Gemba KaizenKaizen means continuous improvement. Theword implies improvement that involves everyone—both managers and workers—and entailsrelatively little expense.Gemba is a Japanese word meaning realplace, where the real action takes place. Inbusiness, Gemba is the ‘shopfloor’ or ‘productionplace’ where the value-adding activities to satisfythe customer are carried out.
5-gemba principles1. When a trouble (abnormality)happens, go to gemba first.
2. Check with gembutsu : Machine, tools, rejectsGembutsu¸another Japanese, means sometangible things on which you can put yourhands. If a machine is down, the machineitself is gembutsu. If a customer iscomplaining, the customer is gembutsu.
3. Take countermeasures on the spot.For instance, if the machine is down, you haveto get it started because the show must go on.Sometimes you kick the machine to get itstarted.If a customer is angry, you will need toapologize, or even give some gift to appease.But these are only temporary measures and donot address the real issue, which leads to thenext point.
4. Find out the root cause.By repeating the question “why” severaltimes, you can find out the root cause of theproblem.
5. Standardize for prevention of recurrence.Once you identify the root cause, and comeup with a countermeasure, you shouldstandardize such a countermeasure so thatthe same problem will not recur.
Gemba KAIZEN - Low cost approachIn order to solve problems found in gemba,today’s managers often try to applysophisticated tools and technologies to dealwith problems that can be solved with acommonsense, low-cost approach.They need to unlearn the habit of trying ever-more sophisticated technologies to solveeveryday problems.
Gemba KAIZEN - Low cost approach Gemba KAIZEN There are two approaches to problems 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. This approach is called kaizen. This article will show how kaizen can achieve significant improvement as an essential building block that prepares the company for truly rewarding accomplishments.
Three ground rules for practicing Kaizen in gemba:3 ground rules for practicing Kaizen in Gembaare: -1. Housekeeping,2. Muda elimination.3. Standardization.
1. HousekeepingHousekeeping is an indispensable ingredient ofgood management. Through goodhousekeeping, employees acquire and practiceself-discipline. Employees without self-disciplines make it difficult to provide productsor services of good quality to the customer.
2. Muda eliminationIn Japanese, the word muda means waste.Any activity that does not add value ismud a.People in gemba either add value or do not addvalue. This is also true for other resources, suchas machines and materials.Muda elimination can be the most cost-effectiveway of improving productivity and reducingoperating costs.
Types of wasteWaste of over production – This is regarded as the worst type ofwaste. If you produce more than your customer needs, you have extrapieces that need to be taken care of, such as handling and keeping instock.Waste of inventory – This is the result of over production. If youprocess only Produces what the next process needs, you can eliminatemuda of inventory altogether.Waste of waiting – How often do you see operators just waiting forthe material to arrive or the machine to start? No value is added whenoperators are waiting and looking.Waste of motion – When the operator is moving around, looking fortools or going to get the work pieces, no value is added.
Types of WasteWaste of transportation – When materials are moving onthe trucks, forklifts, or on the conveyer, no value is added.Waste of producing rejects – Producing rejects leads torework, or else rejects must be thrown away, a big muda.Waste of processing – By rearranging the workingsequence, often you can eliminate a particular process.
3. StandardizationThe third ground rule of kaizen practices ingemba is standardization.Standards may be defined as the best way todo the job.Products of services are created as a result ofa series of processes. Certain standard mustbe maintained at each process in order toassure quality. Standards also can preventrecurrence of the same problem.