Kaizen, also known as continuous improvement, is an approach to work that systematically seeks to achieve small, incremental changes in processes in order to improve efficiency and quality. The word Kaizen translated from Japanese simply means “good change”. And we are making good changes here at Stern Companies!
By observing continuous improvement best practices, companies can figure out ways to continue business as usual while analyzing improvement opportunities along the way. That is exactly what we’re doing here at Stern Companies using the A3 Problem Solving process. A3 is a problem solving approach, a communication tool for workers to report problems and improvement suggestions to management. In using this process, our employees are engaged in collaborative, in-depth problem-solving.
Employees at Stern will discuss amongst each other what project to devote time and effort to. Once they come up with a process or workflow they feel would most benefit some improvement, they will form a team to brainstorm ideas and a series of steps to begin the improvement process. Once all the opportunities for improvement have been identified and mapped out for review, the team works together to create a new and improved process. The new process is communicated to everyone who is impacted with the new improvement approach.
Continuous improvement has become second nature here at Stern Companies. We have created an environment where employees take ownership and pride for the improvements they have implemented within the company.
Continuous improvement is a great way for companies to identify opportunities and integrate improvements into the day-to-day workings of the company. The Kaizen philosophy is to “do it better, make it better, improve it even if it isn’t broken, because if we don’t, we can’t compete with those who do.” That’s a philosophy Stern Companies is living by!