The Japanese term for improvement; continuing improvement involving everyone—managers and workers. In manufacturing, kaizen relates to finding and eliminating waste in machinery, labor, or production methods. See: continuous process improvement.

Kaizen blitz(SM)
A rapid improvement of a limited process area, for example, a production cell. Part of the improvement team consists of workers in that area. The objectives are to use innovative thinking to eliminate non-value-added work and to immediately implement the changes within a week or less. Ownership of the improvement by the area work team and the development of the team’s problem-solving skills are additional benefits. See: kaizen event.

Kaizen event
A time-boxed set of activities carried out by the cell team during the week of cell implementation. The kaizen event is an implementation arm of a lean manufacturing program. See: kaizen blitz.

A method of Just-in-Time production that uses standard containers or lot sizes with a single card attached to each. It is a pull system in which work centers signal with a card that they wish to withdraw parts from feeding operations or suppliers. The Japanese word kanban, loosely translated, means card, billboard, or sign but other signaling devices such as colored golf balls have also been used. The term is often used synonymously for the specific scheduling system developed and used by the Toyota Corporation in Japan. See: move card, production card, synchronized production.

A form of cooperative relationship among companies in Japan where the companies largely remain legally and economically independent, even though they work closely in various ways such as sole sourcing and financial backing. A member of a keiretsu generally owns a limited amount of stock in other member companies. A keiretsu generally forms around a bank and a trading company but “distribution” (supply chain) keiretsus exist linking companies from raw material suppliers to retailers.

1) The components of a parent item that have been pulled from stock and readied for movement to a production area. 2) A group of repair parts to be shipped with an order. Syn: kitted material, staged material.

Kitted material
Syn: kit.

The process of constructing and staging kits.

Knowledge-based system
A computer program that employs knowledge of the structure of relations and reasoning rules to solve problems by generating new knowledge from the relationships about the subject.

Knowledge creation
The propensity for generating knowledge.

Knowledge management
Concept of information being used by executives, managers, and employees to more effectively produce product, interface with customers, and navigate through competitive markets.

Knowledge worker
A worker whose job is the accumulation, transfer, validation, analysis, and creation of information.


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