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Kaizen - Always to the better


Kaizen, a term signifying Continuous Improvement, finds its origin in two Japanese words:

  • Change: Kai

  • Good/Better: Zen

Brief History:

  • Post-World War II Era: The philosophy of Kaizen, ingrained in Japanese work culture, primarily surfaced following World War II, marking Japan's industrial ascent.

  • W. Edwards Deming's Influence: Post the war, American statistician and Quality Control Expert W. Edwards Deming significantly influenced Kaizen's evolution via his seminars on Total Quality Management (TQM) in Japan.

  • Toyota's Adaptation: During the 1950s, Toyota Production System (TPS) emerged, rooted in Kaizen principles. Spearheaded by Taiichi Ohno, TPS ardently championed the tenets of "Continuous Improvement" and "Eliminating Waste."

  • Global Recognition: The late 1980s saw the global acknowledgment of Kaizen, thanks to Masaaki Imai's pivotal work, "Kaizen: The Key to Japan's Competitive Success". This book elucidates Kaizen's foundational principles and their application in Japanese enterprises.

Application in Purchasing:

  • Supplier Performance: Adopting a continuous improvement perspective to incessantly evaluate and enhance supplier performance, thereby streamlining supplier management.

  • Efficient Procurement: By standardizing processes, delays and errors are minimized, paving the way for swifter procurement procedures.

  • Simplified Records: Process standardization facilitates an uncomplicated and rapid access system for records.

  • Stock Optimization: Ensuring materials are ordered 'just-in-time', optimizing stock levels.

  • Sustainability: A determined effort to curb waste and superfluous processes ensures a commitment to sustainability.




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