Continuous improvement within an organisation
A Leyland Trucks case study

Page 1: Introduction

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Some business improvements involve a giant leap forward. An example of this would be the development of a revolutionary new product such as the bicycle or, more recently, the iPod or modern wind turbines to create green energy. However, of more importance to most businesses is ongoing small step improvement. This case study shows how Leyland Trucks continually makes improvements to everything it...
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Page 2: Continuous improvement, or Kaizen

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The Japanese term 'Kaizen' means continuous improvement. It comes from the words 'kai' continuous and 'zen' good or for the better. We use the term 'Kaizen event' for any action that is an improvement to an existing process. 'Kaizen' means continuous improvement. Kaizen events usually involve bringing together operators, managers and the owners of a particular event to discuss possible...
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Page 3: Setting and monitoring continuous improvement goals

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Businesses seek to 'measure what is measurable'. These measures are usually set out in what are referred to as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). In order to check on the success of continuous improvement, it is important to have a number of measures in place. In this way, the company can see where improvements have been made. In order to check on the success of continuous improvement, it is...
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Page 4: A culture for continuous improvement

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It is usually quite easy to get a feel for the culture of a company. For example, does the business look after customers? The culture at Leyland Trucks is based on trust. It involves everyone in the continuous improvement process. The company's culture relies on a set of values. A value is something that an organisation and its people believe in. Values determine the way we behave. Leyland's...
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Page 5: Continuous improvement in action

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Leyland Trucks has clear targets for continuous improvement and clear processes for building teams and encouraging involvement. Kaizen describes all those processes that involve Leyland's people in day-to-day small step improvement. 'The culture at Leyland in terms of the pride that the employees take in being the best is unique. A good example of this process occurred in May 2006 at the vehicle...
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Page 6: Conclusion

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Continuous improvement helps a business to keep ahead. It is a process that involves all employees within an organisation and is based on a culture of trust and empowerment. The results for Leyland Trucks in its full range of KPIs have been staggering. For example, in 2006, there have been: muliti-million pound savings resulting from Six Sigma a rise in on-time delivery to over 95% 10...
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