If work processes in a production facility are to be improved, it makes sense to solicit suggestions for improvement from the people closest to production: the employees! That’s why we developed vKaizen – our solution for Toyota!
More and more companies are encouraging their employees to contribute ideas and suggestions. Many use Kaizen, a work-improvement method from Japan.
The rules for Kaizen are very simple: Everyone in the company tries to optimize work processes and workflows. Since each employee knows his or her own workflows best, he or she is also the most likely to submit meaningful suggestions for improvement. According to Kaizen, every employee works consciously and looks for ways to improve his or her workflow and thus the entire production.
For example, the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland in Wałbrzych works this way.
Employees pass on comments and (repair) suggestions to their superiors, who evaluate their validity and the possibility of introducing them. Accepted changes are implemented and introduced.
How effective is this method? In the past, the entire process was based on Microsoft Excel sheets. Unfortunately, this also meant distribution across many individual files – and a long acceptance process for proposals. Implementing reported changes was effective, but it took a lot of time and effort.
Kaizen would be much more convenient and efficient for employees if everyone in the company had easy access to the process. Every employee would have visibility into who reported what improvement and when, how the company evaluated it, and whether the proposed solution was implemented and working. This is exactly the idea of an electronic Kaizen system that VIALUTIONS proposed and implemented at Toyota.
VIALUTIONS has implemented the Kaizen process directly into Toyota’s Intranet.
This means that reported suggestions, problems and solutions go directly to supervisors electronically and automatically, and employees can track their reports at every stage.
A picture is worth a thousand words. That’s why the electronic Kaizen solution allows users to add images (e.g. photos) before and after the improvement. This way, one look is enough to track the change suggestions and improvements.
Within one and a half years, the average processing time was reduced from six weeks to just one week. Employees also submitted 18% more suggestions and ideas.
Every company has its own unique way of working. Having proven solutions is good, but sometimes new tools bring about such a leap in efficiency as they did at Toyota: the “Excel Kaizen” solution worked well in its own right. With the simple and easy-to-use VIALUTIONS solution, employees are using Kaizen much more frequently and intensively.