Asian culture has had a significant impact on the rest of the world. Other cultures have learned and adopted many words frequently used in our daily languages related to martial arts, religion, or food.
Within the business environment, Japan has contributed greatly to the language of business with numerous concepts that represent continuous improvement tools (kaizen tools) and with production philosophies such as just-in-time. Just-in-time (JIT) philosophy is also known as lean manufacturing. In this first chapter, both of these production philosophies will be discussed.
Another important philosophy that will be studied in this book is the concept developed by a Japanese consultant named Kobayashi. This concept is based on a methodology of 20 keys leading business on a course of continuous improvement (kaizen). These 20 keys also will be presented in this chapter.
Finally, in this introductory chapter the production core elements will be presented in order to focus on improvement actions. In addition, a resource rate to measure improvement results is also explained.
Continuous improvement is a management philosophy based on employees' suggestions. It was developed in the United States at the end of the nineteenth century. Nevertheless, some of the most important improvements took place when this idea or philosophy arrived in Japan. Japan was already using tools such as quality circles, so when Japanese managers combined these ...