Kaizen Transformation on the Gemba
Kaizen based on the Toyota Production System
Kaizen is to change actions for the better
Kaizen is something can be done by anyone. All you have to do is act to change whatever you want to something easier or faster.
Change Words and Actions
It is often said that your actions can change if your mindset changes. Similarly, habits can change based on the right actions. But it is not easy to change your mindset. To change for the better, you need to deny the current state and ignore the results from yesterday. Those who are satisfied with the current state or resist further change cannot continue with Kaizen.
The real challenge is this; how do we inspire others to change their mindset? We cannot change their mindsets overnight, but we can focus on changing their use of words and actions in a matter of minutes
How do we define appropriate use of words? It means to always use positive words that will force out the right actions as a result. For instance, instead of using the phrases like, “Why don’t we…?” or “I think it is good if we do…” we encourage people to say, “I’ll do it on my own”.
Taking an immediate action means doing something that is good for anyone to do such as tidying up an area upon noticing it needs to be done. Kaizen is all about doing what is expected as expected.
It is when you develop positive habits through using appropriate words and taking immediate actions that your mindset can finally change to a positive state.
It is important to focus on changing things that we can actually see instead of trying so long to changing something that is internal to our mindset. Actions speak louder than words. This is the type of Kaizen that I promote to the world.
One Step by 100 People Rather than 100 Steps by One Person
If we only aim for a short-term achievement with Kaizen, continuous and long-term cycles of Kaizen activities will be difficult. When we use a pyramid as an analogy, short-term achievements are represented by the small area at the top of the pyramid.
All-inclusive Kaizen will yield greater results when all employees, not only those in managerial positions, are involved. It is important to first engage everyone to focus on small and achievable Kaizen ideas that can eliminate one step or one-second of non-value-added work. This approach encourages a bottom-up Kaizen Transformation.
When people gain enough confidence from performing small and tangible Kaizen, they can challenge themselves to accomplish a higher level of Kaizen initiatives that can yield greater sustainable results.
This is how everyone can climb up the Kaizen Pyramid. Ultimately, your employees will be able to engage other team members in participating in Kaizen activities with great confidence. This all-inclusive and autonomous expansion at the bottom of the pyramid will support your leadership team to gain and sustain bigger results for years to come.
My style of Kaizen is to put the emphasis on achieving one step by 100 people, instead of encouraging 100 steps by one person.
Connecting Top-down and Bottom-up
Typical Japanese Kaizen is bottom-up, meaning personnel actually working in the gemba perform Kaizen. However, cross-organizational Kaizen is difficult to carry out from the bottom-up. Therefore, a top-down, Kaizen where top executives come to the Gemba needs to be integrated as well.
As shown in the Kaizen Pyramid, when only top-down Kaizen is conducted, the capability of the Gemba is difficult to increase, and initial results soon disappear. Therefore, the top executives need to go to the Gemba to understand the capability of the frontline workforce first. Then, they should promote the 5S, Flow Kaizen, Process Kaizen, and Machine Kaizen in sequence to increase the capability of the Gemba. When the capability of the Gemba is uncovered, production lead-time is shortened through boosting productivity. As a result, the ability to respond to changing customer demands are enhanced. Subsequently, the top executives formulate their next strategic goals that are expected to be achieved by the workforce. Based on the increased capability of the workforce, the next strategic goals will be achieved by peforming the next level of Kaizen.
By repeating the cycle of bottom-up Kaizen to top-down Kaizen and back to bottom-up Kaizen, the top leadership and the frontline workforce are now connected to produce greater results that are directly connected to the bottom line of the business.
5S and How to Initiate Kaizen Transformation
5S: Create a Workplace where Waste is Easily Found
Seiri (Sort): Discard unnecessary items
Seiso (Shine): Maintain clean workplace
Seiton (Set-in-Order): Sequence items so necessary items are always available
Seiketsu (Standardize): Maintain Sort and Set-in-Order by Shining
Shitsuke (Sustain): Maintain the 4S discipline as expected
Flow Kaizen, reduce finished goods, and work-in-process items to establish cash flow management directly on the shop floor
Transition to high-mix and low-volume production
Create a pull system by maintaining flow
Apply one-piece-flow production systems
Reduce lead time and respond to expedited orders
Jidoka (Automation with a Human Intelligence)
Process Kaizen and Work Kaizen brings processes closer together to eliminate motion and transportation
Transition to a small-team production system by developing employees to be multi-skilled
Analyze the work of humans in contrast with the work of machines to increase the productivity of your employees
Build quality within the process and never pass defects onto the next value stream
Just-In-Time + Jidoka
Machine Kaizen Design allows you to cost effectively create flexible equipment and machines that are optimized for your one-piece-flow operations
Achieve quick change-overs to transition to small-lot production
Focus on the availabiliy of machines to produce the right products at the right time in the right quantity. Focus on the effectiveness of your machines rather than efficiency of your machine.
After establishing 5S, Flow Kaizen, Process Kaizen, and Machine Kaizen will be subsequently started. If new machines are installed prior to applying Kaizen to the existing machines, you will face increasing cost and complexity in adapting new machines to your built-to-order production systems. Therefore, your new investment will become non-value-added waste itself.
Additionally, before installing new technologies such as IoT and RPA to your operations, effective 5S, and visual management must be maintained to optimize both flow and processes. This allows you to define the requirements, such as what information needs to be collected, for new technologies including scalable IoT and RPA.
If you only focus on installing new systems first without engaging the frontline people in Kaizen activities, your operations will be much more dependent on a specific group of engineers whose primary responsibilities are to maintain the running costs of ineffective systems rather than your newly created production systems.
1-Day Kaizen Workshop on Gemba
Reducing Lead Time
The philosophy of Genki explains how the root of all beings triggers a strong motivation to maintain mental and physical practices
We will develop energetic leaders who can take actions based on their willpower through Kaizen.
We will enhance the quality of life for everyone by supporting organizations to brighten their work environment through engaging each individual. It is those motivated people who will transform your organization in a positive manner. We believe that organizations play an important role in revitalizing our society and that they need to embrace the spirit of Genki in achieving their social responsibilities through the power of Kaizen for all.
Message from Toshihiko Miura
President of GENKI LEADERSHIP
|Company name||GENKI LEADERSHIP|
|Business||Kaizen Transformation based on the Toyota Production System|
|Address||Kyusyu Main Office
3-7-11-4, Nagatoishi, Kurume, Fukuoka,
TEL : +81-942-80-8364
Tokyo Shinagawa Office
8F, Takanawa Kaneo Bild.
3-25-22, Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo,
TEL : +81-3-6456-4904
In 1997, Miura joined PEC Productivity Education Center (current PEC Kyokai (PEC Institution)) founded by Master Sensei Hitoshi Yamada who innovated the Single-Stall Production System for Sony and Canon. Yamada has led waste elimination (muda-tori) and Kaizen transformation for a number of best-in-class organizations based on the Toyota Production System.
Miura is an expert at innovating production systems and has transformed organizations in a variety of industries, including food, furniture, semiconductors, electronic devices, iron works, metal machining, automobile parts, dies and molds, logistics, and retail. Instead of consulting in a meeting room, Miura’s style is based on practical training and demonstration. He visits the Gemba to first uncover its potential and engage the management team in achieving future strategic capabilities based on uncovered resources. For example, Miura contributed to transforming a company with annual revenue of 3 billion yen into a profitable business for the first time in 10 years.
In 2006, Miura published Simple and Effective! Waste Elimination Facilitator Guide (Kantan! Muda Tori Pocket Book, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Ltd.) which is a compilation of the case studies of waste elimination conducted directly on the Gembas. Due to its the popularity, the book has been reprinted 9 times with over 10,000 copies sold.
As well, Miura has been successfully introducing the Toyota Production System and his Kaizen Pyramid Model outside of Japan. He provided consulting to more than 30 companies in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China, and the Philippines. An aerospace MRO (maintenance, repair, and overhaul) business in the U.S. was able to record the highest profits in its history in just one year following Miura’s involvement. In the Philippines, a production facility with 120 associates alone achieved an amazing 170% productivity increase within six months following Miura’s direct coaching, and they experienced the highest profitability seen in the past 9 years of the company’s history.
In 2017, True Kaizen: Management’s Role in Improving Work Climate and Culture (Collin McLoughlin, Toshihiko Miura, CRC Press), was published for the global audience. The book’s main purpose is to close the gap between how Japanese companies have approached Kaizen and how the rest of the world interprets Kaizen. True Kaizen can be an integral part of any organization’s transformation to engage the frontline workforce in achieving strategic goals. In May of 2019, the book was awarded the the International Shingo Publication Award 2019. The panel of industrial experts and exclusive examiners documented and recognized Toshihiko Miura as “elite, world-class, and leading the world in operational excellence”.
Joined PEC Personal Education Center (currently known as PEC Kyokai (PEC Association))
Publication of Simple and Effective! Waste Elimination Facilitator Guide (Kantan! Muda Tori Pocket Book), Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Ltd.
Graduated from the Kyushu University Business School
Publication of True Kaizen: Management’s Role in Improving Work Climate and Culture, Collin McLoughlin, Toshihiko Miura, CRC Press.
Established GENKI LEADERSHIP
Target readers: Kaizen leaders and workers
This book explains the key points behind successufully eliminating waste directly on the Gemba. It contains more than 90 actual case studies from best-in-class organizations in Japan. Each case study illustrates the state before Kaizen and that after Kaizen in order to explain every detail of waste elimination techniques and the principles behind quantifying the financial performance increase after each execution in a simple manner.
To date, this book has been reprinted 10 times with more than 10,000 copies sold.
Target readers: Top leadership executives, middle managers, supervisors, internal CI department consultants
Top-down Kaizen does not yield sufficient results without engaging the entire frontline workforce. This book advocates the “Cycle of Kaizen” to address the importance of strategic goals from the top that can be realized by the entire frontline workforce by refining the top-down and bottom-up Kaizen involvement.
The book explains how Kaizen is not something that can only be performed by people with special qualifications and training. Everyone can perform Kaizen can by first changing their words and actions which leads to a positive collective mindset. This book provides a number of case studies to prove that this is the right approach for engaging people.
True Kaizen also Provides readers with a number of case studies from 35 different organizations that have successfully introduced the Toyota Production System to their operations. These studies are supported by many easy-to-understand charts and figures, so the book is recommended for global audiences who wish to implement Kaizen in a more effective and sustainable manner.