Example of a Continuous-Improvement Firm (CIF)

Cannon's Suggestion System





9 Wastes To Be Eliminated and 6 Guidelines





Canon employees offer
around 50 improvement ideas per year per employee.






Waste Categories and
 9 Wastes To Be Eliminated

Work-in-process. Stocking items not immediately needed

Quality. Producing defective products.

Facilities. Having idle machinery and breakdowns, taking too long for setup.

Expenses. Overinvesting for required output.

Indirect labor. Excess personnel due to bad indirect labor system.

Talent: Employing people for jobs that can be mechanized or assigned to less skilled people.

Motion. Not working according to the best work standards.

Product Design. Producing products with more functions than necessary.

New-product run-up. Making a slow start in stabilizing the production of a new product.





6 Guidelines of the Canon's Suggestion System





① Always show a positive response to suggestions for improvement.


Continuous Improvement Culture




② Help workers to write easily and give them helpful suggestions about their work.


Deming's 14 Point Plan for TQM




③ Try to identify even the slightest inconvenience for the workers. (This requires very good superior-subordinate communication.)


Japanese-style Continuous Improvement Culture




④ Make the target very clear. Example: How many suggestions do we need this month? Which area (quality, delivery, manpower, etc.) do we need to work on now?


Competitive Advantage of Japanese and American Companies




⑤ Use competition and games to arouse interest, such as displaying individual achievement charts.


InnoBall simulation game




⑥ Implement accepted suggestions as soon as possible. Give awards before payday.


Kaizen Practices







Kaizen Time

In some Canon plants, the foremen are told to set aside the half-hour as Kaizen time time to do nothing but thinking improvement in the workshop.

The foremen use this period to identify problems and work on Kaizen programs.

Factories are advised not to hold meetings during this 30-minute period, and foremen should not even answer the telephone then.


Canon Production System (CPS)

5Ss at Canon

Cannon Creates a New Market Niche


Kaizen Mindset