A Northwestern shop has made a strong commitment to kaizen, so much so that it devotes 5 percent of company time to continuous improvement activities. This has led to multiple ideas that have enabled the shop to become more efficient and effective.
Rachel Peterson is particularly active in the production area’s kaizen efforts. For example, she was involved
in a recent redesign of the shop’s fastener storage area, which uses a kanban system to maintain an adequate
supply of screws, bolts and so on. Each bin includes fasteners of a specific size as well as a resealable bag
with a kanban card and extra fasteners. Employees know to order fasteners whenever they first must take
some from the bag. At the end of each day, a person collects cards and orders the needed fasteners. Note
that each bin has a sample fastener attached to it for quicker bin identification.