"Kaizen" is a quality management tool invented by Japanese that means continuous improvement i.e., 'Kai' means continuous & 'Zen' means improvement. It is also termed as 'Continuous Improvement". The main motto is to eliminate waste by standardizing better way all the way.

For example, Toyota has pioneered the concept of Kaizen. In 1999, 7,000 Toyota employees has submitted 75,000 suggestions out of which 99% were implemented in one its US plant

Key elements of Kaizen are process efforts, quality, active involvement of all employees and proper communication

The Kaizen method comprises of the following elements

  • High morale
  • Quality circles
  • Continuous improvement suggestions framework
  • Teamwork
  • Focus and self discipline approach

The implementation of Kaizen in the production processes will result in

  • Improved productivity
  • Better quality
  • Improvement in safety
  • Better delivery time
  • Lower costs
  • Greater customer satisfaction and also employees in this type of organization feel better in their working conditions that results in high morale and job satisfaction and low employee turnover.

Kaizen 5-S framework

  • Seiri
  • Seiton
  • Seiso
  • Seiketsu
  • Shitsuke

The 5S's are as follows:

  • Seiri

it relates to tidiness and organizing things that are essential for smooth running of the process. It is the first step of the 5S methodology. It deals with the practice of sorting tools materials and other resources in order to effectively use working space, repeat purchases and simplification of tasks that leads to a high productivity in a production/manufacturing environment.

  • Seiton

It relates to orderliness to improve process efficiency by means of arranging tools and materials being required for the process in a sequential order to avoid much lead time with tracking mechanism in action i.e., allocating an item no and location code for easy identification of the tool and materials in place.

  • Seiso

It refers to systematic cleanliness that implies the concept of workplace cleanliness with high standards to cerate a good impression to a visitor. It not only implies the cleanliness but also the restoring the tools and materials at its location properly. It is an ongoing activity on a daily basis not on an occasional basis.

  • Seiketsu

It refers to standard operating procedures to be followed in the work place to prioritize and standardize work practices by assigning suitable responsibilities to everyone operating in the team. In order to implement those standard operating procedures, visual management plays a pivotal role to represent things in a simple and lucid ways to the team and also determines any irregularities in the process flow.

  • Shitsuke

It refers to keep consistency in following up the standard operating procedures in the workplace. It is the last step of the 5S methodology that emphasize on the four previous 4S's in place to avoid any inconsistency in the workplace that leads to decline in the productivity level.

  • Benefits

Kaizen will give immediate results because its on-going activity of process improvement that improves the process efficiency It improves utilization of space, product quality, production process improvements and employee retention It eliminates waste in inventory level, processing time, supply chain, over production and employee productivity hours also


Kaizen is more of people oriented process, easy to implement and requires long committed approach to be successful in making no compromise on quality. Thus, it plays a vital role in any manufacturing environment to eliminate and reduce waste