Wednesday, October 24, 2012

5 Powerful Reasons to Use Kaizen in the Workplace

Any student of management would have heard of the term Kaizen. It is a Japanese term that roughly means continuous improvement. It involves many small and incremental changes, preferably recommended by individual employees, which result in significant changes in a particular work process.
This interesting concept has brought about immense changes in the way manufacturing companies function and it is now being used in many different work environments with great results.
There are many advantages of using Kaizen in the workplace. These include:
- Reduction of waste in many areas such as inventory and manpower. This is achieved by streamlining the manufacturing and delivery process, getting rid of quite a few unnecessary steps.
- Improving product quality by reducing mistakes in the manufacturing process.
- Better employee relations since workers know that they are vital to the company's success not just because of their work but also because of their useful suggestions. This results in greater output as well as reduced employee turn-over.
- Increased safety at the workplace. This has a direct impact on costs since machine will break down less often and workers will have fewer accidents than before.
- Better customer service
Companies have to dedicate themselves to the concept of Kaizen in order to use it correctly. As a matter of fact, this management technique will only work if all the people in the organization, from the top right to the bottom, believe in it and implement it. Valuable suggestions can come from the people on the shop floor and also from employees in charge of dealing with customers. Companies that have a very receptive environment generate huge number of useful suggestions from employees. Amazingly, a very large proportion of these suggestions are eventually used because they tend to be well thought out.
Kaizen helps save a great deal of money and effort since it helps solve problems right at their source. Interestingly, the results that it offers are generally noticed immediately, thereby ensuring that people are motivated to make changes in various work processes. The other significant factor is that the changes do not generally require large investments. However their returns are immense. Therefore, many companies invest in the necessary training so that they know how to use it in the correct manner. These training programs ensure that all employees understand what is required of them so that they can make their company extremely profitable.