The Kaizen method, also called the continuous improvement cycle, aims to eliminate those production processes that do not add value to the company. Companies are increasingly using them because they are a tool that helps optimize productivity. Could it be useful in your hardware company?
What is the Kaizen method for continuous improvement?
Kaizen is a Japanese term whose meaning is ‘to change for the better’. If we take it to the business field, we find a method that focuses on people and production processes to optimize. Based on the Lean Manufacturing philosophy, an analysis is carried out to eliminate everything that does not add value to the company: short-term changes to achieve success. Small and organized actions established continuously can help us achieve important objectives.
Some of the advantages of the Kaizen method
The benefits of applying the Kaizen enhancement method are soon noticed:
- Increased productivity by eliminating unnecessary or unprofitable processes.
- Reduction of working times, as well as costs.
- Promotion of values among employees who also feel more motivated.
- Increased efficiency and commitment for the teams.
- Greater collaboration between departments.
- Analysis of opportunities and reduction of risks and weak points.
- Improvement of the company’s competitiveness in the market, increased customer satisfaction.
How to implement this improvement method:
To carry out the Kaizen method we will pay attention to:
Two initial stages
- Control and stabilization. We identify processes that do not help improvement and even slow down production making it slower and less efficient.
- Improvement. Improvements are introduced to help optimize the processes and systems with which they are going to work on a daily basis.
And four phases to develop
- Define the objectives that must also be well focused and understood by the multidisciplinary work team.
- It is time to carry out the established plan. The execution of the Kaizen method will be done in the most organized way possible. It is also very useful to indicate who will be responsible for supervising that the planning is followed as detailed.
- It means reviewing whether the results are in line with expectations. If the improvement plan has really served to improve, if the problem has been solved or, on the contrary, there are still processes that do not add value.
- New implementation. If the strategy has borne fruit, we will continue in this same line of action. Otherwise, we will re-detail other objectives. However, as the Kaizen method is circular, we will not stop returning to the starting phase to check in which other sectors continuous improvement can be applied always counting on the employees being the key piece.
Let’s go back to the question we posed at the beginning: Could the Kaizen method be useful in your hardware company? Now you have in your hand all the information to answer!
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