Kaizen philosophy and the auto industry intersect in Japan in the 1950s, but it’s a philosophy and management style that continues to be practiced today. Kaizen comes from two Japanese words: Kai (improvement) and Zen (good). It’s a little lost in translation, but over time Kaizen has become widely known as “continuous improvement.”
The core idea of Kaizen management philosophy is to maximize customer value while minimizing organizational waste. Through a process of continuous improvement and incremental change, you build your organization toward a process in which everyone is involved in making sure that the company runs as efficiently as possible. At its core, it’s got a few key components:
- Improve the process: Rather than focusing on the end goal, people should put their energy into figuring out the best way to get them there.
- Lead with evidence: An open-minded and experimental mindset is a great thing to have, but all Kaizen changes must be driven by data.
- Anyone can spur innovation: From the CEO to the day laborer, every member of team should have input on how to make things better.
- There’s always a better way: A Kaizen project is never truly finished. Keep looking for ways to improve!
Kaizen is a smart business philosophy, especially for companies that value innovation. The idea of constantly seeking improvement might sound exhausting, but managers and employees that adopt the Kaizen approach tend to create incredibly calm work environments. After all, with Kaizen the goal isn’t more work, it’s better work. It’s also a vital tool for morale. Kaizen humanizes the workplace, and creates an environment where everyone can contribute, at any time. Instead of punishing employees for identifying setbacks, Kaizen culture rewards them.
STEPUP Kaizen experts believe that Kaizen activities aim to improve all functions of the business, through small steps, involving all employees. It is a collective effort that makes the process more efficient, effective, manageable, and adaptable. The improvements are usually accomplished at little or no expense and without sophisticated techniques or expensive equipment. Applying Kaizen to complex processes involves first breaking them down into their basic elements or sub-processes, and then improving them.
Kaizen is a system of continuous improvement in quality, technology, processes, company culture, productivity, safety and leadership. Kaizen culture refers to the ability to step back from all activities, observe current processes and propose improvements or solutions to problems.
Kaizen program starts with educating employees on how to produce results more efficiently with limited resources (manpower, material, space, machines and budget). It is vital that all employees are involved in ongoing training and education in Kaizen activities in order to make continuous improvement for the organization, reduce costs, and increase efficiency in manpower and utilization of space, equipment and materials.
Kaizen specialists at STEPUP can study the processes across sales showroom, marketing, vehicle ordering, vehicle logistics, service reception, repair estimates, parts ordering, workshop, etc. and make KAIZEN movement across your organization. Kaizen experts from STEPUP can support your organization in the following tasks:
- Ensure compliance to Manufacturer standards – Conduct periodic assessments, establish quality action plans for improvement, monitor and validate the progress providing continuous feedback, needed guidance and training to all branches.
- Develop and Implement SOP for Quality Management and Operational Excellence.
- Enable Kaizen and Innovation in Sales & Aftersales processes – Induce Kaizen culture and lead the change to improve processes to enhance productivity & efficiency and Customer Experience Excellence.
- Educate employees on SOP and Kaizen through training and development.
- Develop, implement and manage Customer Service initiatives to enhance Customer Experience Excellence in the entire customer journey.
- Conduct dealer process reviews to enhance the Quality work standards to improve Sales Conversion, Customer Retention, Repurchase and increased Profits.