State and explain the concept of ‘Kaizen’. How is it applied at Nissan? Suggest 3 other ways to apply ‘Kaizen’.
The term Kaizen is a Japanese word adopted into English referring to a philosophy or practices focusing on continuous improvement in manufacturing activities, business activities in general, and even life in general, depending on interpretation and usage. When used in the business sense and applied to the workplace, kaizen typically refers to activities that continually improve all functions of a business, from manufacturing to management and from the CEO to the assembly line workers. By improving standardized activities and processes, kaizen aims to eliminate waste. Kaizen was first implemented in several Japanese businesses during the Japanese post-war economic miracle and has since spread to businesses throughout the world.
Nissan states: ‘We will not be restricted by the existing way of doing things. We will continuously seek improvements in all our actions’. This statement makes clear that Nissan has applied Kaizen by bringing change of improvement in everyday working practice as well as a major change in production technology. In Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK Limited (NMUK) these improvements are initiated by teams of employees sitting down together and sharing ideas for improvements where small steady changes are maintained to make sure that they actually work. Everyone at Nissan is responsible for thinking about the current way of doing a job and finding a better way of doing things.
Kaizen also permeates the Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK Limited’s (NMUK) suggestion scheme, which does not offer financial or individual rewards but instead it provides the things which are beneficial for the whole team. E.g. a microwave for staff kitchen, a pool table for canteen etc.
My 3 suggestion for the ways to apply Kaizen are:
1. Long-term commitment:
The principle of kaizen is that it is daily, continuous, steady, and it takes the...