deeply ingrained in the Japanese mentality. After World War II, the Japanese companies had to start from the ground up. Every day brought new challenges to the workers and the management alike, and everyday meant progress. And Kaizen has become a way of life. It was also fortunate that the various tools that helped elevate this Kaizen concept were introduced to Japan in the late 1950’s. Japanese perception of job function The figure on the adjoining page shows how job functions are perceived in Japan. As indicated the management has two major components: 22 Customer orientation. Kanban. TQC. Quality improvement. Robotics Just-in-time. QC. Zero- defects. Suggestion systems Small group activities. Automation. Good labor- management. Relations. Discipline in the Work place Productivity improvement. TPM. New product development.
    • KAIZEN maintenance and improvement. Maintenance refers to activities directed towards maintaining current technological, managerial, and operating standards; improvement refers to those directed towards improving current standards. Under its maintenance functions, management performs its assigned jobs so that everybody in the company can follow the established SOP- Standard Operating Procedure. This means that the management must first establish policies, rules and directives and procedures for all major operations and then see to it that everybody follows it. If the people are able to follow the standard but do not then the management must introduce discipline. If the people are unable to follow the standard then the management must either provide the training or review or revise the standard so that the people can follow it. In any business an employee’s work is based on the existing standards either explicit or implicit, imposed by the management. Maintenance refers to the maintaining such standards through training and discipline. By contrast, improvement refers to improving the standards. The Japanese perception of management boils down to one percept: maintain and improve standards. The higher up the manager is, the more he is concerned with improvement. At the bottom level, an unskilled worker working at a machine may spend all his time following instructions. However, he becomes more proficient at his work; he begins to contribute to improvements in the way his work is done, either through individual suggestions or through group suggestions. 23
    • KAIZEN Ask any manager at a successful Japanese company what top management is pressing for, and the answer will be, “Kaizen” (improvement). Improving standards means introducing and establishing new standards. Once this is done, it becomes management’s maintenance job to see that the new standards are observed. Lasting improvement is achieved only when people work to higher standards. Maintenance and improvement have thus become inseparable for most Japanese managers. Hierarchy of Kaizen involvement: Top management • Be determined to introduce Kaizen as a corporate strategy. • Provide support and direction for Kaizen by allocating resources. • Establish policy for Kaizen and cross-functional goals. • Realize Kaizen goals through policy deployment and audits. • Build systems, procedures and structures conducive to Kaizen. Middle management and staff 24
    • KAIZEN • Deploy and implement Kaizen goals as directed by top management through policy deployment and cross-functional management. • Use Kaizen in functional capabilities. • Establish, maintain and upgrade standards. • Make employees Kaizen – conscious through intensive training programs. • Help employees develop skills and tools for problem solving. Supervisors • Use Kaizen in functional roles. • Formulate plans for Kaizen and provide guidance to workers. • Improve communication with workers and sustain high morale. • Support small group activities (such as QC) and the individual suggestion systems. • Introduce discipline in the workshop. • Provide Kaizen suggestions. 25
    • KAIZEN Workers • Engage in Kaizen through the suggestion system and small group activities. • Practice discipline in the workshop. • Engage in continuous self-development to become better problem solvers. • Enhance skills and job performance expertise with cross education. GETTING STARTED WITH KAIZENGETTING STARTED WITH KAIZEN There is more to implementing Kaizen than we can include on a single web page. However, the following serves as an overview of introducing Kaizen into an American workplace. For most American companies Kaizen involves a significant change in the corporate culture. This is key. The attitudes of employees - from top management down to new hires will need to change. Kaizen needs to become something all employees do because they want to, and because they know it is good for them and the company. It cannot be something employees do because management dictates that it be done. 26
    • KAIZEN That means that, if management isn't ready to lead by example, Kaizen will not get off the ground. Employee training and communication is important. Combined with that, direct management involvement is critical. For example, a manager spending a week on the shop floor, working with employees to help and encourage them to develop suggestions will help. That manager should also ensure employees see their suggestions acted on--immediately. Suggestions should not be implemented next month or next week--but today. In some cases, a suggestion submitted in the morning can be implemented that afternoon, or sooner Keep employees informed about what happens with their suggestions. Don't have suggestions disappear into a management "black hole." To get Kaizen started it can be helpful to bring in outside experts. They can work in your facility identifying problems that those close to the work may not see. This serves as a "seed" allowing employees to see how Kaizen works and to experience the benefits of Kaizen. A significant obstacle to Kaizen in many corporations is that problems are seen as negatives. We don't like problems. Someone who is associated with a problem is likely to be negatively impacted (a lower raise, missed promotion, or even fired). In Kaizen problems are opportunities to improve. With Kaizen we want to find report and fix problems. Kaizen encourages and rewards the identification of problems by all employees. To encourage the submission of suggestions, a part of each supervisor's evaluation should be based on the number of suggestions submitted by those 27
    • KAIZEN they supervise. Don't evaluate employees on the number of suggestions they submit, evaluate your supervisors and managers and how well they are doing at getting those who work for them to actively participate in Kaizen. Managers should develop methods to help create suggestions and increase the number of suggestions. For example, set up teams or five to 12 people to evaluate work areas, processes, quality, productivity, and equipment availability/reliability. The team then makes suggestions for improvements, and they may even implement those improvements. Train employees in using Kaizen tools such as 5S, Kanban , and Line Balancing. Keep in mind that Kaizen is about action.Taking action to generate suggestions, and taking action to implement those suggestions immediately. MANAGEMENT’S ROLE IN IMPLEMENTING KAIZENMANAGEMENT’S ROLE IN IMPLEMENTING KAIZEN Introduction of Kaizen involves considerably more sweeping changes in attitudes, structures and processes. Senior managers need to think about the impact and implications of kaizen, as well as about the practicalities of introduction. Senior managers must be aware of Kaizen’s role in the overall business strategy. All employees should understand Kaizen’ s role in their work. Kaizen should be linked to personal development and enablement In Japan, cultural background means that senior management commitment can be taken for granted. Local guidelines therefore concentrate on the shop floor involvement. In the UK, where the cultural background is different, the right management commitment is essential. 28
    • KAIZEN Senior managers need to understand Kaizen and how it fits into the organization’s overall business strategy. They should be aware of implications and potential disruptions that the introduction of Kaizen might bring. • Reorganization of people into teams takes time and may be disruptive • Training and group meeting take additional time • Productivity may decline temporarily while changes are implemented • Some employees may be suspicious and un co-operative Above all senior managers must be prepared to let go of some areas of power: Kaizen in practice is based on the belief that the people doing a particular job will often know how better than anyone else (including their supervisors) how that job can be improved, and that they should be given that responsibility for making those improvements. Management needs to be prepared- mentally as well as practically – for this shift. Once Kaizen practices were identified as a key element in the success of large Japanese manufacturers such as Toyota, they began to take interest in the philosophy and practice of these companies. They believed that Kaizen: • Leads to reduction of waste 29
    • KAIZEN • Can increase productivity by at lest 30 % where no previous improvement process was in place • Is relative cheap to introduce – it requires no major capital investment • Can lower the break-even point • Enables organization to react quickly to market changes DIFFICULTIES IN IMPLEMENTING KAIZEN Overcoming Middle Management resistance: In very many countries due to the over dominance of the middle level management, the middle level feel threatened that their role will be eliminated. The change infact would help the managers to know the daily routine, help to give away more responsibility. In many cases where Kaizen was introduced after some of the managers took work they wanted reassurance that there would be no redundancy. Overcoming union fears: Again in case of a company which adopts Kaizen and has a strong union has to change from its traditional approach to a more modern one. Infact in a Kaizen company, due to an open environment there are hardly any mismatch. The aim 30
    • KAIZEN of a union is workers welfare which can be fulfilled in case of an open environment. Some of the argument that the union voice on are – • Employees have to work for more whereas the benefits are not substantial. • Older employees are edged out by younger ones. • Employees tend to work for themselves rather than the job. Time lapse: In case of very many companies the time taken to get used to this new Kaizen philosophy is very high. It is very difficult to change the attitude of the employees, their belief, and the culture that has developed over a period of time. It requires a lot of training as well as a lot of positive communication to spread the new philosophy. Maintaining the momentum: Kaizen stresses on continuous improvement. In many cases due to slowdown of economies, financial problems, etc sometimes it’s difficult to keep working on R&D and improve the processes. 31
    • KAIZEN ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES OF KAIZENADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES OF KAIZEN ADVANTAGES 1. Efficiency: It leads to better efficiency in terms of through put time, inventory turnover, man hours employed, plant and machinery. 2. Continuous improvement: Kaizen philosophy stresses on continuous improvement rather than innovation. This process leads to better utilization of R & D resources of a company and better productivity. 3. Mutual understanding: 32
    • KAIZEN Due to the openness in a Kaizen company, mutual understanding among the employees increases along with better understanding with management. 4. Develop self -discipline: The philosophy stresses that all the employees in a Kaizen company should have self-discipline. This helps the top level management to set an example for the others to follow. This helps the management in improving their leadership skills as well as the companies practices are percolated throughout the organization. 5. Participative Management: Due to the openness in the working environment and also in the management decisions the employees feel themselves to be a part of the organization. Participative Management also leads to high employee morale. DISADVANTAGES 1. It is difficult to achieve kaizen in practice, because it requires a complete change in attitude and culture, and needs the energy and commitment of all employees. It also requires a substantial investment of time. 2. It is difficult to maintain enthusiasm for several reasons. 33
    • KAIZEN 3. Some people see Kaizen as a threat to their jobs. 4. A lot of poor ideas tend to be put forward as well as good ones, which can be de-motivating. 5. By implication, there is complete satisfaction. 6. Continuous improvement is not sufficient on its own, major innovations are also needed. There is a danger of becoming evolutionary rather than revolutionary. GEMBA-KAIZENGEMBA-KAIZEN In the service sectors, GEMBA is where the customers come into contact with the services offered. At banks, tellers are working in Gemba, as are loan officers receiving applicants. The same goes for employee's working desks in offices and for telephone operators sitting in front of switchboards. Thus, Gemba spans a multitude of offices and administrative functions. The efforts to bring about sales management in cooperative banks take place in Gemba. Hence a few more lines on Gemba will be in order. The problem with most managers is that they prefer their desk as their workplace, wish to distance themselves from the events taking place in Gemba. Most 34
    • KAIZEN managers come into contact with reality only through their daily, weekly or even monthly reports, or other meetings. (Masaaki, Imai: Gemba Kaizen. The Japanese word KAIZEN is now well known on the floors of factories all over the world. It is written with the two kanji characters at left. KAI means alter, renew, reform, or to be corrected, among other meanings, and ZEN means simply good (The Kanji Dictionary, Spahn & Hadamitzky). In everyday Japanese, KAIZEN means improvement. For people in factories, though, KAIZEN means a lot more than that. It means the relentless process of finding and eliminating MUDA (or waste). That is why KAIZEN is sometimes translated in English as Continuous Improvement, because experts felt that saying merely improvement gave the wrong impression. MUDA is everywhere. Eliminate it and you will find it in new places. And so KAIZEN is endless. In the field of sales management in cooperative banks, manager’s first priority should be to go to Gemba and observe. Gemba is your teacher. When you go to Gemba, what you see is the real data. The report from Gemba you read sitting at your desk is merely secondary information. There is a golden rule of Gemba management, the 5-Gemba principles, which can be described as follows: • When a trouble (abnormality) happens, go to Gemba first. This is the first and most important principle. Many managers learn about the problems 35
    • KAIZEN that happened in Gemba from a report that reaches them several days or weeks after. The best solution is to go to Gemba at once when you hear that a problem has happened. • Check with gembutsu (machines, tools, rejects, and customer complaints.) Gembutsu, another Japanese word means some tangible things on which you can put your hands on. If a machine is down, the machine itself is gembutsu. If a customer is complaining, the customer is gembutsu. For instance, if the machine is down, go to Gemba and have a good look at the machine. By looking at the machine, and asking the question “why” several times, you can probably find out the reason for the breakdown on the spot. • Take temporary countermeasures on the spot. For instance, if the machine is down, you have to get it started because the show must go on. Sometimes you kick the machine to get it started. If a customer is angry, you will need to apologize, or even give some gift to appease. But these are only temporary measures and do not address the real issue, which leads to the next point. • Find out the root cause. By repeating the question “why” several times, you can find out the root cause of the problem. Standardize for prevention of recurrence. Once you identify the root cause, and come up with a countermeasure, you should standardize such a countermeasure so that the same problem will not recur. 36
    • KAIZEN What is GEMBA-KAIZEN? Gemba-Kaizen is a work discipline that pretends getting the required information for improvement, directly where the phenomenon is produced. . To solve a problem you have to go to “Gemba” or work place, machine, plant area, that is, to the place where the event that prevents things from working properly is occurring. “So what is Gemba Kaizen? It's a philosophy that uses small, continuous and commonsensical improvements in the workplace to save money and enhance the bottom-line instead of heavy investments in new technology. For Masaaki, Gemba contains the root of all problems, solutions and is the source of all improvements and revenues. 37
    • KAIZEN In order to solve problems found in Gemba, today’s managers often try to apply sophisticated tools and technologies to deal with problems that can be solved with a commonsense, low cost approach. They need to unlearn the habit of trying ever-more sophisticated technologies to solve everyday problems. There are two approaches to problem solving. The first involves innovation – applying the latest high-cost technology, such as state-of-the art computers and other tools, and investing a great deal of money. The second uses commonsense tools, checklists, and techniques that do not cost much money. KAIZEN V/S WESTERN STYLE OF MANAGEMENTKAIZEN V/S WESTERN STYLE OF MANAGEMENT 38
    • KAIZEN 39
    • KAIZEN 40
    • KAIZEN KAIZEN AS CONTINUOS IMPROVEMENT TOOLKAIZEN AS CONTINUOS IMPROVEMENT TOOL About Kaizen, it can be said that it is a way of thinking that puts common sense into practice. It is a way of thinking and acting that is not exclusive of managers and engineers, but it also includes supervisors and senior employees or not. Apart from putting common sense into practice, it is about the need of developing a learning organisation that allows the achievement of higher goals every day. Everyone in the company must work together to follow the ground rules for practicing Kaizen : • Housekeeping: It is an indispensable ingredient of good management. Through good housekeeping, employees acquire and practice self-discipline. Employees without self-disciplines make it difficult to provide products or services of good quality to the customer. Muda - any activity that does not add value is muda. This is also true for other resources, such as machines and materials. Muda elimination can be the most cost-effective way to improve productivity and reduce operating costs. Kaizen emphasizes the elimination of muda rather than the increasing of investment. Let’s suppose that a company's employees add nine parts of muda per each part of value. Their productivity can double when muda is reduced to eight parts and the added value is increased to two parts. 41
    • KAIZEN There are different types of Muda - Muda of over production, regarded as the worst type of muda. If you produce more than your customer needs, you have extra pieces that need to be taken care of, such as handling and keeping in stock. Muda of inventory, the result of over production. If your process only produces what the next process needs, you can eliminate muda of inventory altogether. Muda of waiting, how often do you see operators just waiting for the material to arrive or the machine to start? No value is added when operators are waiting and looking. Muda of motion, when the operator is moving around, looking for tools or going to get the work pieces, no value is added. Muda of transportation, when materials are moving on the trucks, forklifts, or on the conveyer, no value is added. Muda of producing rejects, producing rejects leads to rework, or else rejects must be thrown away. Muda of processing, by rearranging the working sequence, you can often eliminate a particular process. • Standardization: The third ground rule of Kaizen practice is standardization. Standards may be defined as the best way to do the job. Products of services are created as a result of a series of processes certain standard must be maintained at each process in order to assure quality. Traditional managers and businessmen resort to the purchase of new machines or to hire more personnel, especially when business perspectives are clear. Kaizen-minded executives tend to make better use of existing resources thus increasing productivity levels. 42
    • KAIZEN • Teamwork: Human relations optimum development and collective intelligence are basic to develop the Kaizen. In a highly competitive world, each company has to get their staff to work in a team to fight together in the search of scarce resources. Winning, conquering and delighting the customer is very important, to make him an associate and participant in the development of products and services to get full self-satisfaction. An executive, as the brains behind an organisation, requires that all the employees and operators be nerve endings reporting about the functioning of processes and the needs and desires of users and consumers. The operator shall not only put his hands to work, but also his brain, as a means of self-development and as a basic company resource to achieve victory in the competitive market field. • Collective intelligence: It is the pooling of knowledge, experience and decisions of a group of individuals that form the organisation as a whole, for which it is fundamental to increase to a maximum the quality of the company’s internal communication system. Functional or sectored work, with no relation between different areas, or even within the members of the same area, is no longer allowed. Concurring engineering and matrix organisations have arisen as a means of overcoming those old limitations that nevertheless are still surviving in many companies. Besides, collective intelligence concurs with systemic thought, which implies to analyse and to take decisions focusing on systems. 43
    • KAIZEN • Optimum human relations: They constitute that special chemistry that determines that one company, with the same processes, machines and products than another one, is superior to the latter because of that special group of individual interrelations that allows an optimum team work by means of an excellence in communication and decision-making systems. • Benchmarking: Benchmarking emphasizes or concentrates its procedures in quantifiable processes or products to be able to compare them. The thing is how to compare, how to do benchmarking of the company's human relations, team work, and collective intelligence levels optimization. These processes are very hard to measure and compare; hence they are not the object of traditional benchmarking. It is a good tool to gather the necessary information about performance to change vital organisation processes. Process improvement with Benchmarking is a 7 step cycle: to focus on one or several significant business processes; to request “better practice” comparisons; to identify adequate performance measures; to define reasonable metrics and tolerance variation; to implement a technological measurement system wherever possible; to monitor daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly performance as necessary; and to evaluate performance with tolerated variance and proposed solutions. 44
    • KAIZEN TOOLS USED FOR KAIZEN KAIZEN achieves its effects by working through people. All are expected to be involved. Managers, for example, are expected to spend about half their time on improving what they - and those for whom they are responsible - do. Traditionally, a Japanese Samurai carried seven tools into battle. After World War II the Japanese adopted 'quality' as a philosophy for economic recovery and, in line with this traditional approach, sought seven tools to accomplish the economic rejuvenation. The seven tools chosen were: • Histograms • Cause and Effect Diagrams • Check Sheets • Pareto Diagrams • Graphs • Control Charts • Scatter Diagrams 45
    • KAIZEN • Histograms: A histogram is a specialized type of bar chart. Individual data points are grouped together in classes, so that you can get an idea of how frequently data in each class occur in the data set. High bars indicate more points in a class, and low bars indicate fewer points. In the histogram show above, the peak is in the 40-49 class, where there are four points. 46
    • KAIZEN • Cause and Effect Diagrams The cause & effect diagram is the brainchild of Kaoru Ishikawa, who pioneered quality management processes in the Kawasaki shipyards, and in the process became one of the founding fathers of modern management. The cause and effect diagram is used to explore all the potential or real causes (or inputs) that result in a single effect (or output). Causes are arranged according to their level of importance or detail, resulting in a depiction of relationships and hierarchy of events. This can help you search for root causes, identify areas where there may be problems, and compare the relative importance of Pareto Charts. 47
    • KAIZEN • Check Sheet The Check Sheet is a simple but powerful data gathering tool. It is used to gather and classify information (data) that can be easily analyzed to identify patterns in the work being studied. It starts the process of translating “opinions” to “facts.” A Check Sheet is useful for: • Making data gathering easy. • Learning the extent of a problem – “Count to know.” • Arranging data so it can be easily used to construct a Pareto Chart. • Identifying causes of problems. 48
    • KAIZEN • Pareto Diagram Vilfredo Pareto, a turn-of-the-century Italian economist, studied the distributions of wealth in different countries, concluding that a fairly consistent minority – about 20% – of people controlled the large majority – about 80% – of a society's wealth. This same distribution has been observed in other areas and has been termed the Pareto effect. The Pareto effect even operates in quality improvement: 80% of problems usually stem from 20% of the causes. Pareto charts are used to display the Pareto principle in action, arranging data so that the few vital factors that are causing most of the problems reveal themselves. Concentrating improvement efforts on these few will have a greater impact and be more cost-effective than undirected efforts. 49
    • KAIZEN • Graphs: Charts and graphs are images that represent data symbolically. They are used to present complex information and numerical data in a simple, compact format.Some types of charts and graphs, known as pictographs, use pictures or symbols in place of the typical bars, lines, or dots of most graphs. Examples: A pie chart is a circle divided into segments with each piece of the pie representing some data. Bar and stacked charts use vertical or horizontal bars to show the relationship between numbers. Line charts use lines along a visible or invisible grid 50
    • KAIZEN • Control Charts: Every process varies. If you write your name ten times, your signatures will all be similar, but no two signatures will be exactly alike. There is an inherent variation, but it varies between predictable limits. If, as you are signing your name, someone bumps your elbow, you get an unusual variation due to what is called a "special cause". If you are cutting diamonds, and someone bumps your elbow, the special cause can be expensive. For many, many processes, it is important to notice special causes of variation as soon as they occur. 51
    • KAIZEN • Scatter Plots: Scatter Plots (also called scatter diagrams) are used to investigate the possible relationship between two variables that both relate to the same "event." A straight line of best fit (using the least squares method) is often included. Things to look for: • If the points cluster in a band running from lower left to upper right, there is a positive correlation (if x increases, y increases). • If the points cluster in a band from upper left to lower right, there is a negative correlation (if x increases, y decreases). 52
    • KAIZEN • Imagine drawing a straight line or curve through the data so that it "fits" as well as possible. The more the points cluster closely around the imaginary line of best fit, the stronger the relationship that exists between the two variables. CASE STUDIESCASE STUDIES Kaizen & Sony An operation at a plant in Terre Haute, Indiana, that required 13 operators to produce 369 products per man-hour, cut labor needs to only three operators while boosting throughput to 2,715 products per man-hour in just over one year. The products are compact discs for the Sony video game. The plant is one of the Sony Disc Manufacturing facilities in the United States. The boost in production was made through automation, attrition and attention to the principle of Kaizen, the Japanese word for continuous improvement. It’s a process that 53
    • KAIZEN involves everyone in the plant, from equipment operators to department managers working together. Success is achieved without layoffs. Allegiance to the Kaizen principle has allowed the Terre Haute facility, the first CD manufacturing plant in the U.S., which Sony purchased from CBS in 1983, to move from the then unthinkable goal of producing 300,000 CDs per month to today’s capability to turn out 27 million CDs per month. In a crunch, the plant can produce more than 29 million CDs as it did in October 1999. Kaizen is a team concept that means continuous and incremental improvement at all levels: machine operators, middle manager and even the CEO are part of the process. The Kaizen umbrella covers just-in-time inventory, zero defects, quality circles and suggestion systems. Basically, you take a look at your operations and you eliminate everything that’s wasteful. Waste, known as "muda" in Japanese, is everything that does not add value. Muda is the deadly enemy of value creation. The eight deadly muda are: 1. Waste of motion 2. Time delays 3. Unnecessary transporting and material handling 4. Making defects 5. Over processing 6. Over producing 7. Storing inventory 8. Missed opportunity 54
    • KAIZEN If you can drive that kind of waste out of your process and stay vigilant about it, then you’ve reached the heart of Kaizen. Here’s where the art of standardization becomes your friend. You have to rigorously standardize your processes if you are going to rigorously improve them. Maintaining your best processes and improving them involves two key activities, what we call two-cycle wheels. The first cycle is for maintaining your best processes, which is the day-to-day concern of operators and technicians. The other is the improvement cycle, which is generally the responsibility of the management and engineering staffs. Management and technical staff have the lead responsibility for improvements in the standardization processes. But they don’t act in a vacuum. They spend the majority of their time on the factory floor, measuring compliance with the Kaizen-driven plan, looking at the manufacturing process from the individual perspective of each employee. With the emphasis on automation, cycle time on the CD lines has been drastically driven down in this process. Gone, for example, are the batch process lines of the late 1980s. The Terre Haute plant makes discs faster than anybody in the world. It does so with fewer employees. Yet the company has not laid off any workers. The head count has dropped from a high of about 1,500 employees to its current status of just under 1,000 all through attrition. Kaizen improves the 55
    • KAIZEN morale of employees by removing drudgery from work and developing pride in seeing individual ideas implemented. Automatic guided vehicles carry supplies and discs from one station to another. Everything is automated from retrieving manufacturing supplies to the manufacturing process itself, even the stacking of packed boxes of discs on a pallet for shipping. The improvement to the video game cartooning line typifies the success of the program. The video game system launched by Sony in the mid-1990s has quickly become a staple product for the plant, particularly during the second half of each year. Discs for the game can account for nearly half the CDs made at Terre Haute during the late summer and early fall. To start the process, a team of 17 — from the plant director of production operations to seven packaging operators — was assembled to examine the operation and identify problems. With the operation shut down, the team discussed problems that they identified and added the concerns of team members. The team developed a list of 34 steps in station operation that could be improved, from e-stop location to the labeler. At its next meeting, the team generated possible solutions for each of the issues. The problems were categorized based on their impact on the operation. Then the list was divided into low cost, quick fixes and engineering improvements. Every suggestion for improvement had to consolidate, automate, eliminate or simplify in order to be considered. 56
    • KAIZEN The objective was to make the process more efficient and the job easier for the operators as quickly as possible without investing much money. Within days, low-cost improvements were implemented. During the process, all the improvements were identified in Kaizen story boards that tell the story of this specific continuous improvement and give credit to the team participants. These Story Boards, with the names of all participants, are displayed near the line and updated periodically. Here are some of the simple and incremental improvements that were accomplished within weeks and which reduced the number of station operators from 13 to seven, while raising standard throughput from 4,800 to 8,679 and the number of discs per man-hour from 369 to 1,240: • Relocated e-stop • Added rollers to prevent jams and disorientation • Redesign of crank on taping machine • Replaced cylinders on stacker • Eliminated reaching by reconfiguring work station height • Added flap detection sensor • Added quick-change tape head 57
    • KAIZEN To supplement these physical alterations, there was additional training for the core team and reorganization for easier access of the technical manuals. Once these changes and improvements were accomplished, the team moved on to identify and accomplish further incremental improvements in the station operation. Within eight months, engineering and automation improvements that the team identified had been installed by engineering to reduce the number of operators needed at the video game cartooning line to four, while increasing the standard throughput to 9,242 and the discs per man-hour to 2,311. These productivity improvements were accomplished with semi- automatic master and automatic master cartooning, a new roll stock labeling system, an automated tote handling system and installation of a new semi- automatic line. Even that was not the end. By mid 1999, only three operators were needed to improve discs per-man-hour to 2,715. Implementation of a robotic palletizer increased throughput eliminated two operators and overcame ergonomic issues involved in the operators’ need to be constantly bending. Savings: $118,400 annually, with a payoff period of only 26 months. Ergonomic issues were at the heart of a decision to add a master carton loader that automatically loaded three inner cartons of product into a master carton and placed the carton on a conveyor to be palletized. Savings: one person per line, per shift or $118,400 per year. Payoff period: 14 months. 58
    • KAIZEN Two operators were required to load PSX products from totes into PSX cartons. The manual labor and the inherent ergonomic problems were eliminated by the installation of an automatic tote de-stacker. By eliminating the two operators, the unit realized annual savings of $236,800 with a payoff period of 5.1 months. Lessons Learned The Kaizen total involvement approach to improvements follows a set of rules, policies, directives and procedures established by management. The four basic steps in making continual improvement involve: Plan, Do, Check, Act. To maintain the improved states we Standardize, Do, Check Standardization. One of the foundations of plant Kaizen activities means the documentation of the best way to do the job. Any manufacturing operation can benefit from Kaizen as long as there is a commitment from management toward total involvement in basic Kaizen tenets: • Discard conventional, fixed ideas • Think of how to do it, not why it cannot be done 59
    • KAIZEN • Do not make excuses. Start by questioning current practices • Ask "why" five times to realize the root cause of a problem Sony Disc Manufacturing has made that commitment and has reaped the rewards, enabling the company to keep up with growing demand for our product while cutting costs. Kiazen at Taj Hotels in India The Hotel Taj President, Mumbai - part of the Rs 687 crore Indian Hotels Corporation Ltd (IHCL) - recently witnessed a peculiar problem at its main kitchen. Breakages in the main kitchen were high due to incorrect flow of cutlery and crockery during washing. The Konkan Cafe and the Thai Kitchen, two restaurants at Taj President, were also facing problems due to the depth of the sink and mixing up of metal and chinaware. The hotel decided to set up a Kaizen team comprising - Chef Ananda Solomon, Rajkishore Mahto and Wilfred Rebello - who immediately sprung into action. The team studied the problem and set about to rectify it. The system of “one piece at a time” into the dishwasher was implemented. The layout of the dishwashing area was changed to facilitate 60
    • KAIZEN single-piece flow. Seemingly frivolous? But the result: The breakage of crockery came down by 28 per cent. Savings from the stoppage of breakages are at Rs 6 lakh per annum. In the main kitchen, gains are around Rs 1.75 lakh per annum and in the Konkan Cafe and Thai Kitchen, the gains are around Rs 2 lakh each. This is not a one-off incident at the Taj group. Over the past two years, the group has institutionalised both the Kaizen approach and the Total Productivity Maintenance (TPM) approach, says IHCL senior vice-president (corporate quality), Mr HN Shrinivas. Elkay Manufacturing Putting Kaizen to Practice Elkay Manufacturing, a $500 million dollar manufacturer of stainless steel sinks, faucets, water coolers, and cabinets determined, as one of several objectives, in their 2002 executive strategic planning sessions to cultivate the corporate culture of continuous improvement throughout their organization. The idea of utilizing the methodology of Kaizen as one means to this end was determined useful, especially for the manufacturing operations, where over 15 plants operating differing processes, and capacity/productivity opportunities existed. Elkay management sent selected staff to educational seminars and purchased books on the subject to begin the education process. Rainmakers had discussions with executive management at Elkay to assist in "actualizing" their 61
    • KAIZEN business objectives. Based upon these discussions Rainmakers introduced The Cumberland Group as a Strategic Partner to assist in the transfer-of-knowledge and ensure a successful Kaizen project. The Approach: Elkay management hired The Cumberland Group to facilitate a Kaizen initiative in their Yorktown PA cabinet manufacturing facility. A cross- functional team from several plants was created to implement the first initiative and begin the transfer-of knowledge required to expand these continuous improvement methodologies throughout Elkay’s plants. After an initial site visit by The Cumberland Group an agenda was prepared and the project timetables completed. One week (5 days) in March 2002 was the project time line. The cabinet drawer making process was selected as the top priority. The drawer making process produces products for 3 different product families, with 350 different assemblies in the process and 235 different parts in inventory. The first half-day was dedicated to team training facilitated by The Cumberland Group who also provided workbooks and other collateral materials useful to Kaizen initiatives. Union leadership was invited to participate in the training session in order to build a spirit of partnership and foster support for change from "the roots up". The second part of the first day involved the team evaluating processes and creating a priority list. Three top-level goals were established for the 5-day initiative: 62
    • KAIZEN • Test the Kaizen process and capabilities of the Elkay team. • Train a key group from 2 divisions on the Kaizen methodology. • Drive home substantial improvements. The team developed a list of 46 improvement opportunities. The workshop was used to further educate the team about "Lean Manufacturing" by using illustrated "Lego" exercises, dividing the team into "sub-teams" that focused in specific areas, collecting data and coming together in "brainstorming" sessions to prioritize and develop action plans. The Kaizen team overcame the resistance associated with any change of this magnitude by letting those people being affected become involved in the process part of the implementation team. The Benefits/Payback: The Kaizen team, as of this writing, is still achieving wins and concrete payback. In fact, a second Kaizen initiative was started in May 03 to continue the improvement process. Immediate impacts included reducing lead-time by 66%, reducing scrap by 56%, and improving quality and labour productivity. The documented results of this initial Kaizen project are as follows:  More efficient workspace (15% increase in production/man hour costs)  Better working aisle for delivery of parts  Less time spent positioning trucks  Less chance for injury (better organized) 63
    • KAIZEN  Easier to handle small lead times  Reduced lead time by 66% (5 hours down to 1.4 hour)  Less handling of product  Better inventory accuracy and control (reduced inventory by 10%, reduced scrap by 56%)  Quicker identification of component problems  Increased employee morale Elkay Manufacturing Company has committed to use Kaizen to promote a culture of continuous improvement and the inherent benefits to the organization of this business strategy. CONCLUSIONCONCLUSION Kaizen involves every employee in making change--in most cases small, incremental changes. It focuses on identifying problems at their source, solving them at their source, and changing standards to ensure the problem stays solved. It's not unusual for Kaizen to result in 25 to 30 suggestions per employee, per year, and to have over 90% of those implemented. For example: Toyota is well-known as one of the leaders in using Kaizen. In 1999 at one U.S. plant, 7,000 Toyota employees submitted over 75,000 suggestions, of which 99% were implemented. 64
    • KAIZEN These continual small improvements add up to major benefits. They result in improved productivity, improved quality, better safety, faster delivery, lower costs, and greater customer satisfaction. On top of these benefits to the company, employees working in Kaizen-based companies generally find work to be easier and more enjoyable--resulting in higher employee moral and job satisfaction, and lower turn-over. Kaizen is often translated in the west as ongoing, continuous improvement. Some authors explain Japan's competitive success in the world market place as the result of the implementation of the Kaizen concept in Japanese corporations. In contrast to the usual emphasis on revolutionary, innovative change on an occasional basis, Kaizen looks for uninterrupted, ongoing incremental change. In other words, there is always room for improvement and continuously trying to become better. Originally a Buddhist term, Kaizen comes from the words, "Renew the heart and make it good." Therefore, adaptation of the Kaizen concept also requires changes in "the heart of the business", corporate culture and structure, since Kaizen enables companies to translate the corporate vision in every aspect of a company's operational practice. According to Imai (1986), an important advocate of Kaizen, "Kaizen means improvement. Moreover it means continuing improvement in personal life, home life, social life, and working life. When applied to the workplace Kaizen means continuing improvement involving everyone - managers and 65
    • KAIZEN workers alike." Believers of this theory maintain that managers of production operations cannot stand still; continuous development and improvement is critical to long term success. In practice, Kaizen can be implemented in corporations by improving every aspect of a business process in a step by step approach, while gradually developing employee skills through training education and increased involvement. The principle in Kaizen implementation is: • Human resources are the most important company asset, • Processes must evolve by gradual improvement rather than radical changes, • Improvement must be based on statistical/quantitative evaluation of process performance. Support throughout the entire structure is necessary to become successful at developing a strong Kaizen approach. Management as well as workers need to believe in the Kaizen idea and strive toward obtaining the small goals in order to reach overall success. Therefore, all members of an organization need to be trained in a manner to support this idea structure. Resources, 66
    • KAIZEN measurements, rewards, and incentives all need to be aligned to and working with the Kaizen structure of ideas. Implementing Kaizen as a part of all daily activities leads to continuous improvements. It not only improves business, but also helps in boosting employee morale. Monitoring the improved areas and stretching improvement activities in them are a vital part of process improvements. It is the little things that add up to bigger things. 67