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[Practices] Management Innovation: A Six-Sigma Culture

The divinity of Six Sigma: Data won't lie.

Toshiba pioneered Management Innovation (MI) based on the core methodology of Six Sigma. Our MI program is a major initiative that seeks to achieve excellence in global business by utilizing tried and tested Six Sigma Methodology. Our goal is on creating a customer-centric and data-driven corporate culture that rigorously strives to increase customer satisfaction and create and add value for our parent company by continuously improving our development processes through innovative development of new products and services driven by the vision and mission of our parent company, Toshiba Corporation, Japan.

Toshiba's MI program has continuously leveraged the principles of Six Sigma- DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control) method to improve existing products, processes and services for the benefit of our parent company.

By adapting MI, we have been able to reduce the overall support from our parent's company and counterparts.

Standing firmly committed to the tenets of Six Sigma, we have made the data-driven decision making environment of Six Sigma the professional goal of every individual in our organisation. It can lead to profound changes in an organization's culture - in its beliefs and behaviours accepted as normal.

In a Six Sigma-rated work culture, knowledge of processes and the power of Six Sigma to create a culture of continuous improvement lie in the many ways work processes can be constantly improved and enhanced, by educating our employees in new ways of understanding processes and solving problems consistently.

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[Processes] KAIZEN

Striving for continuous improvement is always better than aiming at delayed perfection.

'Kaizen is a process of continuous improvement in quality, technology, processes, company culture, productivity, safety and leadership'.
Change is always gradual, constant and necessary. Change may be induced, self-driven or speculative; and no matter what, if it has been thought about, it should be considered for implementation.
This is in very close accordance with a philosophical approach which dictates, 'Do your best, and leave the rest'.

Created in Japan, following the World War II, Kaizen means 'continuous improvement'. It comes from the Japanese words ("kai") which means 'to change' or 'to correct' and ("zen") which means 'good'. It even includes social activities, and is a concept that can be applied in every aspect of a person's life.

Kaizen involves setting standards and then continually improving those standards. To help set higher standards, Kaizen also includes training, materials and supervision needed for employees to achieve the higher standards and maintain their ability to meet those standards consistently.

If analysed in a holistic perspective, KAIZEN serves several benefits, like:

  • Minimum Waste: Kaizen reduces waste in areas such as inventory, waiting times, transportation, worker movement, employee skills, over-production, excess quality and other processes.
  • Maximum Utilisation: Kaizen improves space utilization, product quality and use of capital, communications, production capacity and employee retention.
  • Immediate Results: Kaizen provides immediate results. Instead of focusing on large, capital-intensive improvements, Kaizen focuses on creative investments that continually solve large numbers of small problems. While large capital projects and major changes will still be needed, Kaizen will also improve the capital projects process, but the real power of Kaizen is in the on-going process of continually making small improvements that will improve processes and reduce waste.

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