« Kaizen Strategy is the single most important concept in Japanese management i.e. the key to Japanese Competitive success.
Kaizen means « On Going » Improvement involving everyone - Top Management, Managers and Workers »
Musaaki Imai “Kaizen: The Key to Japan's Competitive Success”
In 1986, Imai established the Kaizen Institute to help US companies introduce kaizen concepts, systems and tools.
There are 2 approaches to problem solving :
- The first involves innovation ; applying high cost solutions such as state of the art methodology, Investments…
- The second uses common sense approach, highly efficient systems, tools and techniques that do not cost money.
This approach is called KAIZEN.
What is a Kaizen event ?
- A rapid, learn/do, rigorous and disciplined workshop aimed at creating fast, practical solutions for challenges
- Involves the people who do the work / own the process through a multi-functional approach, highly focused, action oriented, 3 to 4 days event.
- Requires a commitment to action, intensive support from Senior Management, a multi functional team which is empowered to make decisions and immediate change
- Requires a detailed planning
- Results in dramatic reduction in quality, lead times and costs
- Energy and momentum to remove waste and make improvements
We can bring improvements to the business by :
- Borrowing / Developing Technology
- Engaging consultants
But making improvements with own ideas by all employees on a continuous basis, creates an asset which cannot be purchased.
It is an unique lasting culture of an organisation, retained within.
Typical Lean Enterprise results:
Lead Times :
1 / 4 – 1 / 2 Industry Avg.
Inventory Turns :
Greater than 24 / Year
Up to 1 % or more / month
Growth Rates :
3 – 5 times Industry Avg.
Value-Adding time (VA) of 3-10% in the Lead Time of products or services is common
Value Added versus Non Value Added Activities:
Value Added Activities:
Transforms material & information into products and services the Customer wants.
Business Value Added Activities:
Activity that is required to operate the business but the customer is unwilling to pay for.
Non Value Added Activities:
Consume resources, but don’t directly contribute to product or service