Kaizen, originating from Japanese for “Change for better”, is a term used when constantly finding ways to improve functions of your business. Additionally, Kaizen practices ways to organize your workplace and assess the capabilities and standards of your processes. Why Kaizen is so vital to Six Sigma is its approach to improving process management through increasing efficiency and decreasing waste. When implementing the Kaizen model, there are 5 S’s of which you will follow. In the previous article, we discussed the first S, ‘Sort’. This step allows you to organize and remove unnecessary components to your production process. Like Root Cause Analysis, this step allows you to visualize errors within your production, manufacturing, analysis, or other process. Then, you can decide up and remove what parts are and what are not need.
Kaizen, when practiced daily, can create a sense of unity with the workplace. With this method, no one employee is overly worked, nor is one superior in their knowledge of the same system. The Japanese methodology shows how employees can perform their tasks using a scientific method, eliminate waste, and improve process efficiency. Through discipline and practice, you can use the five steps of Kaizen to improve performance, reduce waste, and solidify your company’s foundation.
What Is ‘Straighten’?
The second step to improving your business processes through Kaizen is ‘Straighten’. Straighten is the practice of arranging the components that go into your business processes. For example, if working on an automobile assembly line, this step allows you to place each part required for manufacturing to be precisely labeled and placed in its appropriate place. Not only does this create an easier way for personnel to find the parts they need, but also prevents wasting time by searching for misplaced components. As a result, Straighten allows your workflow to be smoother while also increasing the time efficiency. Another byproduct of this step is an increased in company safety. When employees spend less time looking for parts and items for their process, they are able to stay focused on the task at hand. This lack of distraction ensures fewer accidents occur, especially along a high-frequency production and manufacturing process.
Another byproduct of this step is an increased in company safety. When employees spend less time looking for parts and items for their process, they are able to stay focused on the task at hand. This lack of distraction ensures fewer accidents occur, especially along a high-frequency production and manufacturing process.
The key to this step, along with the other 4 S’s of Kaizen, is proper implementation. Since Kaizen follows a strict, disciplined approach, the best way to integrate Straighten into your workplace is by making it a part of your corporate culture. Following a systematic approach, the method can be integrated into almost any business process you have. With the help of project leaders, managers, and supervisors, your company can distill this step into your employees. Like most methodical practices, the more you do it, the easier it becomes! Start small and focus on the quality of your implementation. As your employees accept Straighten, it becomes easier to stay disciplined, checking on systems periodically.