I wrote that the president should also carry out Kaizen last time. There are several types of Kaizen which the president may participate in. And KZ method is the one of them.
K of the KZ method stands for Kaizen, and Z for Zentai which means “total” in Japanese. If the president join KZ method, not only the place is refreshed but also a big problem of the whole company will be found then and there. And total management kaizen will be started that was not possible until then.
To start KZ method, the president, the directors and the managers of sales, design and control section and production section may be gathered in the small area of the plant. And they are asked to stick cards on things which may not be used within a month or have problems.
Then, the card attached things are carried out of the place and divided into three categories, things not necessary, things not to be used within a month but may be used later and things necessary but with problems, then all the members start discussion.
・What is this?
・Why hs this become unnecessary?
・How should we do Kaizen together?
Through the discussion by the wide range of the company people in the plant, variety of the big companywide problems might come out, for example the problems of the design, the procurement, the sales and the control section will appear. And by observing such things and listening to the peoples opinion, the president understand the situation and start to suggest design change to all of the relating section people, as the design, the engineering and the production section or directs the procurement section to buy goods just needed or in smaller size, or orders the production control and the production section for changing the production lot size. These orders cannot be implemented by a single section.
Because the president watches the real things by himself, he can order them with confidence.
President also does Kaizen
I have written about Kaizen of part-time workers three times. On the other hand, the company president also carries out Kaizen too.
Many people may think that the presidents will do great Kaizen, but it is not true. The Kaizen by presidents are also normal.
The president takes a leadership at everyday work and gives instructions. This is a role of the president. However, when it comes to changing every day job by Kaizen, the part-time worker who just entered the company yesterday has equal ability to the president. Because Kaizen is done by ideas and ability to implement which everybody has.
The president is also requested do Kaizen of 5S to keep his or her desk neat and clean.
In this way if every people in a company does Kaizen which may be small at least one per month, it will lead to the innovation for changing total management.
Kaizen by part time worker
I talked two times about Kaizen done by the part-time workers who surprised me very much. But these two ladies are not special persons. In fact, everyone has the Kaizen ability without exception.
However, many companies do not ask the part-time workers to do Kaizen activity. Therefore, nobody does it there. Don’t you think that they are missing great possibility?
Find part-time workers whose jobs look difficult and ask how they feel. Then they will explain you how the work is difficult and teach you clearly what they want to do.
If you talk about a solution together with them and carry out Kaizen, quality and efficiency will improve at the moment. If you exchange such a conversation with all the members on the work site every day and continue Kaizen with them, the work will be so easy that efficiency and quality goes up. And the part-time workers may understand that Kaizen leads easy way and they are praised when their work is improved, and Kaizen activity advances steadily.
Kaizen is the work done by all the members together. However small the Kaizen is, management will be improved much if all do it continuously. Let’s do Kaizen together! Please establish Kaizen system that a part-time worker can participate.
Awesome kaizen hidden under the desk
Let me continue the stories of Kaizen that a part time worker carried out. There are many impressive Kaizen stories done by part time workers in my mind.
I show you a case of the company Y, a famous measurement instrument maker. Company Y asked me help to stop a big trouble of delivery delay because of the bad production flow in the plant.
There were many assembly processes with many skilled operators and the total processes were divided into five or six small processes. And there were specialized workers for each process.
The production lot size was 50 and 50 units were not handed out until all of them completed by each process, it makes so long time for finishing all the final products. Company Y often faced a big delay on delivery.
When I was discussing with the plant manager on the shop floor, I was aware of a part time worker watching me and I thought she wanted to say something. So, I asked a question to the part time operator Ms. B, “Do you have any good idea?”
Ms. B answered, “I’m sorry, maybe the plant manager gets angry, but when the production is very behind the schedule, I do all jobs by myself piece by piece. In fact, this is much faster but as I do it without permission, I seldom do it.”
“Thank you very much Ms. B. It is excellent! “, I said to Ms. B and asked “Could you do it just now in front of us? I am sorry to ask you suddenly.”
Then Ms. B took out a secret wooden work stand from under the desk and gathered necessary parts and started to assemble products.
What happened? A production time for one piece was only 20 minutes. The plant manager said it took at least a week to finish the products (although the lot size was 50).
The plant manager was surprised to see the production speed and then and there he started the Kaizen to change all the production way from dividing process to assemble by one worker as Ms. B did.
The delivery delay problem was solved in a short time. Ms. B was worried to be scolded, but needless to say, she was praised very much.
This is often the case, that the real solution is staying on shop-floor.
Do with all members.
“It is absolutely impossible for just an aunty like me because Kaizen is an expert’s job” Ms. M who is the part time worker of the company K said.
However, a lot of Kaizen was carried out when I saw her work site. For example, gauze was wound around the grip of her cutter and scissors or to use easily, and a ruler was stuck on a work desk to measure the length of the products efficiently.
Therefore, I said to Ms. M, “It is not true, you have already done a lot of Kaizen by yourself. This is a great job!” Ms. M was surprised and said “Oh if these are Kaizen, I am able to do Kaizen much more”. Ms. M surprised and delighted me.
I think that the word Kaizen is sometimes taken exaggeratedly. Kaizen is a small one step to make us comfortable from slightly inconvenient, difficult or troublesome condition to do.
Therefore, changing something even it is really small is an excellent Kaizen. And the management of a company improves if Kaizen is done continuously by all the people in the company.
Even it is a small Kaizen, let’s continue doing it all the time together!
If I am asked “What is Kaizen?”, how shall I answer?
As I am a Kaizen consult I can explain Kaizen in various ways. For example, I provided the topic of the difference between Kaizen and the entrance examination last time.
However, if I choose only one answer, my answer is
“Doing it now”
It is simple, but very important.
My Kaizen does not start from borrowing big money from the bank, but from changing small things around us by all of the members. Therefore, we do not have to worry what will happen if we make a mistake. If we make a mistake, we put it back to the original position, that’s it. Making a mistake is a valuable experience, and of course if we do good job, we go up to the next stage.
Do it now without worrying about failure or complaining the small outcome. Starting Kaizen now and keep doing it by all of you continuously, you can get big innovation!