Kaizen Implementation in Textile and Garment Industry

Last Updated on 28/10/2021

Implementation of Kaizen System in Textile and Garment Industry

Govind Amilkanthwar
Dept. of Textile Technology
SGGS College, Nanded, Maharashtra, India
Email: amilkanthwargovind@gmail.com


Any organization can expect consistent improvement only if it can develop the work culture in such a way that their employees are delegated with some authority to identify and resolve problems. Kaizen emphasize that each and every basic rule of the organization should be communicated to all the employees. The clear cut establishment of methods and rules can very well be felt in the kaizen-type improvement process implemented organization.

We’ll look at Kaizen by answering three questions: What is Kaizen? What are the benefits of Kaizen? What do you need to do to get started using Kaizen principles? And implementation of kaizen in Textile and Apparel Industry. Kaizen is one of the powerful tools of lean manufacturing. Kaizen refers to continuous improvement in performance, cost and quality. Kaizen is a system that involves every employee – from upper management to the jobber. Everyone is encouraged to come up with small improvement suggestions on a regular basis. This is not a once a month or once a year activity. It is continuous. It involves setting standards and then continually improving those standards. To support the higher standards Kaizen also involves providing the training, materials and supervision that is needed for employees to achieve the higher standards and maintain their ability to meet those standards on an on-going basis.

Kaizen merges work and process improvement without increasing cost because diverse teams of contributors, including direct operators, follow a strict discipline to design a precise choreography of people, equipment, materials and information flow that is devoid of waste. The improved flow achieves delightful success and is sustained through consistent leadership and visual controls. With no requirement for huge investment, it is a low-cost approach to productivity and quality improvement.

In 1950 to 1960 they took the concept of Quality Philosophy from American specialist Dr. Edward Deming and Dr. Joseph Juran. And by using this philosophy they developed their process and achieved unbelievable success in industries which we called KAIZEN. Japanese people gives more stress on process other than results so, kaizen is process oriented system other than result oriented.

KAIZEN philosophy is not only related with our professional life it is related with our social as well as personal life related with improvements in it. Depending upon this, kaizen in Japan became a daily routine of their peoples life and they ever forgotten that they are not doing anything different than world. This leaded Japanese market from market of raw material to producers of high quality products which are wonderable.

continuous improvement of Kaizen

Kaizen system is increasingly applied to textile and garment manufacturing. Kaizen is a system that merges work and process improvement without increasing the cost. Kaizen involves every employee e from upper management to the jobber e and each individual is encouraged to come up with small improvement suggestions on a regular basis.

There are two ways of improvement:

  1. By investigating big things changing the situation.
  2. By doing continuous small- small changes in current situation.

Japanese use the second concept of continuous improvement of current process called kaizen. Kaizen tells us don’t waste ever your a day without improving wherever possible. This leaded the Japanese people in discipline, importance of time, skill and quality.

What is “Kaizen”?
KAIZEN is a Japanese word which consist of two terms i.e. KAI means “CHANGE” and ZEN means “GOOD”. So over all KAIZEN means “Changes done for better improvement in a management system of companies”. In simple manner KAIZEN means continuous improvement by including all members, Higher authorities, Managers, Workers and each and everyone related to it with practical implementation of ideas.

Kaizen is a systematic approach to gradual, orderly, and continuous movement. Improvement in manufacturing can be in any form such as reduction of inventory and defective parts. One of the most important tools of Kaizen is the 5S, that is, Sort, Set in order/ Straighten, Shine, Standardize/ Systemize, and Sustain.

Kaizen refers to a series of activities through which waste sources are eliminated one at a time, for minimal cost, by workers pooling their wisdom and understanding of the work, thus increasing efficiency in an effective timely manner.

KAIZEN implementation starts with sensation of problem, Understanding of that problem. If there is not sensation of problem then no question of solving or improving it. KAIZEN is the process of solving problems and solving each problem means leading one step ahead. And to make this improvement constant we have to standardize the improved situations.

Kaizen Vs Western Management:

       Kaizen Management      Western Management
  1. It is process-oriented management.
  2. It is related with improving process.
  3. It has gradualist approach.
  4. It is undramatic and subtle.
  5. It is continuous and gradual process.
  6. Involvement of everybody
  1. It is result oriented process.
  2. It is related with innovation.
  3. It has great leap forward approach.
  4. It is dramatic & a real attention getter.
  5. It is generally one shot phenomena.
  6. Involvement of selected few champions

Kaizen – A Necessity for the Textile Industry:
Kaizen can be implemented in the textile and garment industry by improving every aspect of business process in a step by step approach, while gradually developing employee skills through training and increased involvement.

kaizen, problem solving, respect, trust

The principles are:

  1. Human resources are the most important company asset
  2. Process must evolve by gradual improvement rather than radical changes
  3. Improvement must be based on evaluation of process performance
  4. By practicing Kaizen culture, managers demonstrate commitment to quality. Also, the workers with adequate support from managers become a major source of improvement.
  5. Kaizen system is simple, but their implications are far reaching. These can be in the area of Productivity, Quality, Cost, Delivery, Safety & Morale of Employees i.e.; PQCDSM.
  6. It is continuous process.

You may also like: Lean Management in Textile and Apparel Industry

Some basic rules should take in to consideration:
Develop a vision of the future. Having defined what is happening now a future state map is created which defines what should be happening if the world was perfect.

  1. Involve everyone: For a blitz to work everyone has to be involved. This may mean shutting down a line or a department for the duration of the event.
  2. Prepare the group: It is essential that everyone involved is trained in how to perform a blitz.
  3. Plan for success: Choosing the right target for a blitz is also critical. The event must be built for success particularly if it’s the first one. Choose something that will have a big impact on the people as well as the organization.
  4. Keep the kaizen training to what is actually needed for the event: It makes absolutely zero sense to go into the details of a SMED system (Single Minute Exchange of Dies) if your event has no change-over as an obstacle to improvement.
  5. Provide the kaizen training at the right time: Many kaizen event training programs spend valuable training time the first day teaching how to complete a report out on Friday.
  6. Properly scale the scope of kaizen event.
  7. Keep your kaizen goals simple: Many times a kaizen event will put a long list of targets or goals on the team to accomplish, productivity, cycle time, 5-S, floor space, quality, etc. All these goals are noble and beneficial however they may leave a team running in too many directions. Pick one goal to focus your kaizen team.
  8. Pick the right lean tool for the job and use it well: There are plenty of lean tools to choose for kaizen activities so your must determine the right tool and use it well.
  9. Go to gemba and stay there the entire week: With the exception of your Monday morning training and eating lunch, your kaizen team must remain in the kaizen area the entire week. Meeting and the final report out were conducted at gemba.
  10. Speak with data: Hearsay or opinions have no place in a blitz. Decisions to make changes are made based on real hard data gained from the current state.

kaizen basic rules

Some more about KAIZEN:

  • KAIZEN’s area is not only continuous improvement but it is bigger than that.
  • Kaizen means confidence on unlimited power of imagination in the human and implementation of it.
  • KAIZEN tells us not to adjust the conditions to improve the conditions.
  • In KAIZEN there is not specific time for solving problem. It should be minimum as possible.
  • While implemention of KAIZEN it is important to utilize some values and following guidance principles.
  • We have to consider current process worst and try to make it better using KAIZEN.
  • KAIZEN is series of small-small improvements in which less technology, less cost are used which causes tremendous improvements in quality and process.
  • KAIZEN is not “Brian Storming” but it is “Try Storming”.

Kaizen Event Process Steps:

Kaizen Event Process Steps

Step 1: Identifying Current Situation

  • Crucial first step in process improvement.
  • Deep understanding of the existing processes and dependencies.
  • Identify all the activities currently involved in developing a new product.
  • Observe the process first hand.
  • Identify Value Added (VA), Non-Value Added Required (NVA-R), and Non-Value Added (NVA).
  • Generally creates more questions than answers.

Step 2: Planning and Preparation

  • Identify the correct area in the organization that requires the immediate kaizen implementation of rapid improvement event.
  • After identifying the most appropriate production, administrative or a specific segment in the workplace, the focus should be given in particular to “waste elimination” issue prevailing in that department for implementing the kaizen event.
  • After identifying the problematic area, the managers have to build a cross-functional team of employees.
  • Prior to the training, the entire team should be completely aware of the organization’s rapid improvement process and given appropriate training on the process.
  • The duration of kaizen events varies from one day to seven days, depending on the length of the process involved and depth of the problem.

Step 3: Implementation of Kaizen

  • The first and foremost work of the team is to identify and clearly understand the “current state” of the targeted process.
  • This would give the team members a common and a clear picture of problem that they are aiming to solve.
  • Five Whys: Toyota designed and followed a method of asking “why” five times and answering them one by one to make someone to understand the root cause of a problem step by step.
  • Value Stream Mapping: Non-value-adding elements in the targeted process can be easily eliminated through this process.
  • The team members would raise queries on the aim of the process, and clearly observe the wastes, reasons for waste and analyze it.
  • The most appealing and fruitful ideas are selected and suggested for implementation.

Step 4: Follow up

  • This is the very important phase in the kaizen event as this ensures that the improvements are consistent and not just for time being.
  • On completion of kaizen event, the team members should keep track of performance as a routine in terms of metrics measures to record the gains.
  • In general the follow up kaizen events are conducted in 30 to 90 days after the first kaizen event in aim of assessing the performance and locate the follow-up changes that should undertaken to maintain the consistency in performance and development.
  • Normally targeted process employees are requested for feedback and ideas.

kaizen improvement

Step 5: 5s

  • 5s uses visual control methods of maintaining an efficient workspace where problems are
  • Clearly and easily identified.
  • The 5s stands for sort, stabilize, shine, standardize and sustain. Sorting is keeping what only is needed in the area.
  • Stabilizing is identifying a particular place for each item so every person can find them, use them and return them to the correct place.
  • Shining focuses on cleaning the work area and keeping it clean.
  • Standardizing is the routine of maintaining the previous steps.
  • Sustaining is using self discipline to enforce the entire system.

Technology Used for Implementation of KAIZEN:

It is Japanese word which means Non-value adding things which are obstacle in a continuous process and it can stop the process. In KAIZEN we have to eliminate muda. In short muda means production beyond requirement. It is an important tool of kaizen implementation.

It includes:

  • Unnecessary storage of goods
  • Wastage of time
  • Transportation
  • Stoppage of work
  • Unnecessary movements of product
  • Rejection, Scrap and revised work.

muda climination

It means difference, things which occurs irregularly or irregulation in process. In KAIZEN we eliminate Mura.

It includes:

  • Irregular occurring events
  • Things occurring at some fixed place
  • Things happening with some fixed humans
  • When one side is true and another one is wrong.

It means Stress, Tension and Difficulties in a process. In KAIZEN we eliminate or try to reduce muri.

It includes:

  • Bending while working in a process
  • Require more energy while working
  • Picking more weight while working
  • Doing unnecessary movements
  • Repeating things.

To eliminate above three things we require one more terminology that is “MIS”. The meaning of this Japanese word is “Curious observation and Care”. We think of these three things in GEMBA kaizen and try to reduce or eliminate them in consecutive process while approaching towards problem.

GEMBA Kaizen:
The meaning of this Japanese word is GEM means “Real” and BA means “Place”. It is focused improvement.

GEMBA Kaizen

It includes:

  • Making of group including members of all department
  • Deciding specific period (4 to 5 days)
  • ZERO investment
  • Using Deming cycle

In GEMBA kaizen we have to go at the real place where problem is occurring. And according to rules we have to arrange Pre-workshop day, making groups, managing day wise activities like Collecting data, Analyzing data, Confirm diagnosed data experimentally, Start implementing countermeasure, Implementation and presentation and Post workshop day.

It works with three steps Plan, Do and Check & Action.

gembakaizen workshop

Advantages of KAIZEN in Textile and Garment Industry:

  1. Continuous improvement.
  2. People learn from their mistakes.
  3. People find ways to make things better.
  4. Goods and services also improve over time.
  5. Leads to improved morale, better products, and satisfied customers and reduced cost.
  6. Improves quality.
  7. Increases efficiency.
  8. Improves customer satisfaction.
  9. Value can be added using kaizen in service industries.
  10. Applies to all non-manufacturing fields.
  11. Tools specifically adapted for this purpose.


  1. Kaizen – The key to Japan’s Competitive Success- By Masaaki Imai
  2. Muktpith magazine of Sakal dated on November 2006
  3. Continuous Process Improvement –By Richard Y Chang
  4. Garment Manufacturing Technology Edited by Rajkishore Nayak and Rajiv Padhye
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizen

You may also like:

  1. Lean Management in Textile and Apparel Industry
  2. Application of Lean Manufacturing in Garment Industry
  3. Lean Manufacturing Process in Apparel Industry
  4. Lean Manufacturing: Principles, Goals, Advantages in Apparel Industry
  5. Lean Manufacturing Process – An Overview
  6. 5 Basic Elements of Lean Manufacturing Process
  7. Module & Responsibility of Industrial Engineering Department for Apparel Production
  8. Improving Productivity of Garment Industry with Line Balancing
  9. Study on Effect of Applying Industrial Engineering Tools in Sewing Section
  10. Study on the Execution of Industrial Engineering Tools in Apparel Industry

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1 thought on “Kaizen Implementation in Textile and Garment Industry”

  1. I am a Japanese consultant of international cooperation.
    I am look for consultants like Mr. Mazharul Islam Kiron, who is working as a textile consultant in several local and international companies, seeming that he has lots of knowldege and specialist in the field of Kaizen, lean management, Toyota Production System, etc.
    Is Mr. Mazharu working in Pakistan Company in some cities in Pakistan?
    I would like to contact with him.
    Thank you very much for your cooperation in advance.
    I am looking forward to hearing from you, Mr.Mazharu


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