Kaizen: Achieving Efficiency in the Industry through Continuous Improvement

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In order to maintain competitive priorities and remain above the competition in the global market, industries have to continuously improve manufacturing system processes. Competition and ever increasing customer satisfaction standards has been shown to be the force behind performance improvement by companies (Singh and Singh 51). Kaizen is an originally Japanese management concept for incremental improvement. It means continuous improvement in personal life, home life, social life and working life – a way of life philosophy. When used in business terms and applied to the workplace, kaizen refers to continual improvement across all functions involving all employees –managers and workers alike (Iman xx). According to Soltero and Waldrip (23) Kaizen is a workforce development methodology that can help organizations implement programs geared towards waste reduction. It is a culture of unrelenting persistent improvement that focuses on waste elimination in all systems and processes.
The foundation of the Kaizen method consists of 5 founding elements: Teamwork, Personal Discipline, Improved morale, Quality circles and Suggestions for improvement
Out of these elements three key principles arise in Kaizen:
• Elimination of waste (Muda) and inefficiency: overproduction, unnecessary transport/material handling, over processing, time delays, making defects, inventory storage, waste of motion, and underutilization of employees
• The Kaizen Five-S framework for good housekeeping:
o Seiri (Sort) – Proper arrangement of workplace area and work tools; discard unnecessary tools, documents and defective products
o Seiton (Orderliness) – Systemic preparation of the workplace so that things are ready for use when needed and easily accessible
o S...

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Roncarti, Ron, and Cheryl Tanner. “Kaizen leads to breakthroughs in responsiveness – and the Singo Prize – at Critikon.” National Productivity Review 13.4(1994): 517+. Academic OneFile. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.
Singh, Jagdeep, and Harwinder Singh. “Kaizen Philosophy: A Review of Literature.” ICFAI Journal of Operations Management 8.2 (2009): 51-72. Business Source Complete. Web. 4 Mar. 2014.
Soltero, Conrad, and Gregory Waldrip. “Using Kaizen To Reduce Waste And Prevent Pollution.” Environmental Quality Management 11.3 (2002): 23-38. Business Source Complete. Web. 4 Mar. 2014.
Steen, Kathryn. Case Studies in Business Improvement: Kaizen at Bunge-Ergon Vicksburg, LLC. Focus Magazine (2011).

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