Using Tulip to run a Kaizen event

Kaizen is used as a tool in lean manufacturing, with the goal of eliminating waste by continuously improving standardized processes, equipment, and other procedures for carrying out daily production.

Translated from Japanese, the word “kaizen” translates to “changing something for the better.” It was made famous by the Toyota Production System (also known as TPS), where employees are required to stop the line if an abnormality arises (known as Jidoka) and, along with their supervisors, suggest an improvement.

Kaizen events, also known as Kaizen blitzes, usually take the form of a week-long workshop in which a facilitator guides a Kaizen team in improving an area.

Tulip’s app editor and analytics can help you conduct your Kaizen event and sustain continuous improvement efforts beyond the event. Here, we’ve gathered some of our favorite ways to use Tulip for Kaizen events.

6 Ways to use Tulip to conduct your Kaizen event:

1. Guide users step-by-step through the Kaizen event using a Tulip app

You can create a Kaizen event app to digitally guide your team through each part of the Kaizen event. This app guides the team through each part of the agenda through interactive exercises. You can document your findings throughout the process within the app, and since Tulip saves data automatically, you’ll have a record of every Kaizen event you conduct using the app.

Tulip’s no-code platform means that the app is completely customizable, so you can create a specific process for each area of your shop floor. And since Tulip is cloud-based, it’s easy to update your app and make sure your Kaizen process remains standardized across your factory.

Screenshot of a Kaizen event app

2. Guide users through root cause analysis using the Fishbone Analysis app

The Fishbone Diagram, also known as the Ishikawa Diagram, is a visual technique for problem-solving used for causal analysis. It aids people in identifying potential causes of a problem and is an especially helpful brainstorming tool when problem-solving is blocked and little quantitative data is available.

We’ve also built a fishbone analysis app on Tulip that lets you run the exercise digitally, customize the diagram to your shop floor, collect defect information, and create analytics based on root cause issues.

Screenshot of Fishbone diagram app

3. Identify areas for improvement

As your team identifies areas of improvement, you can log and photograph them in the Kaizen app using interactive forms. Tulip saves this data automatically, so you don’t need to worry about tracking your Kaizen events on pen and paper and losing your valuable data.

With a comprehensive record of all of your Kaizen exercises, you can gain visibility into the problems that are identified and improvements that have been implemented over time.

Screenshot of line clearance application with digital log

4. Assign action items

Your Kaizen app can also allow your employees to assign and track action items to improve the Kaizen area. Doing so not only encourages them to take ownership over improvement efforts in their work areas and increases engagement, it can also promote accountability among employees.

Screenshot of Kaizen event action items

5. Gain visibility and track progress with analytics

Tulip collects data from your shop-floor employees, machines, and tools as they perform their tasks, so you can get an accurate view of production and quality metrics such as production rate, defect and scrap rate as well as defect causes, and process timing such as process and step cycle times. With this data in hand, you can conduct analyses into the effects of your continuous improvement efforts over time by using Tulip’s real-time analytics tools.

You can embed analytics into your app to create a dashboard of your Kaizen progress over time and monitor progress by area and criteria. Tracking key metrics regularly can help sustain a culture of continuous improvement well beyond the Kaizen event.

Tulip analytics dashboard on a laptop

6. Digitize your standard work and train employees on new processes

Digitizing your standard work using Tulip apps is a great way to implement the improvements you’ve identified during your Kaizen event and train your employees on new processes. Tulip is a powerful tool when it comes to standardizing and measuring operations for continuous improvement.

Not only do these apps collect production data as your employees use them, providing valuable visibility into the KPIs that will help you measure improvement and the success of your Kaizen efforts, but you can easily update them to reflect suggestions from your Kaizen event. Since Tulip is cloud-based, any changes you make to your apps will automatically be reflected across your factory to ensure that your processes are always up-to-date.

Tulip app editor on a laptop

For more resources to help you achieve continuous improvement in your factory, check out our Ultimate Guide to Kaizen.