In today’s fast-paced, data-driven and information overload world, everyone is looking for one and done solutions for instant success. Whether it’s magic diet pills promising to lose 10 pounds in a week or turnkey solutions that are the “answer” to instant growth for your enterprise…people are drawn to the idea of overnight results. Here’s the thing though…the road to success is always under construction. Even when you think you’ve finished building it, there is always room to expand and bumps to flatten. Long-term success of larger goals must be supported through continuous improvement in order to gain sustainable results. This mindset is lead by the manufacturing world and is better known as kaizen.
Kaizen is a Japanese word for “improvement”, and is an essential part of lean manufacturing success and digital transformation. The philosophy aims to improve standardized activities & processes through small adjustments on a frequent basis with the ultimate goals of decreasing defects and problems, eliminating waste, increasing productivity, establishing worker purpose and accountability, and most importantly, promoting innovation.
Toyota pioneered kaizen and is a prime example of its success where all line personnel in their plants are expected to stop their moving production line in case of any abnormality and, along with their supervisor, suggest an improvement to resolve the abnormality to…you guessed it…create a kaizen.
However, many manufacturing companies, across all industries including automotive, food and beverage, CPG etc., struggle with the implementation of the kaizen philosophy for various reasons that include:
- Manual creation, documentation, and tracking of these daily, weekly, monthly improvements are daunting and time consuming without the proper software in place.
- Difficulty tracking and pinpointing the root cause of machine stoppage and related issues to create effective kaizen
- Lack of employee buy-in and accountability
- Failing to recognize the significance of the kaizen and its impact overtime on overall digital transformation.
This is where Continuous Improvement Software (CI Software) comes in.
How Can Continuous Improvement Software Support Your Manufacturing Kaizen?
True manufacturing software will have built-in CI modules in order for customers to make the most out of the software and ensure continued long-term and sustainable success of their digital transformation.
The Shoplogix Smart Factory Platform offers end-to-end manufacturing functionality with various CI modules along with kaizen functionality to help manufacturers sustain and accelerate growth.
- Messaging – centrally controlled messages that can be distributed at a corporation, plant, line, or machine level.
- Energy – ability to associate power and energy costs with plant floor production metrics, providing visibility into consumption at a granular level and helping to decrease energy costs.
- Smart Video – links the Shoplogix whiteboard to the plant floor through cctv to provide the ability to see exactly what occurred at any given time, highlighting even further root causes and reasons for inefficiencies.
- Action Plan – tracks and reports on action accountability, delivery and status to monitor the progress of improvements (stay tuned for information on our new and improved Action Plan…coming soon!)
- Kaizen – provides a simplified step-by-step process for defining problems identified by SLX data and root cause analysis tools to assign tasks and track improvements.
In this post, we’ll focus on how our kaizen workflow functionality helps manufacturers initiate, document and track their kaizen. Essentially the kaizen modules follow 4 steps – Plan, Do, Check and Act. Take a look at the video below to learn more about how this module works!
Using the Shoplogix Smart Factory whiteboard, manufacturers are able to identify the root cause of production stoppage and downtime through plant-floor observation. From there, kaizens are created and documented in the system digitally avoiding the need for manual entry and keeping paper trails.
As you can see, benefits include:
- No longer have to manually document and track kaizens
- Improved traceability of issues
- Links multiple stakeholders via sharing and task assignments
- Kaizen reports to clearly identify problems and set forth actions
- Improved accountability for fulfilling kaizen tasks in a timely manner
- Track progress of kaizen through Shoplogix trend reports
Schedule a demo with one of our Smart Factory Experts today to learn more!