Kaizen can be used for any type of business with great success. As over simplified as it may sound, business is business. Although the product or service may change from company to company, manufacturing costs and quality still exists, so the tasks may change but the template does not.
Lockheed Martin is an aerospace company that is involved in everything from defense to advanced technology. It also happens to be a global company, so it is very influential when it comes to our nation’s security.
Lockheed Martin is also a very big advocate of Kaizen for manufacturing our military aircraft. From 1992-1997, this company reduced its manufacturing costs by 38%. They also reduced inventory by 50%, and cut their delivery time from 42 months to 21.5 months.
The company received the Shingo Prize for Excellence in manufacturing in the year 2000. They went ahead and reduced the time of moving parts from receiving to stocking from one month (30 days) to just 4 hours.
Production Goes up as Staff Feels Valued
Again, we have to mention that when an employee feels valued at work, production increases. Kaizen utilizes everyone on the team and their expertise. In many service oriented companies, the last person that should make a customer service decision is a manager who sits behind a desk and doesn’t deal with the customers. For all intended purposes, it should be a staff member who has direct contact with the customer that makes these decisions. This is how Kaizen works.
This serves three purposes:
1) You will get correct information by the expert in customer service
2) That staff member will feel valued
3) Production and quality goes up
Making small changes does add up over time, so much so that you can’t afford not to use Kaizen as a way to run your business. Continuous small improvements are critical because there isn’t anything that is perfect.
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