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The Kaizen Blitz: Accelerating Breakthroughs in Productivity and Performance 1st Edition

12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471246480
ISBN-10: 0471246484
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

When was the last time your company improved productivity from 20 percent to 60 percent-in only four days? Or cut inventory by 50 percent in the same amount of time? Remarkable results like these were delivered by teams of employees and those who participated in the Association for Manufacturing Excellence Kaizen Blitz(SM) events. Using the Kaizen Blitz, employees learned how to work as a team to tackle problems from the shop floor and, most importantly, how to solve them quickly. That's what The Kaizen Blitz can teach you. Simply translated as "continuous improvement," kaizen is a highly focused process aimed at producing incremental performance improvements in narrowly targeted areas. The Kaizen Blitz is a powerful technique that delivers breakthrough improvements throughout an organization-fast. This book will show you how the Kaizen Blitz works and how to bring the extraordinary benefits of this approach to your company. Coauthored by executives of the AME, the book provides a frank discussion of what kaizen will and won't do, the preparation necessary, obstacles to be wary of, and the results you can expect. The Kaizen Blitz involves everyone across an organization-managers and workers alike. It is a low-cost, hands-on process, where all team members are equal and everyone gets their hands dirty. This thorough guide explains how your company can put together your own Kaizen Blitz teams to rapidly develop, test, and refine solutions to problems, leaving a new process in place in just a few days. It outlines how employees can work side by side to implement the best of their ideas for reaching common business goals, such as inventory reduction, capacity expansion, cost reduction, and leveraging capital investments. You will discover how the application of a few simple tools in a straightforward, commonsense approach can bring about real and profound change, provided that management is fully committed and ready to lead the process. In addition, the authors of this important book:
* Help you determine whether your organization is ready to attempt the Kaizen Blitz
* Outline what you need for an initial Kaizen Blitz project-and what to avoid
* Explain why software package-driven process change has limitations
* Cite results and applications in top U.S. manufacturers.
If you are committed to adopting lean manufacturing; if you want an effective tool to address specific problems in your company; if you need radical change to happen now, The Kaizen Blitz will deliver beyond your highest expectations.

From the Back Cover

When was the last time your company improved productivity from 20 percent to 60 percent-in only four days? Or cut inventory by 50 percent in the same amount of time? Remarkable results like these were delivered by teams of employees and those who participated in the Association for Manufacturing Excellence Kaizen BlitzSM events. Using the Kaizen Blitz, employees learned how to work as a team to tackle problems from the shop floor and, most importantly, how to solve them quickly.

That's what The Kaizen Blitz can teach you. Simply translated as "continuous improvement," kaizen is a highly focused process aimed at producing incremental performance improvements in narrowly targeted areas. The Kaizen Blitz is a powerful technique that delivers breakthrough improvements throughout an organization-fast. This book will show you how the Kaizen Blitz works and how to bring the extraordinary benefits of this approach to your company. Coauthored by executives of the AME, the book provides a frank discussion of what kaizen will and won't do, the preparation necessary, obstacles to be wary of, and the results you can expect.

The Kaizen Blitz involves everyone across an organization-managers and workers alike. 44t is a low-cost, hands-on process, where all team members are equal and everyone gets their hands dirty. This thorough guide explains how your company can put together your own Kaizen Blitz teams to rapidly develop, test, and refine solutions to problems, leaving a new process in place in just a few days. It outlines how employees can work side by side to implement the best of their ideas for reaching common business goals, such as inventory reduction, capacity expansion, cost reduction, and leveraging capital investments. You will discover how the application of a few simple tools in a straightforward, common-sense approach can bring about real and profound change, provided that management is fully committed and ready to lead the process.

In addition, the authors of this important book:
* Help you determine whether your organization is ready to attempt the Kaizen Blitz
* Outline what you need for an initial Kaizen Blitz project-and what to avoid
* Explain why software package-driven process change has limitations
* Cite results and applications in top U.S. manufacturers.

If you are committed to adopting lean manufacturing; if you want an effective tool to address specific problems in your company; if you need radical change to happen now, The Kaizen Blitz will deliver beyond your highest expectations.

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence has pioneered a powerful version of kaizen-a process for achieving continuous improvement in an organization-called the Kaizen Blitz.SM This book will show you how to use this remarkable tool to deliver breakthrough improvements in your company in areas like productivity, inventory reduction, capacity expansion, and much more. You'll learn how to assemble a kaizen team that will determine solutions to your company's specific problems by designing new systems, correcting mistakes quickly and moving on, running and refining procedures, and ultimately demonstrating a new process in place in just a few days. You'll also read about top U.S. manufacturers who have successfully used the Kaizen Blitz to bring about radical, positive change. If your company is ready to achieve dramatic results by implementing new processes-not just proposed, but in place and functioning-in a matter of days, the Kaizen Blitz is the way to make it happen.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (February 22, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471246484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471246480
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,581,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By David C. Hogg on May 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Here's an easy-to-read guide to a powerful process that's driving waste out of North American companies. It's very timely and to the point as authors Laraia, Moody, and Hall, deliver a clear appreciation of what the `Kaizen Blitz' is and - most importantly - how to deploy it.
The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) has combined Kaizen, the Japanese word for `continuous improvement,' with 'blitz' meaning 'lightning fast' to present a term which appears to be contradictory. It works well as it conveys the sprit of 'rapid improvement' in the right context.
The 'Blitz' was developed by AME in 1994 around an accelerated 4-day format. What caught everyone's attention was the contrast between the Blitz format and the traditional formats for workshops or seminars. With the Kaizen Blitz you go with sleeves rolled up to 'make things happen' as you help implement solutions with a team in only 4 days. Typical results from actual Blitzes may yield productivity improvements in the 20-60% range, or setup time reductions in the 70-90% range with , process time reductions of 40-80%, inventory reductions of 30-70% and walking distance reductions of from 40-90%. The need for such improvements ensure long-term competiitve positions which makes this book a worthwhile addition by any operations leader.
The book provides an unvarnished understanding of what to expect when undertaking high speed improvement changes. The authors practice what they preach by keeping descriptions and discussions simple, practical, and too the point. The book contains a good blend of `how to' descriptions, backgrounds, checklists, and copies of the forms used to document and track performance throughout the Blitz.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Frank Papa on October 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Three contributers, three more "experts" trying to tell us how to do something that they have never done themselves.
A lot of references and notable people and companies are mentioned, but where is the real hands-on "How to do it?"
This book is a story book and should be classified as FICTION.
This trio are writers, not "Lean Manufacturing" implementers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As you probably know already, the word "kaizen" is a Japanese term meaning "to make better" with the implication that such effort should be continuous, indeed intensive and unrelenting. Since 1994, the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) has developed a series of educational initiatives known as the "Kaizen Blitz." In the Introduction to this volume, Jon Brodeur observes: "We think non-consultant-driven events -- training and on-the-floor work by the experts, the hands-on employees who have experienced the power of the Kaizen Blitz -- will continue to be a welcome addition to any organization's arsenal of improvement approaches. Small- and medium-sized companies can do it as well as larger ones and they may have an advantage if operations are small enough in scope to get their arms around." However, positive and significant results can only be achieved with an appropriate combination of leadership at its highest level, acceptance (indeed enthusiasm) throughout all other levels, and tenacious involvement about attaining 20 percent to 50 percent improvement (or greater) in performance in a short time and in narrowly targeted areas. The effective Kaizen process must be top-down, initiated and sustained by teamwork, and focused entirely on doing "whatever needs to be done" ASAP. The authors of this book explain both how and why.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Applies the concept of Kaizen, a Japanese word for "small step" or continuous improvement, in a unique way that involves an intensive, highly focused, low-tech initiative to improve process performance of a limited scope process. The book describes, in considerable detail, how this blitz can be achieved, zeroing-in on fixing the simple and obvious things. There is a lot of information about how to improve a product process in these pages.
The key to Kaizen is to rid a process of waste; the authors present a book that has no wasted or excessive verbiage. It is a well written and valuable work. Reviewed by Yvette Borcia, Managing Partner, Directory to HR and Business Management Information & Resources, Stern's CyberSpace SourceFinder, and Stern's Compensation and Benefits SourceFinder
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By raditya Agarwalla on December 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Did NOT help us run Kaizen events. An overview and story.
Author has never implemented Kaizen, only told about others' successes.
Not a "how to do it" book.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Bing J. Carbone on April 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I am the President of a 55-year old Plastics Distribution Company in Connecticut with 100 employees and this book, and the Kaizen methods we have employed, have had dramatic results. No, I take that back; remarkable, extraordinary results in a less than 8 weeks! And that's what the book does; show's you how to eliminate waste, remove any operation of "non-value", reduce lead-times, create a "lean-manufacturing" environment, with practical guidance of how to do this in a matter of days -not months or years. Tony Laraia is for sure, the King of Kaizen!
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