Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


How Can KAIZEN and Lean Improve Productivity?

How Can KAIZEN and Lean Improve Productivity?

A recent government forum has highlighted the fact that New Zealand is losing the productivity battle with other comparative countries, and it is time to do something positive about it. Speaking at The Icehouse business growth centre in Auckland, John Whitehead, Secretary to the Treasury, made the following comments about that the fact that productivity performance is critical to raising the living standards of New Zealanders.

"New Zealand's long-term trend of productivity under-performance is the biggest economic challenge facing policy-makers and both the public and private sectors in New Zealand".

"Long-term productivity growth is not yet meeting our aspirations, which means many of our aspirations for a better quality of life are going unmet. Our capacity to raise our standard of living depends on our ability to raise output per worker - the amount of goods and services each worker produces and the value they add. It comes back to the old adage about working smarter rather than harder," So what is the relationship between productivity and the Japanese management philosophy "KAIZEN" and the lean tools associated with successful companies such as Toyota?

Founder of the Kaizen Institute, Mr. Masaaki Imai was the first to write about KAIZEN, which he defines as "ongoing improvement involving every day, everywhere, everyone, including both Managers and workers alike".

The term "Lean thinking" originated from Daniel T Jones and James P Womack, as they commentated on the way that Toyota were perfecting their operations using TPS and KAIZEN. Lean thinking is defined as "a way to specify value, line up value-creating actions in the best sequence, conduct these activities without interruption whenever someone requests them, and perform them more and more effectively".

So KAIZEN (also referred to as Lean) are crucially important solution to how we can improve our productivity. By getting everybody involved in the relentless pursuit of ongoing improvement using Lean tools to develop operational excellence in all parts of the organisation. Globally we are seeing the steady rise of KAIZEN, Lean and Six Sigma methodologies. In these troubled times of financial turmoil,we in New Zealand should embrace this strategy to move with the times and start to catch up. productivityfirst


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


By May 2018: Wider, Earlier Microbead Ban

The sale and manufacture of wash-off products containing plastic microbeads will be banned in New Zealand earlier than previously expected, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today. More>>


Snail-ier Mail: NZ Post To Ditch FastPost

New Zealand Post customers will see a change to how they can send priority mail from 1 January 2018. The FastPost service will no longer be available from this date. More>>


Property Institute: English Backs Of Debt To Income Plan

Property Institute of New Zealand Chief Executive Ashley Church is applauding today’s decision, by Prime Minister Bill English, to take Debt-to-income ratios off the table as a tool available to the Reserve Bank. More>>


Divesting: NZ Super Fund Shifts Passive Equities To Low-Carbon

The NZ$35 billion NZ Super Fund’s NZ$14 billion global passive equity portfolio, 40% of the overall Fund, is now low-carbon, the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation announced today. More>>


Split Decision - Appeal Planned: EPA Allows Taranaki Bight Seabed Mine

The Decision-making Committee, appointed by the Board of the Environmental Protection Authority to decide a marine consent application by Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd, has granted consent, subject to conditions, for the company to mine iron sands off the South Taranaki Bight. More>>