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Key habits to make your business a big success

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Key habits to make your business a big success


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Kaizen Institute India (KII) joins hands with Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Gujarat to launch Hospital Operations & Performance Excellence (HOPE) program for the first time in India.

The first project (HOPE) was started at Surendranagar on 30th Dec 2013, which will be followed by implementing HOPE at 24 other NABH accredited district Hospitals of Gujarat.

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Dubai World’s Business Excellence Center signs MoU with Kaizen Institute.

The Business Excellence Center (BEC), the internal Consulting arm of Dubai World, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kaizen Institute – Africa and Middle East for collaboration in areas of mutual strategic interests and for outsourcing consulting services to support the efforts of the Dubai World entities to continually improve their services whilst reducing cost.

BEC Director AbdulQader Obaid Al, K Kumar- Sr Manager, Dubai World Purchasingand Mr. Jayanth Murthy Regional Director for Kaizen Institute ink the MOU, in thepresence of other Officials.

BEC Director AbdulQader Obaid Al, K Kumar -Sr Manager, Dubai World Purchasing and Mr. Jayanth Murthy Regional Director for Kaizen Institute ink the MOU, in the presence of other Officials.

The Business Excellence Center (BEC) assists group companies in their business excellence journey. They use a Group Continuous Improvement Framework founded on the EFQM Model for Business Excellence, but enhanced to better serve the interests of all their stakeholders.

In addition they address the strategic imperatives of the newly formed Dubai World holding company. Kaizen Institute was founded by one of the foremost Kaizen Gurus of this Century Sensei Masaki Imai, and is widely recognized for its role in the proliferation of the Kaizen or LEAN philosophy worldwide. The MOU was signed by Mr. Jayanth Murthy of Kaizen Institute, Africa and Middle East.

Speaking on the occasion, Anand Nicodemus- Manager of The Business Excellence Center said, ‘Today, process improvement needs to be accelerated, must engage employees, be suitable for our culture and help our staff learn. We are addressing this in this partnership and intend to achieve this through using the Kaizen Philosophy modified to the requirements of Dubai World. The modified approach is called the ‘Cost Optimization Program’, but will retain all the key elements of the Kaizen philosophy. ‘The COP will produce measurable benefits within days and help to entrench a culture of continual improvement within a timeline no longer than ninety days’, he added.

Abdul Qader Obaid Ali, Director, Group Internal Audit and Business Excellence, Dubai World, said:

‘The MoU falls within our plans to adopt the best global and local expertise in the field. It will help us in strengthening the consultancy services we provide the business units of Dubai World, especially in view of the holding company’s global expansion and diversification.

‘I believe that our rapid expansion globally and diversification has made it necessary to enhance our capabilities rapidly, seek diversified expertise and align our services to the vision and mission of our business units.’

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Jayanth Murthy, the Regional Director of Kaizen Institute, Africa and Middle East, stressed the need for ‘deep’ change in the very skeletal structure of the organization. Only this will cause Customers and stakeholders to acknowledge that the organization was committed to Customer and Quality. He explained how the COP will significantly reduce cost by attacking Waste, Process variation and Strain within the processes. He provided examples of such wastes drawn from his consulting experience.

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Kaizen at State Government of Gujarat

November, 2009 was a big month in the vibrant land of Gujarat, India. It was not only United States which was gearing up for Change but Government of Gujarat’s Education Department also decided to take a stride towards Change for Betterment. I would like to rephrase Neil Armstrong’s quote, which aptly fits in here,

‘One small step for Government, one giant leap for Society’

Education Department has decided to take up the mammoth task of shaking up the giant public sector with the help of Kaizen Concepts. The phase A of Kaizen Implementation Project was inaugurated in a festive ceremony at the GCERT Hall, Gandhinagar attended by an estimated 200 plus officers and bureaucrats. The function was presided by Hon. Minister of Education for State and Dr. Kirit Joshi, Chief Advisor to the Chief Minister of Gujarat. In some ways the inauguration signaled an immense shift in way of thinking of people and it is a paving stone for bringing change to the country’s course.

This endeavor is to support dedicated public servants increase the value of the work they perform and the services they provide. The mission / objective is to help them accomplish more and more with the limited resources they receive. The goal, to see them commit to a path of continuous improvement that will increase their value to society, is splendidly superb.

To spark and sustain Continuous Improvement Process in Public Sector, the employees were enlightened and sensitized to improve their departments by focusing on the following methods of improvement: the Kaizen way of Management, Deming’s Improvement management system, lean thinking, systems thinking, customer focus, process improvement, leadership, etc. This was achieved by Kaizen Champions Training of 2 weeks for 80 plus employees which resulted in Kaizen Champions who led the teams and project implementation from the front during the action phase of the project.

The entire continuous improvement journey in public sectors stands on ‘the 4P model’. The 4P framework for improvement in public sector has been specifically devised by Kaizen Institute to support and encourage public sectors for systematic and comprehensive change management and standardization. It incorporates;

i)   Physical Workplace Improvement

ii)  Process Improvement

iii) Policy Change

iv) People Involvement

The deployment of this framework has contributed to many of the improvements and successes in public sectors.

The above said framework was successfully made use of at 10 departments under the Secretariat of Education, Government of Gujarat. The pilot project explored the potential use of Kaizen methodology and Lean concepts to support evidence based application, and improve public sector delivery. Minimum, 2 Gemba for Five S and 2 processes for improvement per department were selected and develope d as models for horizontal deployment across the department. However the number exceeded for almost all the departments. For instance, the throughput time for annual grant disbursement process for government aided institutes was crashed to 45 days from 951 days. Similarly, one of the advance settlement process times was reduced to 15 days from 60 days. Several such processes were taken up at each department and improved with the help of Kaizen approach & lean measures. All the employees, approximately 1000 people, were involved in the process of building platform for change.

The ability to manage change-management processes depends on organizational culture and habits. This culture has to be molded in accordance with the continuous improvement process; in this perspective, the pilot project generated mental awareness and enthusiasm about the Kaizen Spirit. In order to look for problems and solutions for implementing process improvements, a balanced team of Kaizen consultants, with representatives from prior public sector projects, was deployed. This project acted as a medium for discussion of various enhancement possibilities and a framework to structure better processes and workplaces; an instrument to understand problem solving process and how to manage change in an efficient manner.

In a nutshell, the result of the four month long intervention – was charged up employees who are aware of ‘the War on Waste’, various improved processes and model workplaces.

Following aspects were considered throughout the project;

i)   Processes achieve their intended results;

ii)  Resources used are consistent;

iii) Processes and resources are protected from waste;

iv) Laws and regulations are followed; and

v)  Reliable and timely information is obtained, maintained, reported and     used for decision making.

I would take the liberty of calling these Kaizen implementation projects by Kaizen Institute India in private and public domain as phase II towards growth and development of India Inc., after the post liberalization decade. It can be said that KII is interested in more than the financial rewards of consulting people how to apply Kaizen principles to their work. KI consultants are committed to help clients improve the performance of their companies and agencies in the private sector. This enthusiasm and the values which are brought in through Kaizen are multiplied with people involvement. KII is interested in strengthening values, honing skills, and sharing new knowledge with each of its partners. The feeling is the same for Public Sector.

This is just the beginning of a journey towards newer and brighter dawn…We are on the threshold of embarking Phase B to continue the zeal of Kaizen Spirit and take it further to a New Zenith!!

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Excellence is not an act but habit

A MNC of Swedish country located in Rajpur Village of Mehsana District, 40 kms from Ahmedabad, produces Cold Finished Seamless Stainless Steel Austenitic and Duplex Instrumentation and Heat-exchanger Tubes, Hot Extruded Pipes, Hollow Bars and Redraw Hollows – all manufactured under one roof.

It is a high-technology, engineering group with advanced products. Worldwide business activities are conducted through representation in more than 130 countries. In 2010 the Group had 47,000 employees enthusiastically working for achieving Business Excellence. It’s  products would be based on high value content & are developed in close cooperation with customers.

This organization has, over the years, evolved its own manufacturing systems named SMT Business System and has a team of Lean Manufacturing Navigators who go all over their facilities and facilitate the implementation of SMT business systems. Quality is the guiding principle in the global operations.

Recalls one of the managers of the facility; “…no one seemed to know that Sandvik Asia dealt in steel. It was known for tooling products. We realized that we had to work from scratch to establish the SANDVIK brand in steel arena..” The journey of achieving vision of becoming our gateway to Asian’s tube world started then.

They firmly believed in 3 factors –

  • Open Mind,
  • Fairy play and
  • Team spirit

Open mindedness always helped them to have a positive frame of mind to frequent changes in the market, encourage new ideas and look for improvement opportunities.

Fair play meant equal opportunities, fair trade, respect to individual and concern for environment

Team spirit meant progressing in a secured manner with enthusiastic support and trust from co-workers

As it is widely said, 5S is the foundation for every improvement program. They realized it and with the support from SMT Business System, practicing it day in and day out. “Although we had our own 5S implementation system, we learnt a lot from Kaizen Institute on 5S and the auditing process that helped us further enhance our 5S implementation..” says the Continuous Improvement Manager. The physical environment that is unlike in the other tube manufacturing units proves to be a morale booster for all the employees. They proudly claims that It is the only plant in India which follows international standards of manufacturing, safety, cleanliness for the premises and the manpower.

With the growing demands of the customers and expansion in the market, output from the equipments proved a bottleneck. With the equipments functioning more than four decades, the reliability of the equipment remained highly uncertain and the schedule of meeting the customers’ demands were always not met. They felt that there is a lot of hidden potential within the equipments waiting to be exploited. So, they invited Kaizen Institute to implement TPM practices in their facility. Although they had an internal Lean implementation team, the open mindedness approach of Sandvik allowed them to utilize the services of Kaizen Institute in implementing TPM for their critical equipments. The TPM journey got kicked-off in August 2010 with Kaizen Institute facilitating Sandvik.

One of the managers says, “Initially, we thought that TPM would be another management jargon however, once the implementation started and the benefits started coming in, we sincerely feel that this is a very important tool that is essentially required to implement LEAN production system”.

“In the beginning, we used to say in lighter vein that we are producing pipes now from tags and not from machines. The tagging exercise is an eye-opener! We never realized that we were operating the machines with so many abnormalities. Indeed, this (TPM) has given us a new lens to look at things…” says another employee of Sandvik.

“Tagging & maintaining a Tag register was indeed useful. Repeatedly, during tagging, we found broken parts near the brake assembly in Pilger machine. Later, we found that the brake lining has developed a crack. Tagging helped us prevent a major breakdown in this regard..” says the Deputy Manager of Maintenance department.

“To be frank, we never thought that we could do so much in 5 days and tagging today (on the first GKW) proved that we can do a lot in GKWs. One Point Lesson is an effective tool that can be used to teach the existing employees and new comers as well..” says our Kaizen coordinator.

Accessibility improvement is another important factor we learnt in autonomous maintenance. Our Cellar areas were thoroughly neglected place. We always thought it was a curse to enter this area. It used to be dark, full of overflowing filth, dirt. After implementation of Initial Cleaning, this place is no longer an area of curse. We made many small improvements in improving accessibility that resulted in reducing hours lost in minor stoppages in Extrusion process… says a Maintenance Engineer.

“Why-Why analysis is a tool we got as a gift from TPM exercise. Nowadays, we use this tool very often as to resolve most of our problems. This led to making special tools for cleaning the feed carriage of Pilger machine which saved us enormous time which is the objective of AM step 2…“says the Production-in-charge of Pilger process.

“We have our own computer software system of tracking Maintenance activities, yet, Equipment Ranking sheet, Equipment control ledger were new to us that helped us on choosing the right equipment for our activities & tracking the cost of Maintenance. Also the loss-tree charting of 16 losses really opened our eyes in many aspects. This had given us an idea of how to select our projects, what to do and where to do to improve our Plant effectiveness.  We learnt how to calculate MTBF, MTTR that gave us a focus on our improvement activities..” says one of the Maintenance Engineers.

“Kaizen bursts, Small improvements, motivate our employees and create a healthy competition among them. In fact, workers from other Gemba have started nagging us to initiate TPM in their sections too. We will be horizontally deploying TPM in other areas too in a short while from now..” says one of their Managers.

“…yes, our OEE is increased, say from 46% to 65% now. Still, we have a long way to go. We are only in AM Step 2 and we have lot more to cover. As they say, this is a journey and it never ends..”

“I need to mention that in the recently held Union meeting, the union members volunteered to undertake AM activities by Operators that is a big cultural change we saw. Fully credit goes to our Managers who made this happen by practicing TPM in their GEMBA…” says  the President of this company.

To achieve Business Excellence, Operational Excellence is required. The journey to Operational Excellence is simple but not easy. They firmly believes in these three sayings:

  • We are what we repeatedly do
  • Excellence is not an act but a habit
  • We will find a better way or else we make one

They are confident in achieving their Vision 2015 by adapting the practices established by SMT Business system and other Operational Excellence practices they avail through other establishments.