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KAIZEN, Japanese word for "change for the better" is helping to transform the face of MSME manufacturing in Ghana

Step 1 - Enterprise Diagnosis

Under enterprise diagnosis we address the challenges/strengths of MSMEs and make recommendations based on our analysis for improvement.

Enterprise Diagnosis is a tool used to:

> Assess the current status of the enterprise
> Identify gaps and opportunities to improve the enterprise
>Based on these findings, improvement activities (KAIZEN) are recommended

The steps for Enterprise Diagnosis are:

1. Visit enterprises, conduct interviews and collect needed data
2. Observe activities at the enterprise
3. Study the documents and data using various assessment techniques such as SWOT analysis and the radar chart
4. Identify improvement (KAIZEN) activities and prepare an enterprise diagnosis report
5. Discuss enterprise diagnosis report with the enterprise owner or management and finalize improvement (KAIZEN) activities

Step 2 - KAIZEN

KAIZEN is based on making little changes on a regular basis which involves improving quality, productivity, safety and effectiveness while reducing waste.

KAIZEN principles are:

> Elimination of all kinds of waste
> Shortening lead time
> Providing the best quality at a lower cost
> Developing the best work standards

Examples of KAIZEN methods are:

> Promotion of 5S
> Layout optimization/improvement
> Process improvement/time reduction
> Quality improvement/quality assurance
> Cost reduction
> Accounting/Management improvement
> Elimination of waste in conveyance and motion
> Elimination of waste in accumulation
> Visual control
> Multi-skill development/standardization of work
> Inventory control

Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA): It is important to implement KAIZEN activities on a regular basis on the strategy of PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) with focus on eliminating waste, visually displaying the production plan, progress status and guiding the workers towards continuous improvement by repeating the PDCA cycle.

5S: 5S is the name of a workplace improvement method that uses a list of five Japanese words which all start with S:

1. Sorting (Seiri)
2. Setting-in-Order (Seiton)
3. Shining and Sweeping (Seiso)
4. Standardizing (Seiketsu)
5. Sustaining the Practice (Shitsuke)

The benefits of 5S includes:
1. Reduction of lost time
2. Reduction of machine failure
3. Reduction of time for material delivery
4. Reduction of searching time for tools

7 Wastes (Muda):One popular method of KAIZEN is the elimination of 7 types of waste (muda) to achieve efficient and rational production. It ensures that an enterprise simply produces only what is necessary at the right time and helps to visualize the production to enable an enterprise plan and monitor its operations effectively.

The 7 wastes KAIZEN aims to eliminate are:
1. Overproduction
2. Waste of waiting
3. Waste in transportation
4. Waste in processing
5. Waste of inventory
6. Waste of motion
7. Defects

Step 3 - Follow Up

The final step in KAIZEN is continuous follow up on the activities of beneficiary enterprises.
In partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency
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