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 20percent to 60 percent-in only four days? Or cut inventory by 50percent in the same amount of time? Remarkable results like thesewere delivered by teams of employees and those who participated inthe Association for Manufacturing Excellence Kaizen BlitzSM events.Using the Kaizen Blitz, employees learned how to work as a team totackle problems from the shop floor and, most importantly, how tosolve them quickly.

That's what The Kaizen Blitz can teach you. Simply translated as"continuous improvement," kaizen is a highly focused process aimedat producing incremental performance improvements in narrowlytargeted areas. The Kaizen Blitz is a powerful technique thatdelivers breakthrough improvements throughout an organization-fast.This book will show you how the Kaizen Blitz works and how to bringthe extraordinary benefits of this approach to your company.Coauthored by executives of the AME, the book provides a frankdiscussion of what kaizen will and won't do, the preparationnecessary, obstacles to be wary of, and the results you canexpect.

The Kaizen Blitz involves everyone across an organization-managersand workers alike. 44t is a low-cost, hands-on process, where allteam members are equal and everyone gets their hands dirty. Thisthorough guide explains how your company can put together your ownKaizen Blitz teams to rapidly develop, test, and refine solutionsto problems, leaving a new process in place in just a few days. Itoutlines how employees can work side by side to implement the bestof their ideas for reaching common business goals, such asinventory reduction, capacity expansion, cost reduction, andleveraging capital investments. You will discover how theapplication 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 theprocess.

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

If you are committed to adopting lean manufacturing; if you want aneffective tool to address specific problems in your company; if youneed radical change to happen now, The Kaizen Blitz will deliverbeyond your highest expectations.

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence has pioneered apowerful version of kaizen-a process for achieving continuousimprovement in an organization-called the Kaizen Blitz.SM This bookwill show you how to use this remarkable tool to deliverbreakthrough improvements in your company in areas likeproductivity, inventory reduction, capacity expansion, and muchmore. You'll learn how to assemble a kaizen team that willdetermine solutions to your company's specific problems bydesigning new systems, correcting mistakes quickly and moving on,running and refining procedures, and ultimately demonstrating a newprocess in place in just a few days. You'll also read about topU.S. manufacturers who have successfully used the Kaizen Blitz tobring about radical, positive change. If your company is ready toachieve dramatic results by implementing new processes-not justproposed, but in place and functioning-in a matter of days, theKaizen Blitz is the way to make it happen.

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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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