Kaizen Tools – 5s, Suggestion System , QCC , TQC , TQM , TPS

KAIZEN is a philosophy of continuous improvement, a belief that all aspects of life should be constantly improved. In Japan, where the concept originated, KAIZEN applies to all aspects of life, not just the workplace. In America the term is usually applied to work processes.

See Also: Kaizen Continuous Improvement -Definition, Kaizen Process


Kaizen Tools

1. 5S

5S is a philosophy and checklist for good housekeeping to achieve greater order, efficiency and discipline in the workplace. It is derived from the Japanese words Seiri (Sort), Seiton (Straighten), Seiso (Shine), Seiketsu (Systematize), and Shitsuke (Standardize/ Self-Discipline). There are also different English renditions.

The 5Ss are:

  • Sort (Seiri) – The first step in 5S is to eliminate all the things in the workspace that are not being used and store them away. If a tool are material is not used on a daily basis, eliminate it from the workstation.
  • Set in Order (Seiton) – The second step is to arrange the items used on a daily basis so that they can be easily accessed and quickly stored. Your goal is to make eliminate any unnecessary movements and actions by the worker to make hie process as efficient as possible.
  • Shine (Seiso) – Next is to get everything cleaned and functioning properly. The goal is to remove all the dirt and the grime and to keep it that way on daily basis. You want to get it clean and keep it clean.
  • Standardize (Seiketsu) – The fourth step is to develop a routine for sorting, setting and shining. Standardize creates a system of tasks and procedures that will ensure that the principles of 5S are performed on a daily basis.
  •  Sustain (Shitsuke) – In the last step, you want to create a culture that will follow the steps on a daily basis. The chief objective of sustain is to give your staff the commitment and motivation to follow each step, day in and day out.

2. Suggestion System

A Suggestion System is the method by which the ideas and suggestions of employees are communicated upwards through the management hierarchy to achieve cost savings or improve product quality, workplace efficiency, customer service, or working conditions. Examples range from simply placing suggestion boxes in common areas, to implementing formal programs with committees reviewing ideas and rewards given for successful adoption of those ideas.

3. Quality Control Circle

QCC is a small group of workers who collectively find a problem, discuss alternative remedies, and propose a solution. QCCs voluntarily perform improvement activities within the workplace, as part of a company-wide program of mutual education, quality control, self-development and productivity improvement.

4. Total Quality control

TQC is an organized activity involving everyone (from managers to workers) in a totally integrated effort towards kaizen at every level. It is equivalent to Company-Wide Quality Control (CWQC).

Total Quality Control is the system which Japan has developed to implement Kaizen or continuing improvement. Total Quality Control is a forty year plus improvement on the teachings of Deming, Juran, Feigenbaum, and others who brought the concept of quality to Japan. Total Quality Control is where the rubber meets the road in terms of putting quality into place, both within the product and within the system to bring forth, sustain, and retire the product.

5. Total Quality Management (TQM)

TQM represents a number of management practices, philosophies and methods to improve the way an organization does business, makes its products, and interacts with its employees and customers. QCC activities function as an integral part of TQM. TQM evolved from TQC in the late 1980s.

Total Quality Management (TQM) describes a management approach to long-term success through customer satisfaction. In a TQM effort, all members of an organization participate in improving processes, products, services, and the culture in which they work.

6. Toyota Production System (TPS)

TPS is the philosophy which organizes manufacturing and logistics at Toyota, including interaction with suppliers and customers. It focuses on the elimination of waste and defects at all points of production including inputs, process and final output (delivery). The term “Lean Production System” can be used interchangeably.

The main objectives of the TPS are to design out overburden (muri) and inconsistency (mura), and to eliminate waste (muda). The most significant effects on process value delivery are achieved by designing a process capable of delivering the required results smoothly; by designing out “mura” (inconsistency). It is also crucial to ensure that the process is as flexible as necessary without stress or “muri” (overburden) since this generates “muda” (waste). Finally the tactical improvements of waste reduction or the elimination of muda are very valuable. There are eight kinds of muda that are addressed in the TPS

  • Waste of overproduction (largest waste)
  • Waste of time on hand (waiting)
  • Waste of transportation
  • Waste of processing itself
  • Waste of stock at hand
  • Waste of movement
  • Waste of making defective products
  • Waste of underutilized workers
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