The Kaizen Blitz: Accelerating Breakthroughs in Productivity and Performance

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John Wiley & Sons, Mar 8, 1999 - Business & Economics - 282 pages
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When was the last time your company improved productivity from 20 percent to 60 percent-in only four days? Or cut inventory by 50 percent in the same amount of time? Remarkable results like these were delivered by teams of employees and those who participated in the Association for Manufacturing Excellence Kaizen BlitzSM events. Using the Kaizen Blitz, employees learned how to work as a team to tackle problems from the shop floor and, most importantly, how to solve them quickly.

That's what The Kaizen Blitz can teach you. Simply translated as "continuous improvement," kaizen is a highly focused process aimed at producing incremental performance improvements in narrowly targeted areas. The Kaizen Blitz is a powerful technique that delivers breakthrough improvements throughout an organization-fast. This book will show you how the Kaizen Blitz works and how to bring the extraordinary benefits of this approach to your company. Coauthored by executives of the AME, the book provides a frank discussion of what kaizen will and won't do, the preparation necessary, obstacles to be wary of, and the results you can expect.

The Kaizen Blitz involves everyone across an organization-managers and workers alike. 44t is a low-cost, hands-on process, where all team members are equal and everyone gets their hands dirty. This thorough guide explains how your company can put together your own Kaizen Blitz teams to rapidly develop, test, and refine solutions to problems, leaving a new process in place in just a few days. It outlines how employees can work side by side to implement the best of their ideas for reaching common business goals, such as inventory reduction, capacity expansion, cost reduction, and leveraging capital investments. You will discover how the application of a few simple tools in a straightforward, common-sense approach can bring about real and profound change, provided that management is fully committed and ready to lead the process.

In addition, the authors of this important book:
* Help you determine whether your organization is ready to attempt the Kaizen Blitz
* Outline what you need for an initial Kaizen Blitz project-and what to avoid
* Explain why software package-driven process change has limitations
* Cite results and applications in top U.S. manufacturers.

If you are committed to adopting lean manufacturing; if you want an effective tool to address specific problems in your company; if you need radical change to happen now, The Kaizen Blitz will deliver beyond your highest expectations.

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence has pioneered a powerful version of kaizen-a process for achieving continuous improvement in an organization-called the Kaizen Blitz.SM This book will show you how to use this remarkable tool to deliver breakthrough improvements in your company in areas like productivity, inventory reduction, capacity expansion, and much more. You'll learn how to assemble a kaizen team that will determine solutions to your company's specific problems by designing new systems, correcting mistakes quickly and moving on, running and refining procedures, and ultimately demonstrating a new process in place in just a few days. You'll also read about top U.S. manufacturers who have successfully used the Kaizen Blitz to bring about radical, positive change. If your company is ready to achieve dramatic results by implementing new processes-not just proposed, but in place and functioning-in a matter of days, the Kaizen Blitz is the way to make it happen.
  

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Contents

How to Tell If There
143
Sustaining the Gain
223
Lean Leadership
241
Never Look Back
253
Index
271
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

ANTHONY C. LARAIA is a Director of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence.

PATRICIA E. MOODY is a manufacturing management consultant and was formerly editor of AME's Target magazine. She has published seven books and dozens of articles on manufacturing management.

ROBERT W. HALL is one of the founders of the AME, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of AME's Target magazine. He has authored or coauthored five previous books related to lean manufacturing, and is the Professor of Operations Management, Kelly School of Business, Indiana University.

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