Kaizen, from the Japanese words “Kai” (change) and “Zen” (well), is a method for optimizing production processes that has been successfully tried and tested on the industrial level by Toyota.
The approach starts from the customer and from the growing demands in terms of quality, cost, speed and service, and it identifies the best way of meeting those demands by eliminatimg waste (“muda” in Japanese) in other words all those activities that do not generate value. The basic philosophy of kaizen leads to a constant process of improvement on all company levels, achieved by placing “a million small steps” alongside the most radical innovation.
We have “imported” the Kaizen method and are applying it to small and medium enterprises in the Trento area thanks to an agreement with Kaizen Institute Italia.
In the four GembaKaizen workshops launched since October 2007, involving ten companies, the application of the “ Toyota method ” has led to an increase in productivity ranging from 10% to 50%, a reduction in machinery set-up time of over 50%, a 70% reduction in lead time, a 20% reduction in the space occupied by production lines, a 50% reduction in finished producti faults and a reduction of over 50% in working capital.