What is it all about?

The term ‘Genba Kanri’ is the romanised translation of the Japanese term meaning:        Genba: the real place (‘gen’: ‘real’; ‘ba’, from ‘bamen’: ‘place’, ‘scene’, ‘situation’; i.e. ‘the actual spot’; ‘the precise location’. In a manufacturing company, ‘the place where the value is added’. Certain grammatical rules dictate that this may sometimes be pronounced alternatively as ‘gemba'.                         Kanri: ‘administration’; ‘control’; ‘management’ 

GK may be considered a 'professional approach' to undertaking all those things we need to do in terms of managing the day to day activities of our business, at operator, supervisor and manager level. This includes improving the 'status quo'

Today, no-one can afford to rest on their laurels, and we are all striving for improvement. The illustration left depicts the typical approach to improvement. We traditionally rely on innovation to achieve results – new products, new processes, new equipment. This tends to be unsettling, costs money, and often doesn’t meet expectations.

If, on the other hand, we start by making best use of what we already have, in terms of our human and physical resources, we are simply leveling up on best practice. ‘Good days’ become the norm. Expectations are first made explicit (e.g. quality standards) and then we have to figure out the best, easiest, safest way of meeting these expectations. Standardisation alone actually yields benefits* as the average performance improves! Once competencies are established, people can get on with it and apply kaizen for themselves.                                * benefits such as productivity up 10~15%;                    defects down by 90~95%

Why 'genba kanri'; why 'kaizen'? In a global economy we cannot be shy about adopting World Class practices! Survival is not compulsory!


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