By Gene Russell, Manex President and CEO

Kaizen is a system of “improvement” and “self-changing” and refers to practices that focus upon continuous improvement of processes in manufacturing.

Kaizen is a system that involves every employee – from upper management to the cleaning crew. Everyone is encouraged to come up with small improvement suggestions on a regular basis.

Kaizen involves setting standards and then continually improving those standards. To support the higher standards, Kaizen also involves providing the training, materials and supervision that is needed for employees to achieve the higher standards and maintain their ability to meet those standards on an on-going basis.

Continuous Improvement

Kaizen can quickly impact your bottom line in the following ways:

  • Improve Visual Controls
  • Eliminate Clutter > Reduce/Eliminate Waste
  • Implement Standardized Work > Improve Material and Information Flow
  • Organize Tools and Fixtures > Reduce Setup and Change Over Times
  • Create Repeatable Processes
  • Reduce Floor Space
  • Improve Company Morale
  • Reduce/Eliminate Overtime
  • Train Team Members to Identify and Eliminate Waste
  • Improve Communication
  • Foster Team Environment
  • Quickly Impact the Bottom Line

A significant obstacle to Kaizen in many corporations is that problems are negatives. In Kaizen, problems are opportunities to improve and with Kaizen we want to find, report, and fix problems. Kaizen encourages and rewards the identification of problems by all employees.

Kaizen reduces waste in areas such as inventory, waiting times, transportation, worker motion, employee skills, over production, excess quality and processes.


Kaizen Improves space utilization, product quality, use of capital, communications, production capacity and employee retention.

Kaizen Provides immediate results by continually making small improvements that improve processes and reduce waste.


Manex’s Kaizen program is a phenomenal hands-on, onsite workshop to help improve your operation and production activities and often has immediate and measurable ROI.

Typically, many Kaizen ideas can be implemented quickly using the Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) methodology. The PDCA methodology is used to drive continuous improvement in Lean. The cycle assures the continuity of Kaizen to maintain and improve standards.

Manex projects result in more than 600% ROI – that’s a $6 return for every $1 dollar invested. For more information, contact Manex at 925.807.5100 or email


About the Author

Gene Russell is President and CEO of Manex and has over 30 years of senior executive strategic planning, operational management, and consulting experience in the manufacturing and technology sectors. With his extensive knowledge of manufacturing operations, he has developed and implemented key strategic initiatives for companies, allowing them to improve performance and achieve profitable growth.