Thursday, March 1, 2012

Gemba Kaizen: A Commonsense, Low-Cost Approach to Management By Masaaki Imai

Gemba Kaizen: A Commonsense, Low-Cost Approach to Management

Gemba Kaizen: A Commonsense, Low-Cost Approach to Management By Masaaki Imai

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(18 customer reviews)

Product Description

When it comes to making your business more profitable and successful, don't look to re-engineering for answers. A better way is to apply the concept of kaizen, which mean making simple, common-sense improvements and refinements to critical business processes.The result: greater productivity, quality, and profits achieved with minimal cost, time, and effort invested. In this book, you discover how to maximize the results of kaizen by applying it to gemba--business processes involved in the manufacture of products and the rendering of services--the areas of your business where, as the author puts it, the "real action" takes place.

Product Details
  • Amazon Sales Rank: #31627 in Books
  • Published on: 1997-03-01
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 1.22" h x 6.31" w x 9.25" l, 1.46 pounds
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 354 pages
Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal
In this sequel to his popular business/quality management book, Kaizen: The Key to Japan's Competitive Success (1986), Imai offers a step forward?continuous improvement (kaizen) applied to the concept of continuous improvement in the workplace (gemba). The book reflects a definite operations bias. Indeed, Imai advocates the removal of all those peripheral things (muda) that cloud the focus of an organization. Some of the principles, such as the need for good housekeeping, seem simplistic, but Imai is on solid ground, demonstrating the practicality of gemba kaizen with a number of abbreviated case studies. The one weakness is the lack of adequate recognition of precedent setters: F.W. Taylor's Principles of Scientific Management (1912) and the work of W.A. Shewhart, W.E. Deming, J. Juran, etc. All in all, essential for business collections.?Steven Silkunas, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority, Philadelphia
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful.
4Gemba -- Place where action happens
By A Customer
As a practitioner and instructor of lean and six sigma, I recommend this book a lot. Gemba is a vitally important concept that often gets overlooked or gets overshadowed by our data, especially in an increasingly e-driven world. Gemba Kaizen is especially useful for engineers and supervisors, who may not have extensive TPS experience, who need a practical guide for applying lean principals in their workplace. It has a nice glossary at the beginning. It has good sections on visual management (5S) and standard work. In addition to the 10 Rules for Gemba Kaizen, the following Imai quote is one of my favorites: "A lack of the five S's in gemba indicates inefficiency, muda, insufficient self-discipline, low moral, poor quality, high costs, and an inability to meet delivery terms."

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful.
5Every manufacturing and service professional should read it.
By William A. Levinson
Gemba is the place where value-adding activities take place. Decisive results can be achieved by focusing improvement activities in gemba. The author encourages managers and professionals to spend time in gemba to see what is happening and to encourage the front-line workers. General George S. Patton could easily be described as a gemba man: he encouraged officers to go to the scene of the action instead of trying to "lead" from a headquarters in the rear. He also recognized the role of the frontline worker (soldier) in achieving results. As a result, the troops under Patton's command won amazing and seemingly impossible victories. Companies that want to hold their market share and capture their competitors' must understand this lesson. (Imai does not discuss Patton, but the historical parallel is obvious.) My books "The Way of discuss General Carl von Clausewitz' "friction" in a workplace context. Friction includes seemingly minor inefficiencies and problems whose combined effects degrade the organization's performance. Imai uses the word "muda" (waste), and stresses the need to suppress it.

Tom Peters says, "The accumulation of little items, each too 'trivial' to trouble the boss with, is a prime cause of miss-the-market delays." (from "Thriving on Chaos.") Muda is essentially the same thing as friction. Imai also mentions "muri" (strain), which arises from inadequate training, poor ergonomic design, and inadequate preventive maintenance. Muri is another form of friction. Imai also discusses tools like 5S-CANDO (CANDO = clearing up, arranging, neatness, discipline, and ongoing improvement). 5S-CANDO is another tool for reducing friction. Imai discusses Just-in-Time (JIT) as a tool for reducing inventory and improving product flow. Readers of Eliyahu Goldratt and Jeff Cox's "The Goal" will appreciate this section. Synchronous flow manufacturing (SFM) is treated in detail in "Leading the Way to Competitive Excellence: The Harris Mountaintop Case Study". The idea of JIT/SFM is to produce goods in response to customer demand, not to keep people and equipment busy. Imai discussess a mattress factory that uses this approach: it not only keeps inventory down, but it can offer far more product lines. This is a key tool for going after niche (small, specialized, customized) markets. William A. Levinson

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful.
By Rolf Dobelli
Author Masaaki Imai argues that companies can become more profitable by constantly looking for efficiencies, instead of seeking huge leaps, as is the Western custom. The Japanese philosophy of kaizen says businesses must mercilessly cut waste by eliminating anything that's even remotely inefficient. These strategies will lead to more profitable companies and better employee morale. Imai makes compelling arguments, and supports them with a number of case studies and real world examples that show kaizen in action. We at getAbstract recommend this book to managers, particularly executives of manufacturing companies.

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