Planning for quality and productivity
A Nissan case study

Page 7: Kaizen

Nissan is famously associated with 'Kaizen' or continuous quality improvement. Nissan states: 'We will not be restricted by the existing way of doing things. We will continuously seek improvements in all our actions.'

Kaizen can be applied everywhere, any time, any place. It can involve the smallest change in everyday working practice as well as a major change in production technology. Typically these improvements are initiated by teams of employees sitting down together and sharing ideas for improvements. Small steady changes are maintained to make sure that they actually work. No improvement is too small. Everyone at Nissan is responsible for thinking about the current way of doing a job and finding a better way of doing things.

Kaizen improvements can save:

  • money
  • time
  • materials
  • labour effort

as well as improving quality, safety, job satisfaction, and productivity.

Kaizen permeates the NMUK suggestion scheme, which offers not financial or individual rewards but items that benefits the whole team e.g. a microwave for the staff kitchen, a pool table for the canteen.

Nissan | Planning for quality and productivity

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