Enhanced Kaizen

Problem Statement

Your company believes in Kaizen. Workers stop and hold kaizens when they encounter a new anomaly. The company also holds regular Kaizen Blitz team events. In line with established Kaizen recommendations, these are completely local. The stakeholders work day-to-day around the target process. Maybe you fly in a Kaizen leader to facilitate, but everyone else on the team works close by. This works great as far as it goes, but you have other processes that would benefit from a Kaizen blitz … and they span different facilities in the supply or distribution chain. You can fly them in, but that is expensive and cuts into their home responsibilities.

Technology

Your company believes in Kaizen. Workers stop and hold kaizens when they encounter a new anomaly. The company also holds regular Kaizen Blitz team events. In line with established Kaizen recommendations, these are completely local. The stakeholders work day-to-day around the target process. Maybe you fly in a Kaizen leader to facilitate, but everyone else on the team works close by. This works great as far as it goes, but you have other processes that would benefit from a Kaizen blitz … and they span different facilities in the supply or distribution chain. You can fly them in, but that is expensive and cuts into their home responsibilities.

Solution

The Kaizen team in the plant want to engage input from up and downstream stakeholders who reside elsewhere. They may also want to bring in outside experts (“fresh eyes”) to reduce the impact of groupthink. For the blitz event, the team adds or relocates a few cameras to focus on the process under review … and in the team room. External team members are given temporary accounts to view the selected video feeds in real time. As the team works through the problem, remote stakeholders can see the process, participate in the deliberations and view the results of the changes and improvements.

It is hard to see how this would not be a big time-saver. At worse, the remote technician would have a clearer understanding of the problem. The remote tech support persons may be able to direct the fix without having leave their desk. If the remote technicians do have to travel, hopefully they will arrive with the right equipment and the right plan. This should lead to faster fixes at lower cost … which leads to less downtime and more production.

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