Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy, often applied to both business and life, which aims to eliminate waste and make standardized processes more efficient, thus improving productivity. Kaizen is often translated as "continuous improvement." A Kaizen provider teaches employers and employees how to implement the philosophy in their own business environment. There are also plenty of books available to find Kaizen information and research.
Kaizen first gained popularity as the philosophy of the successful Toyota company, which bypassed the “American Top Three” automakers as the top-selling car manufacturer using this method of production operation. The main principles of the Kaizen business philosophy are:
1. Consider the bigger picture – review the entire process when you need to re-examine just one part of the process.
2. Focus on the little things – small changes make big differences in the overall picture.
3. Allow everyone to participate – from the CEO to the cleaning crew; Kaizen works to increase productivity at all levels.
Incorporate the 5S system of Kaizen in your business
Sort, set in Order, shine, standardize and sustain are the reference words used to guide implementation of the Kaizen philosophy within a business situation. It is the most basic format applied to Kaizen and the easiest for everyone to understand and remember.
Practice and review the skills necessary to conduct a Kaizen event within your company
When a problem arises within a specific area of your business that's subject to review by the Kaizen method but which isn't a company-wide issue, you'll need to implement the philosophy with a narrower focus. This requires being able to teach others about Kaizen. You should also understand how the theory operates when implemented on process-specific problems.
Reduce out-of-pocket expenses with a few Kazien books or personal media
Seminars and classes can get expensive. The upside to using books and personal media for Kaizen information and training is the relatively low cost and the ability to study and learn at your own pace. The downside is that you don't get the hands-on practice you would in a classroom setting.
- When everyone at every level of the company participates in Kazien, you can achieve success with the philosophy; which is similar to the concept of recycling: if one person does it, it means little, but when everyone does it, the effects are significant.