Efficiency Improvement:


Japanese-style Suggestion System

Three Stages and Main Subjects


Source of Information: Japan Human Relations Association



"If you're not getting better, you're getting worse."

~ Pat Riley

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Continuous Improvement Firm (CIF): Kaizen, Lean Manufacturing, Suggestion Systems, TQM


Suggestion Systems: American-style vs. Japanese-style

The American-style suggestion system stresses the suggestion's economic benefits and provides economic incentives.


The Japanese-style suggestion system stresses the morale boosting benefits of positive employee participation.

Three Stages of the Suggestion System

1. Encouragement. In the first stage, management should make every effort to help the workers provide suggestions, no matter how primitive, for the betterment of the worker's job and the workshop. This will help the workers look at the way they are doing their jobs.

2. Education. In the second stage, management should stress employee education so that employees can provide better suggestions. In order for the workers to provide better suggestions, they should be equipped to analyze problems and the environment. This requires education.

3. Efficiency. Only in the third stage, after the workers are both interested and educated, should management be concerned with the economic impact of the suggestions.

You'll encounter difficulties if you try to skip stages one and two and move straight to the third stage.

Kaizen Strategy: 7 Conditions for Successful Implementation

Main Subjects for Suggestions

In order of importance:

  1. Improvement in one's own work

  2. Savings in energy, material, and other resources

  3. Improvement in the working environment

  4. Improvements in machines and processes

  5. Improvements in jigs and tools

  6. Improvements in office work

  7. Improvements in product quality

  8. Ideas for new products

  9. Customer services and customers relations

  10. Others

According to the Japan Human Relations Association, most of the suggestions that have economic impact come from groups, while individual-based suggestions serve as morale boosters and educational experiences.

Areas Targeted by TQM in Japan


Continuous Improvement Firm (CIF): Kaizen, Lean Manufacturing, Suggestion Systems, TQM, Best Practices

Suggestion Systems

Canon's Suggestion System

Fun4Biz Suggestion System


Kaizen Mindset

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Quick and Easy Kaizen

Kaizen Culture

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Lean Production

The Toyota Way: 14 Principles

7 Principles of Toyota Production System (TPS)

5 Elements of Enabling a Lean Approach

3 Broad Types of Waste

7 Wastes



Continuous Improvement Firm (CIF)

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10 Commandments of Improvement

Toyota Problem Solving Techniques

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Kaizen and Kaikaku

10 Kaikaku Commandments

Kaizen and Innovation

Quality Management

8 Rules for Quality Management

Kaizen and Total Quality Management

Deming's 14 Point Plan for TQM

14 Slogans for TQM at Pentel, Japan

STRIDES a Model for Solving Complex Problems

Great Problem Solver