If you’re in the corporate world, then most probably you already heard about kaizen. From how it sounds, kaizen is a Japanese term. ‘kai’ means ‘change’ and ‘zen’ means ‘good’. If there was one thing that TOYOTA was good for, its the kaizen concept. This concept was introduced by TOYOTA way back in the 1980s as an aim to dedicate themselves to continuously improve their products and the world followed.
Kaizen is part of this whole lean process (identifying and eliminating waste) and has been applied with other processes as well like standardized work, productive maintenance, 5s, process mapping, kanban, error proofing, set up time reduction, line balancing, schedule leveling, visual management and reduce lot sizes. depending on the company’s needs any process can be mixed and match with each other.
How kaizen came to be: When TOYOTA was doing their process in the 1980’s they have experienced this “bottleneck effect”. Essentially it’s about identifying the reason why production is slow, by identifying the cause of the delay. Because of the process that they did, they were able to eliminate waste on their process and made the production of their vehicles more efficient.
Is it good for any business? Although kaizen was initially made for the manufacturing industry where it’s still being applied today, its also applied in a various corporate office all around the globe and usually mixed with the lean concept and six sigma. Its good for business because it gives the business this time-proven process in order to help them identify their pain points and fix it in order for their business to move forward.
The end goal: The end goal is efficiency, quality of work and removing waste (process, tools, systems, space, people) and only leaving the things that are essential. This is important in order for the business to stay afloat and continually be more competitive versus the competition. IUt helps the company be resilient as well and accept new processes and challenges with the ever-changing times.
Why you need to apply this: If you think that you got so many people hired, so many unnecessary tools, unorganized paperwork, messy workplace, and your spending on things that aren’t essential but you don’t know why? Kaizen can solve that for you.
Kaizen is a unique approach with regard to the process on how to do things. Its a time-proven process developed by a Japanese car manufacturer named TOYOTA. Their aim was to develop a process in order to identify the waste in their process, on how they do things and leave only the things that are essential. Today that concept that is part of the whole lean methodology has been used by various companies all over the world. Following kaizen is not easy, but it pays to have a guide and that makes it efficient.