Many companies successfully use Kaizen and Lean principles to inspire continuous improvement around the facility. Kaizen help companies around the world to cut down on wastes and streamline processes.
The most famous Kaizen company is the same company that first implemented its practices: Toyota. Toyota has been using the Kaizen philosophy for decades now and Kaizen can be seen being practiced on many different levels within the organization. Kaizen is at the foundation of the Toyota Production System, which is the heart of Toyota’s processes. Not only does Toyota look to improve manufacturing processes, but also look for ways that products can be improved and how each employee can also be improved.
Another motor vehicle company that uses Kaizen is the Ford Motor Company. In 2006, Alan Mulally was made CEO of Ford and thus adopted the principles of Kaizen. Ford was struggling at the time with bankruptcy and Mulally was known as a fan of Lean manufacturing and decided Kaizen and other Lean strategies could be more effective than a bailout from the government.
Nestlé is the biggest food company in the world and a company that uses Lean principles, specifically Kaizen. Nestlé Waters used a tool often associated with Kaizen called Value Stream Mapping. They mapped out a new bottling plant to ensure processes were as efficient as possible. Overall, Nestlé has been working to make continuous improvements in order to reduce waste and lower the time and materials that can be wasted in their processes.
Manufacturing companies and facilities are not the only companies that can benefit from Kaizen. The Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit medical practice and research group that has adapted the Kaizen philosophy to healthcare. Toyota was able to use Kaizen in their complex manufacturing process, and Mayo wanted to apply those principles to the complex world of healthcare. Waiting times and the handling of patient records can greatly benefit from Kaizen, and the Mayo Clinic has been able to implement it successfully in areas of their work.