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Article: Kaizen Event - Part 3 of 5
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PLANT MANAGEMENTS ROLE

The Kaizen Process (Continued)

In my first event, I had the V.P. of marketing from a service supplier on our team. During the event it be­came necessary to have his organization provide a ser­vice for the changes to proceed. He picked up the phone and had a crew there within a couple of hours. They provided their service to us in record-breaking time. Since we pay them for time and material, it worked out very well for us. If we had to schedule their service un­der normal non-emergency conditions, we might have waited weeks for the required support activities. His excitement for the process quickly spread to his crew.

Likewise, if your event will impact a customer, inter­nal or external, this is the chance to let them be part of the solution. Their cooperation in weeks to come can be counted on because they feel an ownership of the changes that have been made. They also now have a to­tal understanding as to why the changes were required. What they learn may become a selling tool for them in providing services to other organizations. It is a true win-win situation.

If you have a multiplant company, invite a few mem­bers from other plants. Focus on those who may have similar processes in their departments. This can provide cross-fertilization of best practices in both directions. If this process is very technical in nature, make sure you have at least one member with the technical background required. Also encourage members of top management to put on their jeans for four days and roll up their sleeves. They will enjoy the experience, and your associ­ates will see just how important this process is to the organization.

All team members must be committed to four days of no interruption—no pagers, no beepers, no meetings outside the event. Everyone will be expected to work long

hours each day. It is not rare for a team charged with enthusiasm to find themselves working until 10:00 p.m.

After selection of your team, and acceptance by your candidates, the plant needs to hear about the event. The vehicle you elect to use is up to you. One idea is a plantwide communications meeting. Here is the perfect forum to announce your plans for a kaizen event. Take this opportunity to begin supercharging your team with some public recognition. Call up your team members and introduce them to the plant associates. Tell them why these people were chosen, and why this area was chosen. If not at a meeting, perhaps a company news­letter, together with a general posting on bulletin boards. Try some banners: "KAIZEN COMING SOON TO A DEPARTMENT NEAR YOU."

Part 1  Part 2    Part 3   Part 4   Par 5


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