Kaizen, yes or no?


  • Helena Vidová


Optimalisation, slimness, waste removal, partial innovation changes, continual improvement


Purpose: Actual International economic situation brings continual changes. They press upon the business to behave rationally, to find the position and way of costs saving not to suffer the customer. The customer loss will show as smaller business incomes and lesser company investments. That is why Muda detecting and barriers removal in production process, logistics, and administration makes the ground of lean business management. Kaizen support it by sequential partial steps. Scientific aim: Scientific aim of this article is to introduce the academic audience one of the actual tool of waste finding. There were and there are too many approaches to raise the processes efficiency, e. g. reengineering, innovations but Kaizen brings us new view for making small systematic changes that could not be too sore and expensive. The second element of this paper was to observe the utilization of Kaizen in practice. Methodology/methods: The article captures some partial results of the questionnaire survey carried out as a verification of Kaizen and Lean logistics application in Slovak business. Within the questionnaire result qualification we were using the analysis and synthesis finding the real causes of mentioned answers. Finally we put the relative answers together into the group that brings us complete view of the Kaizen situation in industrial practice in Slovakia. Findings: The results of the questionnaire said that Kaizen is used only by 4% of respondents. 52% of them use some of Kaizen tools but 32% do not use them, at all. The most common tools mentioned in the survey ware check lists, histograms and Pareto chart. 72% of companies improve their processes 90% of the proposals are rewarded. There are mostly financial bonuses but also material ones. 36% of respondents have gained positive results and they continue the way of Kaizen utilisation and 44% of them do not evaluate results that show superficial task handling and lack of controlling. The businesses that gained positive results by Kaizen said that their efficiency and quality is risings, costs are saving, complaints are falling and the straightness at working places is growing. Conclusions: The companies that applied Kaizen gained positive results. The main risk and restriction is underrating small improvements by managers. They are oriented mostly to great changes. However, every improvement could not be economically and fairly valuable.





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