Business Improvement Techniques

Beware!   It is very easy to misled into carrying out a Kaizen Event or a Rapid Improvement Event or preparing a Value Stream Map before you start to implement business improvement techniques in your organisation!

Different 'experts' may convince you that their philosophies for change are better than any other, but many of these philosophies contain the same tools or techniques, which are emphasised in slightly different ways.

The key to implementing business improvement techniques, successfully, is to consider the whole organisation as a complex system and to apply improvements to the business as a whole.   At Manufacturing Awareness Limited, we can help you pick just the 'right' tools or techniques for your organisation.   If you would like to know more, please contact us

Some of the current philosophies are:


Lean, or Lean Thinking - has been around for over 20 years.   Some organisations have achieved significant improvements to their productivity, or profitability through implementing lean, but others have unfortunately failed to gain any benefits mainly because they have implemented changes in a piecemeal manner.   Based on the Toyota Production System, one of the major principles of implementing lean is to involve and empower people - an important element that is often forgotten!

The principles of lean apply to every organisation in every sector.

Theory of Constraints

TOC is a management philosophy aimed at improving the whole organisation, based on three measures.    Throughput is the rate at which money is generated by the system;   Inventory is all the money the organisation invests in purchasing the things that it intends to process; and Operating Expense is all the money the organisation spends turning Inventory in to Throughput.  

TOC helps to identify the constraint of the system - the area where service improvement techniques should be applied.  It applies to every sector from education to healthcare and local government to manufacturing!


Six Sigma

Six-Sigma is a whole company management philosophy which identifies and removes the causes of defects and variation.  

Using total quality management and statistical methods, each six-sigma project follows a defined methodology and has quantified financial targets.  

A six-sigma organisation aims to achieve less than 3.4 parts per million rejects.

Six sigma applies to every sector and can be applied from manufacturing mobile telephones to testing blood samples