Kaizen principle is based on doing small improvements
to the system when there is an opportunity. In today’s world
word small has a relative meaning and almost can absorb any scale
of changes. Kaizen is one of the main components of Just In Time
(JIT). It keeps the process of finding and removing of waste going
in lean manufacturing environment. This is the base for long term
success of lean manufacturing.
Traditional manufacturing principles which are
based on just in case production techniques, relies on big innovations
to change their production systems. Innovations can be in techniques,
equipment or in management. These innovations are not continuous
process. They take time and effort to change the system.
In contrast kaizen relies on the people working
in the organization to come up with changes for the improvement.
These are not limited to one particular area or a section. Only
criteria is whether there is space for the improvement.
An important aspect of Japanese type of manufacturing is the heavy
employee participation in their decision making process. Every
employee is treated as an improver of the system. This management
system is based on kaizen principles. In a lean manufacturing
environment, kaizen is not something people do daily or hourly.
It is the lifestyle of the lean manufacturing. So people live
with it. Seeing wastes and finding solutions not something unfamiliar.
If a system stop after initial implementations,
it is very hard to get it back running. This is almost impossible
without putting huge amount of effort. One reason why lean manufacturing
is very sustainable because it has the momentum of kaizen. When
the lean wheels get rolling the momentum will be provided by kaizen.
It propels the system without allowing it to sit and relax.