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What is Kaizen? Core principles and effective Kaizen improvement process

Currently, the Kaizen method is used by many businesses to eliminate waste and improve performance. So what is Kaizen ? What are the core principles and effective Kaizen improvement processes for organizations? In the content below, 1C Vietnam will help businesses get detailed answers.

1. What is Kaizen?

Kaizen is a famous Japanese business and production philosophy, made up of two words "kai" (continuous) and "zen" (improvement). Accordingly, Kaizen promotes continuous, non-stop improvement, based on what is available, from the top leaders to ordinary employees.

Kaizen is a business and manufacturing philosophy that promotes continuous, relentless improvement

The purpose of Kaizen is to ensure that all activities and working environments are always improved, helping to improve productivity, work efficiency, save costs, resources, etc. Kaizen changes are often small. , simple, but done regularly and continuously. This helps businesses achieve positive long-term results, without having to invest too much money or time.

2. Outstanding benefits when businesses apply Kaizen

The Kaizen philosophy has become a widely applied continuous improvement method, especially in the fields of production and business such as retail, services, etc. The application of Kaizen brings many outstanding benefits, specifically:

  • Improve the quality of products and services by accumulating small improvements over a long period of time, helping to immediately solve problems that affect quality. From there, Kaizen can improve customer satisfaction, increase brand value, and create competitive advantages for businesses.
  • Reduce waste, increase productivity in production and operations of the business.
  • Promote creativity, raise awareness and working spirit of individuals and groups as well as increase solidarity.

Kaizen is a philosophy that effectively supports businesses in the production and business process

3. Core principles when applying Kaizen improvement

To apply improvements in production effectively, in addition to understanding what Kaizen means, businesses also need to ensure the following 10 core principles:

  • Always focus on customer needs: This is the most important principle of Kaizen. Businesses need to clearly identify customer needs in order to make appropriate improvements that meet their expectations.
  • Always improve continuously: Kaizen is a process of continuous, non-stop improvement. Businesses need to create a culture of innovation within the organization, encouraging people to always look for new ways to improve processes, products, and services.
  • Don't blame: Every mistake is an opportunity to learn and improve. Businesses need to build a culture of no blame, encouraging people to share information and work together to find solutions to problems that arise.
  • Focus on small problems: Kaizen not only focuses on big problems, but also on small problems. Small changes can have big impacts, so businesses need to pay attention to every aspect of the production process.
  • Promote teamwork: Teamwork is an important element of Kaizen. Businesses need to create a collaborative working environment, encouraging people to share ideas and solutions.
  • Use real data: Real data is the foundation for every improvement decision. Businesses need to collect and analyze data accurately to gain useful information in the improvement process.
  • Maintain a positive attitude: Kaizen requires effort and commitment from everyone in the organization. Businesses need to create a positive working environment, encouraging employees to always have a spirit of learning and development.
  • Take immediate action: Kaizen does not just stop at planning, but also requires immediate action. Businesses need to create a flexible working environment, encouraging employees to experiment and apply new ideas.
  • See difficulties as opportunities: Difficulties are an inevitable part of the improvement process. Businesses need to view difficulties as opportunities to learn and grow.
  • Kaizen is a long-term process: Kaizen is not a short-term goal but a long-term process, with no end. Businesses need to persistently implement Kaizen to achieve sustainable results.

Businesses need to ensure 10 core principles to effectively implement Kaizen

4. When to apply Kaizen effectively for businesses

According to the Kaizen definition, a business can improve a department at any time, as long as it ensures that core values are maintained. For example, businesses can improve production costs while maintaining product quality.

Specifically, businesses can apply Kaizen at many different times as follows:

  • Kaizen in crisis is a mandatory solution for businesses to survive. In this context, businesses need to focus on improvements that can help reduce costs, increase productivity, and improve operational efficiency.
  • Kaizen in difficult contexts (such as the Covid-19 period) aims to limit disruptions and maintain seamless operations, preparing for future recovery. During this time, businesses need to focus on improvements that can help increase adaptability, flexibility, and response to unexpected changes.
  • In particular, businesses should apply Kaizen during normal operations. This is an ideal time for businesses to solve basic problems such as human resource management, work management, document management, etc. to save time and effort, creating a foundation for Sustainable growth.

Businesses can improve a department at any time

5. Kaizen improvement process in businesses

Based on a clear understanding of the definition of Kaizen, the principles and when to apply Kaizen, businesses can apply this philosophy in production with the following steps:

  • Step 1: Understand the Kaizen philosophy

The prerequisite for successful application is that businesses need to clearly understand the definition of Kaizen. It is a philosophy that aims to improve business performance through eliminating waste, improving quality, increasing productivity, reducing costs,...

Understanding the definition of Kaizen is a prerequisite for successful application
  • Step 2: Implement the 5S phase

5S is the basic foundation for businesses to apply Kaizen in production. 5S includes activities:

  • Sort: Eliminate unnecessary and unused things
  • Set in order: Arrange everything in a scientific and reasonable way
  • Shine: Keep everything clean and tidy
  • Standardize: Maintain a clean, neat, and tidy state
  • Sustain: Maintain the Kaizen spirit, constantly improve

The 5S phase helps businesses improve production efficiency through: Increasing labor productivity, reducing production costs, improving product quality, and enhancing labor safety.

  • Step 3: Apply the 5S method to all activities in the production process

After implementing the 5S phase, businesses need to apply this method to all activities in the production process. This helps businesses maintain Kaizen improvement efficiency in production.

Apply the 5S method to business operations to maintain Kaizen improvement efficiency
  • Step 4: Apply visual management methods

Visual management is a method of using images, symbols, and graphs to provide necessary information to workers. This method helps businesses: Improve communication efficiency, promote teamwork, and increase labor safety.

Thus, the content of the above article has specifically answered the definition of what Kaizen is . It is a powerful management philosophy that can help businesses improve efficiency and productivity. By applying Kaizen principles and processes, companies can make small improvements that deliver big benefits in the long run. To learn more useful information about corporate governance, don't forget to follow other articles on the 1C Vietnam website.

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