Jan 23 2013
It used to take 34 steps to open a checking account at Great Western Bank.
This article is focused on improvement done at Great Western Bank, a regional bank with 200 locations and 1,600 employees, inspired by similar work done at mid-size manufacturers Raven Industries and Daktronics, and contractor Muth Electric.
The improvements seem substantial. The article otherwise contains a few minor eyebrow raisers that, to be fair, may be due to misunderstandings by the reporter.
The subtitle describes Kaizen as a “Japanese method,” but later explains that “the work is done in Kaizen events,…” Kaizen events are an American method and unknown in Japan. And what is implemented through Kaizen events is not Kaizen as understood in Japan.
“Kaizen is considered the building block of lean production…” Well, I can think of a few other building blocks.
“… the resulting strategies are implemented […] within days of the event.” Kaizen events don’t just identify strategies, but changes implemented primarily during the event itself, not in the days that follow.