Kaizen Lean Supplies
First, we will establish that Kaizen is a daily activity where the purpose goes beyond easy productivity improvements. It is also a process that, when done correctly, cultivates the workplace into an arena of peace, efficiency and of less waste. Kaizen, a two part Japanese word meaning “change” and “good”, is also not a static word but one that denotes action and movement.
Because most of us are not normally taught or brought up in an environment where Kaizen is practiced, we often bring lots of baggage into the workplace from our “normal” or old way of life. To bring Kaizen methodologies and practices into our daily work life, we sometimes can speed up the process, or at the very least better support it, by using Kaizen tools.
In this blog series we would like to present some of those helpful tools for your review as well as your edification on how they can help.
But first, the cycle of kaizen activity can be defined as:
- Standardize an operation
- Measure the standardized operation (find cycle time and amount of in-process inventory)
- Gauge measurements against requirements
- Innovate to meet requirements and increase productivity
- Standardize the new, improved operations
- Continue cycle ad infinitum
In using these elements of activity to increase the influence of Kaizen on our work processes, we will sometimes need lean supplies or products that support our goals. For example, standardizing can sometimes be supported by creating borders or pathways (literally) where activity was commonly more chaotic.
For example, in a warehouse where there were previously no pathways created to both protect and possibly force a more efficient (and safe) pathway or use of the floor by directing the foot traffic, great improvements can be made by introducing Floor Marking Tapes. These tapes can clearly delineate what areas of the warehouse are safe for foot traffic while marking clear driving paths for forklift drivers.
In the office, clearly marking where things go could possible greatly reduce objects and tools such as staplers and other handy tools from going missing or being misplaced. Kaizen, in some of it’s simpler forms, makes clear that there is a place for everything and that everything in the organization should have its place.
Conversely, if something has not place in the organization, that often becomes clearer in kaizen, because of the sorting and requirements stages of kaizen. In other words, it becomes clear during these control sessions that the object has no place, is not required, and thus can be sorted out and separated from the working environment to which it clearly is not contributing.
For getting some ideas on how Lean and Kaizen supplies might help you in your work environment, we encourage you to visit www.kaizenleansupplies.com. Browse through the products there and see if you don’t come up with some ideas or rather, some products, that might be helpful to you in your lean journey.