Methods to increase productivity often provide you with tools to tackle specific parts of the production process. Kaizen however is not just a method, but can be seen as a Japanese productivity philosophy with which you can organize your entire production process. Kaizen is a way of thinking, from the way your employees work to the way different divisions work together. First implemented by several Japanese businesses after World War II, Kaizen has since spread throughout the world and is now being implemented in business and other environments.

Kaizen

Increasing productivity has many benefits besides increasing your company’s profits. Other benefits include creating a safe work environment and increasing employees’ satisfaction. One of the methods for increasing productivity is called Kaizen. The term for this Japanese productivity philosophy became famous through a book first published in 1985 called Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success.

Kaizen, an introduction

The word Kaizen means continuous improvement in Japanese and comes from the Japanese words kai (change) and zen (good). This philosophy to improve productivity was created in Japan following World War II. To help restore Japan, American occupation forces brought in experts to help with the rebuilding of the Japanese industry. First introduced to the West by Masaaki Imai in his book Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success, Kaizen is now an important pillar in competitive strategies of companies worldwide.  

Kaizen can be defined as a philosophy that assumes that every aspect of our life deserves to be constantly improved. Key elements of this lean manufacturing tool are quality, effort, involvement of employees, willingness to change and communication. The philosophy of Kaizen or continuous improvement contains six steps:

  • Standardize an operation or activity
  • Measure the operation (and the efficiency of the process)
  • Compare measurements against requirements
  • Innovate and look for more efficient routes to do the same work
  • Standardize the new, improved operations
  • Repeat by going back to the first step and starting again

 

At Jekashop we offer different products which can be useful in the implementation of this methodology. Have a look at our product range in our web shop.

Kaizen and Toyota

Many associate the lean manufacturing tool Kaizen with the Toyota Production System. Toyota uses Kaizen as one of its core business principles. It has been said that Toyota is so committed to the idea of continuous improvement that any worker at the Toyota assembly line could stop the line at any time to address a problem in production or suggest to management a more efficient way of doing things.

Kaizen is a method or system that involves every employee, from management to the cleaners. Every employee is continuously encouraged to come up with improvement suggestions on a regular basis. In most cases these are not suggestions for major changes. The principle of Kaizen is based on making little changes on a regular basis to improve productivity and safety while reducing waste.

Kaizen tools at Jekashop

When used in a business sense and applied to the workplace, Kaizen refers to activities and processes that continually improve all functions by involving all employees. By improving standardized activities and processes Kaizen aims to eliminate waste and increase productivity. At Jekashop we offer different products to reduce variability and defects in a production process by improving efficiency and creating an orderly work environment. These products can help you implement changes in your production process in a safe and easy way.

Our line of floor marking can be used to make sure people or equipment don’t move around more than required. With floor marking you can create paths to make sure your employees move around as efficiently as possible. Thanks to the large variety of colours and shapes we offer, you can even use these to indicate certain types of paths and areas. By indicating paths and sections with our floor marking you can also prevent defects as a result of accidents.

Other products which can further increase productivity and decrease defects caused by accidents are impact protection and safety mirrors. Impact protection decrease the damage caused by accidents, creating a safe environment for your employees and materials. Safety mirrors provide your employees with an overview of the warehouse, so they are aware of their surroundings at all times. 

Besides these products we offer location signs and warehouse labels, which can reduce the amount of over processing. Our location signs can be used to indicate sections, aisles and other locations in your production environment. By using warehouse labels your employees will easily and quickly recognise products, materials or sections they’re looking for. With the variety of colours we offer you will be able to categorize your materials and prevent employees not finding the materials they need.

If you have any questions about the productivity philosophy Kaizen or our products, don’t hesitate to contact us.