Disseminating knowledge related to productivity and quality: Kaizen – Continuous improvement

Post by: Trương Vân - Post date: Friday, Nov 3, 2023 | 18:54 - View count: 251

On 3rd November, within the framework of the Support Program for Students on Productivity and Innovation activities, Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality (STAMEQ) organized a virtual training session about Kaizen – Continuous improvement.

Attending the online training session were Dr. Ha Minh Hiep – Acting General Director of STAMEQ, Mr. Pham Le Cuong – Deputy Chief of STAMEQ Administration Department, and more than 1,300 lecturers, young profesionals, students at 27 universities and colleges from North to South of Vietnam. Namely as, Academy of Journalism and Communication; Thuyloi University; Academy of Finance; Hanoi Industrial Textile Garment University; East Asia University of Technology; Foreign Trade University; Vietnam Russia Vocational Training College No.1; College of Industrial and Constructional; Mientrung Industry and Trade College; Dong A University; University of Economics, Hue University; Ho Chi Minh city University of Technology, Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh city; Ho Chi Minh City University of Industry and Trade; Foreign Trade University (campus II); Thu Dau Mot University; Tra Vinh University; Viet Nam National University, Ha Noi; Binh Duong University; Vietnam – Singapore Vocational College; Vinh Long University of Technology Education; Nam Dinh University of Technology Education; University of Economics – Technology for Industries; Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union of Yen Bai Province; Nam Dinh Department of Science and Technology and Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union of STAMEQ. This time, there were two new universities attending the virtual training session, which are Nha Trang University and University of Khanh Hoa.

Sharing about topic “Kaizen – Continuous improvement” at the online training session, Mr. Tran Tuan Anh – expert consultant at Quality Training Center (Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality) said, Kaizen offers a powerful framework for continuous improvement in organization.

Mr. Tran Tuan Anh also presented an overview about Kaizen. Kaizen is a Japanese term meaning continuous improvement. The Kaizen approach is based on the belief that continuous, incremental improvement will add up to substantial change overtime. It is also a Japanese business philosophy which can involve all employees. Kaizen is well-known as a key to the success of Japanese businesses in the global competitive strategy.

Kaizen is not only about organizing events focused on improving specific areas within a company, but also about building a culture where all managers and employees – regardless of level in a company, are actively engaged in suggesting and implementing improvements to the company.  The Kaizen approach can bring a number of benefits to individuals, teams, and organizations, such as Increased efficiency, Enhanced employee engagement, Improved communication, Cost savings, Continuous improvement culture.

Kaizen methodology uses different tools depending on the goal. For instance, the 5S tool is often used in lean manufacturing and to ensure that workplaces are efficient, productive, and safe; JIT and Kanban are used for inventory control system; The five whys (what, when, where, why, and who) is an important tool when it comes to identify the root cause of an issue; Value stream mapping aims to identify wastes in the manufacturing process and find areas where improvement within a process is possible; Follow-up events are tools used to sustain improvements. These tools have all been useful in improving the three productivity dimensions of cost, quality, and speed.

In order to reach the goals, there are the key steps involved in Kaizen methodology:

– Identify areas for improvement: It consists of gathering data, analyzing work processes, and communication to understand where problems exist and where the organization can improve.

– Develop solutions: It can involve brainstorming ideas, analyzing data, and collaborating employees and stakeholders to identify solutions.

– Implement changes: It can involve testing new processes, procedures, or products on a small scale before implementing them on a larger scale.

– Measure and evaluate results: The Kaizen method emphasizes the importance of measuring the results of changes and assessing the effectiveness. The results can be used to identify others for improvement and continue the continuous improvement cycle.

– Sustain improvements: It can involve creating a culture where employees are encouraged to continuously seek out and implement improvements. Companies can implement by providing training, recognizing, and rewarding improvements, regularly reviewing and evaluating the organization’s performance. Kaizen is not a one-time event but an ongoing process.

In order to give students better understandings about Kaizen, the experts have given many illustrative examples in life as well as in production to give students a direct view more clearly, from which it can be recognized and applied to their future life and work.

The virtual training session kept attendees engaged and received lots of interesting questions from students. All questions have been satisfactorily answered by STAMEQ experts.