Efficiency Improvement:


Japanese-style Suggestion System

Three Stages and Main Subjects


Suggestion Systems: American-style vs. Japanese-style

According to the Japan Human Relations Association, the Japanese-style suggestion system stresses the morale boosting benefits of positive employee participation, while the American-style suggestion system stresses the suggestion's economic benefits and provides economic incentives.

Kaizen Mindset

Kaizen: 5 Principles

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 Culture: 8 Key Elements





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

Implementing Kaizen: 7 Conditions


Canon's Suggestion System

Fun4Biz Suggestion System