Kaizen Events the Building Blocks of Lean Manufacturing
For many years we have been developing Kaizen Workshops or Kaizen Events. We could say they are the bread and butter of the Lean Manufacturing World.
What is a Kaizen Event?
It is a very exciting process open to some eight to twenty of the most valuable people in a company. The "team" is comprised of managers, operators, maintenance technicians, supervisors from all the areas. They all get together for a few days, usually 4 to 5 days is enough, and focus in some particular area or operation of the plant to be improved.
Using our expertise, we convey these people to share and discuss their ideas and experiences as well as their knowledge. We then help them come up with simple, but very creative solutions related to the subject and explain to them the techniques to take advantage of their creativity. The encouraging aspect of this is the fact that...
We Take All The Ideas Into Account!
They may create new arrangements for a particular area.
Perhaps they will develop a new process to save time while doing setup.
Some teams will start autonomous maintenance in a particular machine.
A quality issue may be resolved as well.
Paperwork simplification is often accomplished.
JIT Just in Time implementation can also be a matter to deal with.
Improvement, improvement and more improvement, that is what it all is about!
Of course there is a disciplined process behind it. We have some rules and learn some theories as well. The most important part is... We All Learn and Have Fun!
The dynamics of the workshop is a continuous interaction in the classroom as well as on the floor. All the activities and processes are carefully documented so that they can be re-improved or adapted to other similar areas. We recommend the use of photography and video for this purpose.
Kaizen is also a culture, it implies a new way of seeing things, a different approach with a very clear objective:
To Make The Operation More Productive!
This is achieved through one of the most commonly wasted abilities of the human being:
Creative and Objective Thinking.
Our Kaizen events are very successful because all the participants see in each project a very important professional growth opportunity. The savings and increased productivity during and after the event pay back in a short period of time the effort of your company and each member in the team.
The main characteristic in Kaizen events is the Low Cost and the Big Return. In four words...
It Is Worth It!
As an additional revenue, all the people involved in the team will start seeing things differently. They start seeing more opportunities for improvements than ever before. They also become more assertive, cooperative and confident in the support of the organization. The benefits are perceived in a better attitude and performance at work and in all the other aspects of their lives. We have also seen personnel turn-over decrease drastically.