MIJA is kicking off the new year with a focus on continuous improvement.

MIJA is kicking off the new year with a focus on continuous improvement.

MIJA recently received our 4th training grant in the past 20 years from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The training will be provided by Mass MEP (Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership), starting this week. During the 8-week program our primary focus will be on making process improvements as part of our Kaizen strategy, a Japanese word meaning continuous improvement.

Kaizen began shortly after WWII when a number of American experts were sent to Japan to work with Japanese business managers to develop new ways to improve quality and productivity in order to rebuild its economy. Dr. Deming, a statistician was one of the experts that was sent to Japan to teach statistical process control to leaders of prominent Japanese businesses. His teachings can be summarized in his 14-point management philosophy that promotes the theory that by improving quality, companies will decrease expenses and also the PDCA cycle or also referred to as the Deming Cycle.

An essential element of Kaizen is the Deming cycle or the Plan/Do/Check/Act (PDCA) cycle, a four-stage approach for continually improving processes, products or services, and for resolving problems. The PDCA cycle is an important tool in the implementation of lean manufacturing and continuous improvement.

Over the next several weeks we will be doing just that, a team of 9 individuals from all levels within MIJA will be coming together to focus on MIJA’s manufacturing processes and see where improvements are needed. The first step we will be to plan our approach and figure out what and where the problem areas are. Each individual will be welcome to contribute ideas on how to improve the current process and how it will improve the quality and decrease waste within the company, like suggested in Dr. Deming’s theory.

We will be reporting back in a couple weeks on the progress made by the team.

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