Getting better at getting better



Kaizen (改善) is a Japanese word meaning “improvement”. It is formed from Kai (改), meaning “change” and Zen (善) meaning “good”. It is often used to describe a business philosophy or system that is based on making positive changes on a regular basis, as to improve productivity.

The term was coined in the 1950’s during the post-World War II restoration of Japan. The use of the word in English, in a business context, is widely accredited to Masaaki Imai and his book “Kaizen: The Key To Japan’s Competitive Success”.

When applied to business productivity, the word refers to activities that continuously improve all functions and involve employees at all levels.

Kaizen at Europa Technologies

Europa Technologies has embraced Kaizen as part of its competitive strategy. Improvements, large and small, are made on a continuous basis to the company’s products & services and operations in general. The philosophy drives innovation and empowers Europa Technologies to exceed customer expectations with a viewpoint beyond market trends and emerging technologies.

The Europa Technologies implementation can be broken down into five steps:

  • Standardise – Define a repeatable process
  • Quantify – Measure/capture data
  • Compare – Compare with requirements
  • Innovate – Create/refine process to improve efficiency, re-quantify, re-standardise.
  • Repeat – Go back to step 1

It is worth noting that Kaizen is not change for change’s sake! It is a deliberate, constant improvement and changes that don’t actually bring you rewards shouldn’t be made.

Further Information

To learn more about Europa Technologies and the use of this business practice, please contact Warren Vick, Founder & Director (wvick@europa.uk.com)

External Links

Wikipedia article