Kaizen (改善) is the Sino-Japanese word for “improvement”. In business, it refers to the philosophy or practices that focus upon continuous improvement of processes in manufacturing, engineering, and business management.
When used in the business sense and applied to the workplace, Kaizen refers to activities that continually improve all functions, and involves all employees from the CEO to the assembly line workers. It also applies to processes, such as purchasing and logistics that cross organizational boundaries into the supply chain.
By improving standardized activities and processes, the Kaizen training aims to eliminate waste (see lean manufacturing). Kaizen was first implemented in several Japanese businesses after the Second World War, influenced in part by American business and quality management teachers who visited the country. It has since spread throughout the world and is now Kaizen training is adopted and implemented in many other venues besides just business and productivity.
The use of the kaizen model for continuous improvement demands that both flow and process Kaizens are used, although process Kaizens are used more often to focus workers on continuous small improvements.
Flow Kaizen is oriented towards the flow of materials and information, and is often identified with the reorganization of an entire production area, even a company.
Process Kaizen means the improvement of individual work-stands. Therefore, improving the way production workers do their job is a part of a process kaizen.
Our team provides the Kaizen training which includes making changes and monitoring results, then adjusting. Large-scale pre-planning and extensive project scheduling are replaced by smaller experiments, which can be rapidly adapted as new improvements are suggested.