Kaizen is the Japanese word for "continuous improvement." It focuses on constantly improving the way a business functions and involves everyone from the CEO on down to the line workers. There are many ways to apply the theory to packaging.
Implement the "5 Whys"
Start by identifying issues in your process. Then follow up with the "5 Whys" to get to the core of the issue. It may require more than five questions. For example:
- A customer returned a product, but why?
- Because the product was damaged in transit, but why?
- Because there wasn't enough protective cushioning inside the box, but why?
- Because the worker who packed the box was new and hadn't been trained on how to properly pack your products, but why?
- Because the person responsible for training new employees called in sick and there wasn't a backup plan in place for training.
Standardize the improvement process
By establishing an improvement process for everyone to follow, you can continue the improvements throughout your company.
Identify issues and set targets for improvement
Apply the "5 Whys" to every issue or situation, both good and bad. Start at the end result and work your way back to the beginning step by step. Examine each step and how it can be improved. Then set targets for everyone to follow. Remember, this applies equally to the people at the top and bottom of your company's chain of command.
Focusing on Kaizen can help your company be leaner and more nimble which will help you to plan more effectively, serve your customers more responsively and respond to market changes faster than your competition.