At our company we believe that “gifts” for business can be found all over the place and are just waiting to be unwrapped and implemented. For example, Bill Gates with Microsoft is a gift in the programs that he creates, Steve Jobs with Apple and the products they provide (iPad, iPhone, apple workstations), and so on. One of the gifts we have found to be very helpful in serving our clients is the production philosophy developed by the Japanese called kaizen. The word kaizen, means continuous, incremental, improvement. Our president discovered this term and method while searching for a vehicle at a Lexus car lot several years ago and was very excited about how it could be applied to our business. Kaizen aims to eliminate waste, activities that add cost but do not add value. Kaizen must operate with three principles in place: 1. process & results (not results only), 2. Systemic thinking (big picture, not solely narrow view), 3. Non-judgmental, non-blaming (blaming is wasteful). When used correctly, kaizen humanizes the work place, eliminates hard work (both mental and physical) while teaching people how to perform experiments using scientific methods, as well as learn to identify and eliminate waste in business processes. I-5 aims to apply kaizen in every area of our business, from office to sales to design to manufacturing to installation. Every employee, from our expert designers to the newest production employee, is encouraged to think of creative, out-of-the-box solutions for every day tasks and problems. Whether this results in the creation of a system that can be followed for a specific task, finding a new technology or resource that will aid us in the future, assembling a brainstorming session with the whole team, or even a meeting about the failures of a particular process and what needs to be improved by specific employees, each of these add to the progress of the company. In fact, every employee is expected to stop their part of a process in any case of abnormality and (along with their supervisor) suggest an improvement to resolve it. All of these methods contribute to the slow, but constant, incremental process that is Kaizen, which results in a better work environment for everyone involved, total quality control and best of all, a better end product for our clients.
KAIZEN | Continual Improvement | Eastern Culture meets Western Culture in Business Principles
Posted on March 21, 2011 by i5 Design