The ideas that are addressed in Lean Kaizen are often small since this method works effectively when small changes are made. These small changes tend to improve important aspects of the company such as efficiency, safety and productiveness. Aside from working on aspects that are deemed problematic within a process, Lean Kaizen also encourages workers to speak up regarding all aspects of improvement.
Perhaps the best advantage of Lean Kaizen is that it greatly reduces waste. This can include aspects such as transportation, supply chain logistics, skills, inventory, processes and production. It also lowers costs, increases safety, allows for more efficient delivery and improves the customer satisfaction.
Another advantage from implementing Lean Kaizen is that it allows for much more space, due to the elimination of unnecessary items. It also increases quality of the product, uses capital in a better manner, improves communication and allows employees to feel valued in the company. Since employees are a significant part of the process, they feel that they are contributing to the organization’s cause in a big way and this tends to augment loyalty and dedication.
Employees that are continuously assessing their environment in order to find methods of improvement have a higher chance of addressing necessary changes within the workspace. Since employees that are involved tend to have higher morale, they work more effectively and experience more enjoyment.
Since Lean Kaizen focuses on making small changes, the results are immediate. When an organization chooses to undergo large changes it takes much more time to see results and have a number of negative drawbacks. However, the advantage of using Lean Kaizen is that it can work on a larger number of smaller problems, which brings about desired results.
It is still necessary for companies to undergo large changes for certain projects however Lean Kaizen has a positive effect on the entire process by making it easier to implement in increments and to analyze detailed aspects as well as the bigger picture. The reason Lean Kaizen is widely used and favored is because it is a continuous method that is continually making little improvements that greatly improve the processes of an organization and lowers waste.
About the author:
Shruti Bhat PhD MBA Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt is Pharmaceutical R&D and Continuous Improvement Director, Innoworks Canada
Shruti leads path-breaking product development programs such as Complex Generics, Nanotechnology and Targeted delivery systems for pharmaceuticals and natural products. Her mantra is to "Shorten development timelines, build quality-by-design, lean processes and bring products fast- to- market". Shruti integrates her proficiency in Design Thinking, Lean, Kaizen and other Continuous Improvement methodologies to improve R&D processes, productivity and profitability.
Shruti is Product Development & Continuous Improvement Advisor to several start ups, mid-size and growing firms in Canada, USA, India, Africa and other Emerging markets. Shruti has authored six books and is an invited speaker at several conferences and workshops.
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