Building a Better Mousetrap with Kaizen

Published on 2013-07-09

Source: Memkaos @ Flickr
I’M A BIG FAN OF KAIZEN. This is a Japanese word, meaning the gradual approach to ever higher standards in quality enhancement and waste reduction, through small but continual improvements. These improvement can come from CEO or event the Ayi. It’s origin is not important. What is important is that EVERYONE is involved in the continuous improvement.
Kaizen is also a term that is used throughout ClarkMorgan, and here’s an example. Our company uses an internal Enterprise Resource Planning System (or ERPS) that we have called ‘OpenEye’. Actually, it’s called OpenEye3, because it’s the third generation. OpenEye1 was born over 10 years ago. Because OpenEye3 is new there are often gaps, missing information or simple mistakes. A few months ago, I identified a spelling mistake in the Proposal System – a module of OpenEye3. The Proposal System generates standard proposals, that ‘should’ be free of mistakes. However, in this instance I noticed that there was a missing ‘i’ in the work ‘additional trainer’. I brought this to the attention of the IT team, and while it wasn’t fixed overnight, it was changed.
What’s most important about Kaizen is that employees take a holistic view of their role in the organisation. I am not in the IT department, and yet I actively helped improve the internal systems. And I expect our IT team to give feedback if they find problems in my team – Key Accounts.
Quality is not a destination, it is a continuous process. However, with a culture of Kaizen, problems can be resolved faster, serviced provided at the highest level and products evolved to meet the needs of your clients.