How Helpful Are These Kaizen Events?

Many businesses use the term “Kaizen” for depicting a team that works on a project that aims at quick yet constant development. Basically, this is a Japanese word and means “Incremental improvement”. 

In the process of lean manufacturing, many businesses prefer conducting these events. Various ways are there to carry out the same. Usually, an objective and mission is set before starting it. For instance, when we talk of grocery story, the aim should be reducing the queue to 3 minutes from 10 minutes. Sometimes, increasing the revenue is the main object. 

However, you can hire a company to conduct these Kaizen events; the main goal is not only setting an objective but also setting a valid end point i.e. start on Tuesday, end on Saturday. 

Basically, these Kaizen events in manufacturing aren’t long term ones; the term used is “Kaizen blitz” because the results have to be achieved in a short duration.

There are some businesses for whom Kaizen events are standalone initiative. There’s no six sigma or lean manufacturing, but are conducted for overall improvement.  

  • Usually, these kaizen events are a part of all initiatives of lean manufacturing. They are a good way to implement lean manufacturing quickly. The model “PDCA” i.e. Plan Do Check Act is followed. After implementation of this lean manufacturing, the waste is driven out of the system and value is added to the same.  
  • Kaizen events can be conducted in non-traditional ways also. For instance, the method of six sigma is also good for improvement. It uses advanced designs and concepts. However, this six sigma can be combined along with kaizen events. Now, if a bank wants to raise the drive –up traffic and also wants to increase the percentage i.e. total volume, this combination is good. The methods and results i.e. various methods of marketing and its results would be analyzed by six sigma.  
  • The direct email and marketing efforts will be determined with various distances and demographics. Even the location might be determined by the program.  
  • On the other hand, kaizen events can be used quickly for driving improvement. Ideas like signage and lighting improvements can be brainstormed. Sometimes “Free checking” might also offered. During this kaizen that lasts for 5 days, several changes might be made. On the 5thh day, again the six sigma is utilized.  
  • Maximum improvement is enabled with six sigma and lean manufacturing process. This deadly combination which constantly brings improvement is termed “Lean six sigma”. Significant expertise is needed as 2 improvement disciplines have to be mastered. Once things are done properly, it is easy to get rid of the problems and that too with the right tools.

If you are confused as to how to organize a Kaizen Event, you can contact some companies that specialize in the same.

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