1. Introduction

Regardless of ideologies and political positions on the part of the current rulers, the efficient administration of resources by the State and its departments is essential for the achievement of the objectives they have in their reason behind.

Thus, and as in any other type of organization, it is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve excellence without strategic plans that imply in the first instance the setting of values, missions, visions, and long-term objectives. Although this may vary depending on the party in power, certain long-term state policies, products of consensus, are fundamental plans that make feasible a harmonious functioning of the State and a continuous improvement in the quality of life of its inhabitants.

Leaving the administration of State resources and services and its various agencies in the hands of career specialists is the first point to consider to make effective use of them. Having a good planning, budgeting, and control system (both internal and management) is another aspect to take into account when trying to improve the functioning of government agencies.

Since the fundamental objective of the State must be to improve its operation day by day to achieve, with the least possible use of resources, constantly increase the levels of satisfaction of its citizens, it is necessary to implement a system that applies continuous improvement to its decision-making processes. and services make possible higher levels of productivity, quality, costs, flexibility, and delivery.

Just as a private company cannot produce goods that are not required or desired by consumers, neither should the State produce services or development activities that are not required by the population. For this, an opinion poll system or even more so a consultation system is of fundamental importance, without neglecting the proactive functions that the State must develop, anticipating and creating the conditions for the achievement of changes in the social, economic, and cultural framework.

Entering the 21st century, the State must assume the challenge of better managing all its resources, making possible the economic growth that enables the human development of its citizens. Achieving this requires improving the knowledge of its members through continuous training, applying and improving the systems for decision-making, planning and budgeting, control of both collections and expenses and the application of all those tools and instruments that management science and techniques make available to organizations today.

This monograph aims to expose the application of various management tools within the framework of Kaizen to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of public administration. Its application or not will respond to political and sectoral interests, and ultimately to the prevailing values ​​in society and the ethical concept of both the rulers and the bureaucrats responsible for State management.


2. Planning as a fundamental basis

Determining the values ​​is essential as a step before any decision-making since these must be adopted considering said values. They are generally exposed in the Magna Carta or Constitution of each State. The importance assigned to full employment, education, health, old age, ecology, freedom, and security, among others, will be the central elements around which State administrators must make their decisions to make them feasible, at the lowest cost, with the highest quality and greater citizen satisfaction.

That same constitution also exposes the fundamental vision of the supreme objectives that society must achieve in the long term. For this reason, the Constitution as a living element must adapt to the needs of the times.

But in addition to these values ​​and visions, there are those of the governments in power, values, ​​and visions of their ideologies and political expressions, which must be adapted to those of the Constitution, in such a way as to achieve sufficient consensus among the entire population in those fundamental aspects, those that make up the shared vision of all its members and that allow its members and society as a whole to fill with life and achievements.

Thinking about the mission of the State is something fundamentally highlighted within the Supreme Charter, but there will be other aspects that each government in power can adopt and adapt to the prevailing circumstances. An analysis of the environment, an understanding of the evolution of economic and social indicators in recent years and the coming years, and a projection of where it is going to be and where it wants to go will determine the policies and decisions necessary to cover the said gap.

The most important resource that the State manages is time. Yes, time as you just read it. It is the time of its citizens, the time they lose due to incorrect policies, erroneous and/or untimely measures, and due to the lack of will to improve compliance with the State’s obligations daily.

Planning must include both strategic, tactical, and operational aspects, the latter serving as the basis for the preparation of the respective budgets. Within this framework, the implementation of the Zero Base Budget is especially important, a fundamental tool to continuously achieve the most efficient use of resources. Instead of taking the items from the previous economic or fiscal year and expanding it (depending on projected inflation, and future works and services, those responsible for the different areas must analyze the needs of the various expenses, objectives, and benefits derived from them. obtained, and the most productive and economical way to achieve it, having to justify each one of the budgeted amounts before the superior entities of the organization.

An effective way of control is to inform all citizens via the Internet of the confirmation of the budgets before and after their approval.

Of course, the existence of budgets that are then not respected will be of no use, for this it is necessary the existence of Courts with Judges and Prosecutors especially destined to control and judge the legality of the expenses. These prosecutors will have under them specialists in charge of investigation and control tasks. Among its fundamental tasks will be to verify the correct functioning of the principles of internal control and opposition.

In the same way that there are specialized courts in civil, commercial, or criminal matters, there should be courts specially designed to control and judge compliance with both legal regulations and budgetary regulations. Although there are courts of accounts, their ways of acting protect the politicians on duty. It is necessary to provide these courts with the independence and security that an entity of such importance and magnitude has for society.

3. Benchmarking

The application of this tool is of utmost importance within the process of continuous improvement. Although in private matters it is a tool with restrictions due to fear on the part of potential partners, the same is not the case at the public level where different countries are willing to show their activities and processes to be applied later by the developers of the project. benchmarking.

In this way, and taking into account cultural, historical, and psychosocial patterns, it is possible to adopt and adapt processes from those countries that are considered leaders in different areas, be they education, security, prison services, health (first aid services, aid, hospitals, disaster care, vaccination, and prevention plans, among others), sports development, social security, and employment systems, among many others, including the administrative-bureaucratic processes typical of official organizations.

For this purpose, for better coordination and follow-up in the achievement of the objectives, the existence of a Benchmarking Office is necessary. It should be noted that not only should other States or state entities be subject to benchmarking (either the municipality of one country about another, but also between municipalities of the same country), but also with other private organizations (such as a public hospital about a private one).

4. Outsourcing

In this search for the fundamental missions of the State, those services must be detected that, although the State must guarantee, can also be carried out more efficiently by private companies. Such can be the cases of garbage collection and treatment, computer services, and a large number of services of which government offices are users or consumers.

This would allow a significant release of resources, not only monetary but also time that, instead of being used for planning these services, can be used to cover more pressing tasks and objectives.

5. Training

If, at a private level, many managers and employees are completely unaware of what tools and instruments such as Quality Circles, Total Quality Management, Statistical Process Control, Problem Solving, and Decision-Making systems are and how they work, the Total Productive Maintenance, the suggestion system, the Balanced Scorecard and Just in Time among many others, what can be said or delimited about what is happening at the state level.

A total lack of training and improvement prevails among the officials and employees of the Latin American agencies, with a few exceptions. This gives rise to terrible levels in terms of quality, control, planning, prevention, and citizen satisfaction.

If, at the private level, it is considered that private organizations in central countries use four times more space than necessary, two times more labor than necessary, and ten times more time than required to complete the cycles, what can be said of organizations public corresponding to countries that are not central.

An impressive number of employees who contribute nothing, and who consume the scarce resources of these countries, only reinforce the vicious circle of poverty. Political clientelism, added to the high unemployment rates, piles up huge masses of individuals in official offices with very poor salaries and hinders the activities of private companies with their useless rules and in many cases corrupt decisions. Of course, within these Kafkaesque organizations, which organizationally resemble gigantic pyramids, are the bureaucrats and politicians who amass huge fortunes from corruption and disorder. In addition, these extensive and heavy bureaucracies prevent or slow down the decisions that the highest powers of the State make from the top of the cusp.

It is necessary to train State officials and employees both in Quality Circles, as well as in suggestion systems, computer use, basic statistics, Statistical Process Control, continuous improvement, teamwork, quality, productivity, and change management among many other necessary issues for people who have entered the twenty-first century and want better living standards.

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In addition, this training will serve to achieve, within a medium-term plan, transferring personnel from public to private activity, for which a clear change is essential, both culturally and motivationally.


6. Organizational structure

Government organizational structures respond to the philosophies, paradigms, management systems, and environments of what Alvin Tofler defines as the Second Wave. Thus, structures with numerous levels, a high level of formalism, high centralization in decision-making, high division of labor, and departmentalization lead to slow organizations, with multiple duplications of missions and activities, lack of efficient communication and information, and labor underutilized and poorly motivated.

The events of September 11 in the United States marked, and in the first world power, the high degrees of structural inefficiency. Multiple organizations that fulfilled similar or the same functions and objectives, with very high budgets, did not share their information, nor did they effectively carry out the tasks for which they had been created.

The new times marked by communication and computing, which make up what is called the Third Wave, are not compatible with this type of organizational structure. A staff with more training and higher expectations requires more enriched and extensive tasks, with greater autonomy. The classic stereotype of the bureaucrat who is in charge of stamping forms is unaware of its raison d’être and the rest of the process, is characteristic of organizations that underuse their resources, also causing long waiting times and prolonged periods in their processes.

Flat structures, with wider spans of control, will significantly improve efficiency, reducing costs and providing higher levels of satisfaction to society.

Bureaucrats and politicians tend to preserve the organizational structures of the past as a result of their interests and/or their outdated paradigms. Failure to correct such a situation will condemn not only public agencies but also the entire nation to failure. In a globalized and increasingly competitive world, Soviet-style structures have fallen under their weight and inefficiency. Weberian structures tend to be revamped. The Anglo-Saxon countries, like Japan and other Southeast Asian countries, tend to profound changes and a process of continuous improvement that leads to lower levels of waste of resources.

Latin American countries, especially Spanish-speaking ones, have a strong bureaucratic and formalistic culture typical of cultural heritage. Restructuring mentally is essential for these countries, so as not to see the State as if it were the sun or the stars, the State is the product of man and the objective is to organize it in such a way that it provides its reason for existence in the best possible way. be.

The rapid evolution of the world no longer resists organisms that do not strategically and functionally accompany these changes. In Marxist terms, the State as a superstructure is opposing or holding back the evolution of the economic infrastructure.

7. Applying the kaizen

Applying kaizen in any organization requires strong cultural changes and much more if it is the State. The need to be more effective and efficient, the search for greater satisfaction on the part of the user or citizen, faster response times, and higher levels of quality in services requires a deepening of work ethics.

In a private company, an important motivation for the change in the mentality of managers and workers is simply survival. In a market economy, only the most competitive companies survive in the medium and long term. Not surviving means losing jobs. However, as in the public administrations of many countries, jobs are guaranteed and they have a monopoly on services, it does not matter to them whether or not to improve civil servants and workers. To achieve greater motivation, it must be necessary to end job security, making many of them compete via outsourcing services. On the other hand, the payment of supplements based on savings should be a way of motivating the optimization of resources.

Kaizen works around three aspects: the elimination of waste (mudas), standardization, and the 5 “S”. Enabling the development of these objectives requires the implementation of the Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) systems, Total Quality Management (TQM), Just in Time (JIT), the deployment of policies, the activity of small groups and the suggestion system.

8. Thinking and working on the issue of waste

The seven big wastes defined from the JIT analyses are:

  1. overproduction
  2. inventories
  3. prosecutions
  4. you wait
  5. Repairs, reprocessing, and scrap products
  6. movements
  7. Transportation

For each of these points, an indefinite number of examples can be given that are given every day in public bodies. Files that move slowly from office to office and many times require repetition of routes (waiting times); large inventories of inputs (drugs, stationery, construction) that consume physical space, labor, costly and inefficient control processes, material handling, custody, degradation, and financial resources, are the cause of waste in inventories; duplicate and inefficient procedure designs, excessive specialization, among others, cause processing waste; Lack of planning and training, as well as evaluation motivated by low levels of prevention, cause high costs in repairs, reprocessing, discarded products and even lawsuits for poor performance; absence of ergonomic studies originate low levels of productivity in the labor force; the overproduction of unnecessary elements and products or services leads to high levels of waste.

The excessive and unproductive use of resources, be they financial, material, human, and the most costly of all time, originate multimillion-dollar levels of waste that largely explain the high state deficits.

The implementation of suggestion systems and working groups, aimed at improving quality and productivity, reducing costs and cycle times, and concentrating attention on seedlings (waste in Japanese) is a daily task. Not a single day should go by without concrete analysis and improvements. Failure to do so leads to continued degradation of the procedures, people, and organizations of which they are a part.

In a society that does not accept inflation as a methodology to cover the deficits of the State, only a more efficient use of resources will allow it to fulfill its mission effectively. The waste or squandering of resources sooner or later ends up paying for more debt and less economic growth.

The slowness in government decisions and practices does not correspond to the speed of the information age. At a time when quick decisions must be made in terms of safety and environmental protection, any decision out of time causes significant damage to the environment.

9. The 5 S’s

The 5 “S” is a phenomenal tool or procedure consisting of:

  1. Separate the necessary from the unnecessary. This allows numerous positive results, the following being worth mentioning: a) Saving of physical space; b) Detect lost elements, tools, or documentation; c) Detect seedlings (waste) and classifying them; d) Recycle items for various uses; and e) Generates a larger workspace for the development of tasks.
  2. About what is necessary to locate and order it in such a way as to achieve its easier detection. A place for everything and everything in its place is a clear way of defining this second point. In this way the loss of elements is avoided, its easier detection reducing search times.
  3. Cleaning of the workplace, including machines and equipment. It generates a more pleasant, motivating, and safe place to carry out activities. Also contributing to better maintenance of facilities and machines.
  4. Personal hygiene and use of necessary elements (eg gloves, protective glasses, helmets). Produces greater motivation in employees, reducing the levels of accidents and illnesses; produces a better image both internally and externally.
  5. Discipline, repeating the previous steps over and over again. Consistent in maintaining and improving the levels of order, care, cleanliness, and safety, thereby contributing to improving the self-esteem of the staff.

10. Standardization

It implies the documentation of the best practices in carrying out productive and administrative processes. In public administrations, without a doubt, there is an excess of standardization, but they do not represent the best practices in themselves, in addition to not being subject to a continuous improvement process. Standardization within the kaizen philosophy implies a level that must be overcome to achieve new standards. In this continuous improvement process, what is called the Deming Circle is used, consisting of Plan – Do – Evaluate – Act (PDEA). This process should not be carried out by different areas of the organizations, but each one of them must carry it out in its entirety.

Before proceeding with the improvement of the processes, it is necessary to standardize them. This is done through the process called SPEA (Standardize – Perform – Evaluate – Act). Once the process is under control, it can be thought of improving it to reduce its completion or response times or deadlines, reduce its levels of failures and dissatisfaction, and improve productivity and cost levels.

11. Applying Statistical Process Control

The application of Statistical Process Control is essential for both improving quality levels, as well as achieving better productivity and lower costs, as well as monitoring satisfaction levels. Not knowing the difference between variations due to random or natural causes and those due to special or attributable causes leads to making big mistakes in decision-making. The analyses to be carried out and the actions to be applied are not the same if the variations depend on one cause or another.

The use of this management tool, coordinated through the use of the Balanced Scorecard, is at this time of fundamental importance to achieve better performance. While these tools did not exist, only Management and Budgetary Controls were used. Today that they can be used, but not using them is nonsense. It implies, among other things, not knowing where one is standing, nor where efforts are being directed.

12. The 80/20 Rule

This Rule, discovered by the Italian sociologist and economist Vilfredo Pareto, and rediscovered and expanded in its applications by the quality specialist J. Juran, implies the existence of an approximate relationship in more or less, which assigns importance to a few factors or causes. transcendental, and to many causes or motives of trivial or inconsequential importance. It should be noted that the fact that a few are less important should not imply not making them the object of treatment, it is simply a matter of achieving faster and cheaper results by attacking those causes that generate most of the failures, dissatisfactions, diseconomies, and unproductivity.

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The application of the 80/20 Rule should not only be used to improve quality, reduce costs, reduce accidents and response times, and increase productivity levels, through what is called the Pareto Diagram but also has a crucial importance when setting strategies and action policies that will allow more efficient use of resources.

Thus, in the field of education, it has been proven that after the teaching process, whether in private life or at work, people make use of 80% of the 20% of the subjects studied. This leads to a) Allocating more hours to matters of greater specific weight; and b) Specialize teaching in such a way that students receive more training in those aspects that, according to their future specialization, require more learning time and dedication.

In the field of tax collection and controls, it implies concentrating the collection and monitoring systems on those taxpayers who concentrate the revenue capacity. 20% of taxpayers generate approximately 80% of the collection, and an equal percentage also generates most of the evasion. Controlling small taxpayers is a waste of resources, inspecting and managing a large base of taxpayers who generate few resources and are not the cause of most evasion.

The same form of reasoning can and should be applied in matters of safety, health, accidents, and transport, among many others.

Thus, if the main health problems and the most important causes that motivate them are statistically identified, resources can be allocated to prevention, which will drastically reduce the subsequent costs of reactive corrections. This not only reduces health care costs but also improves the quality of life of the population. Thus, if in a certain area, the main disease is Chagas disease, and the fundamental cause is the houses in which the residents who contract said disease live, the policy to be applied apart from the fumigation of the vinchuca must consist of improving the quality of the houses. Acting in such a way will reduce the main reason for diseases, having to proceed with the prevention of the remaining diseases systematically

Applying this rule implies concentrating energy, time, and resources, more efficiently, achieving faster and more forceful results.

13. Activity analysis

Analyzing the activities implies in terms of public bodies, distinguishing between activities that generate added value for taxpayers or citizens, those that generate added value for the administration, and those that do not generate any added value.

Analysis should be concentrated in such a way as to accumulate most of the resources in those activities and processes that are useful for society, reducing support activities to a minimum, and systematically eliminating those that do not generate any added value.

The services of consultants and specialists in Operations Management, Industrial Engineering, and Organization and Methods, are of great importance to properly analyze the activities and processes, evaluate their levels of effectiveness, as well as efficiency, and compare them with the benchmarks of other civil or private organizations.

14. Conclusion: The search for absolute zeros.

Although achieving absolute zeros is impossible, achieving fewer and fewer failures per million opportunities, obtaining increasingly reduced waiting times or responses, using less paper every day, and minimizing repairs and accidents, is not a solution. utopia and it must be an established objective as state policy.

In public administration, the goal of zero paper implies faster procedures, papers that are not lost, and minimizing the time for handling, transferring, copying, archiving, space, and searching for different documentation. This produces less: time, personnel, space, energy, and inputs; Ultimately, it leads to a significant reduction in costs or expenses. Those released resources can and should be used for more necessary and priority uses.

  1. Annex – The main Kaizen systems

The following are the main systems that must be properly established, to achieve the success of a Kaizen strategy.

  • Total Quality Control / Total Quality Management
  • A just-in-time production system
  • total productive maintenance
  • policy deployment
  • A suggestion system
  • small group activities

Total Quality Management (TQM)

The objective pursued by Total Quality Management is to achieve a process of continuous quality improvement through better knowledge and control of the entire system (product or service design, suppliers, materials, distribution, information, etc.) so that the product received by consumers is constantly in correct conditions for use (zero quality defects), in addition to improving all internal processes in such a way as to produce goods without defects the first time, implying the elimination of waste to reduce costs, improve all internal processes and procedures, attention to customers and suppliers, delivery times and after-sales services.

Quality Management involves all sectors, it is as important to produce the item that consumers want and produce them without faults and at the lowest cost, as to deliver them promptly serve customers correctly, invoice without errors, and not produce pollution. Just as the quality of the inputs is important and for this the aim is to reduce the number of suppliers (reach one per line of inputs) to ensure quality (avoiding the costs of quantity and quality verification), fair delivery on time, and the amount requested; thus, the quality of labor is also important (a labor force without sufficient knowledge or not suitable for the task will imply costs due to lack of productivity, high turnover, and training costs).

Quality is no less important in areas such as Credit and Collections. The quality of this is essential for the continuity of the company. It is of little use to produce good products and sell them if later there are difficulties in the collection or these are made at a high cost.

Quality and productivity are two sides of the same coin. Everything that contributes to enhancing quality has a positive impact on the company’s productivity. The moment the quality is improved, the cost of the guarantee to the customer decreases, as well as the expenses of revision and maintenance. If you start by doing things right, the costs of technical studies and the provision of machines and tools also decrease, while the company increases the trust and loyalty of customers.

Two factors tend to reduce costs with quality control:

  1. The part of the production that was previously discarded is salable.
  2. Production can be increased using the same equipment.

Let’s think about what happens when we drive a car on a bad road. We have to slow down, while on a well-paved highway, you can go faster. That’s how it is, but you have to experience the enhancement to truly understand it. Quality control can do wonders for a company, and the success of many Japanese products attests to this fact.

Mechanization deals with things, while specialization deals with human resources. The effective combination of people and things is the responsibility of management. We can have similar facilities and similar people, but depending on how we address these two factors, the results can be quite different. Two companies can manufacture the same type of products, with practically identical facilities and equipment and with a similar number of workers. According to the company, however, the finished products can be quite different in terms of quality, cost, and productivity.

John Heldt, a consultant to companies on Quality Cost systems, said: “Reducing the cost of poor quality will increase your overall profit more than doubling sales.” And he added: “Most companies spend more than three times what they make on poor quality. Cut your cost of poor quality in half and at least double your profits”

The Just-in-Time Production System

The just-in-time production system is oriented towards the elimination of activities of all kinds that do not add value and the achievement of an agile and sufficiently flexible production system that accommodates fluctuations in customer orders.

The main objectives of Just in Time are:

  1. Attack the causes of the main problems
  2. eliminate waste
  3. Search for simplicity
  4. Design systems to identify problems

JIT techniques apply not only to the manufacturing industry but also to the service industry. Consider, for example, a bank. Let’s focus on the issue of the form, traditional entities produce the same batches with the costs of stock of inputs, stock of printed forms at Headquarters and Branches, and destruction due to humidity and handling, to this must be added loss caused by regulatory changes or marketing that invalidate existing ones and transportation costs. To this must be added the costs of orders consisting of carrying out counts, integration of order forms, accounting of expenses by branch, preparation of orders, and the physical and shelf space necessary in the Warehouse and Branches. Applying the concept of JIT there are several alternatives, from a CD with the model forms sent from the Headquarters to the Branches so that they print them as their use is necessary, or the printing of forms via Intranet. And in the last case, if there are no appropriate computer systems, use the Kanban system (each block of forms or spare parts is accompanied by a transport Kanban which is sent to Head Office once the block or ream is finished, House Upon receiving the same, the Central sends a new block to the Branch with the transport Kanban and sends the production Kanban of the block sent to the printer so that they can proceed to print the replacement block, this is feasible by reducing the preparation times in the rota prim.

Among the waste incurred in the production process, we have:

  • overproduction
  • Waste of machine time
  • The waste involved in transporting units
  • waste in processing
  • Waste in taking inventory
  • waste of moves
  • Waste in the form of defective units

“Overproduction is the central enemy that leads to waste in other areas”

On the other hand, it is necessary to mention the waste produced by the additional work due to:

  • Poor product design
  • Poor manufacturing methods
  • Poor management, and
  • The incompetence of the workers

Among the advantages of Just in Time, we have:

  • Shortening of delivery time
  • Reduced time spent on non-processing jobs
  • reduced inventory
  • Better balance between different processes
  • problem clarification

Just in Time promotes the effects of increasing productivity levels and reducing waste levels:

  • The combination of U sections
  • The versatility of the workers (through worker rotation, the control of the effectiveness of the rotations is carried out by calculating the polyvalence rate)
  • The versatility of the machines (through the SMED system, which reduces preparation times).
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Although in Japan the JIT system was and is an urgent need as a result of its scarcity of physical spaces and raw materials, in Argentina the scarcity of capital and the high financial costs make its use imperative. The physical space also needs to be taken care of, especially in areas with high land prices, high rental costs, or the cost of building and maintaining large warehouses, as well as the high cost of administration, handling, transportation, control, and security of inventories of inputs and finished products. Storage is an activity that does not add value, it only consumes resources.

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

While TQM emphasizes the improvement of overall management performance and quality. TPM focuses on improving the quality of equipment. TPM tries to maximize the efficiency of the equipment through a total system of preventive maintenance that covers the life of the equipment.

Through TPM, the aim is to rationalize the management of the equipment that integrates the production processes, so that their performance and the productivity of such systems can be optimized. To do this, it focuses on certain objectives and applies the appropriate means.

The objectives are what are called the six big losses. All of them are directly or indirectly related to the equipment, and of course give rise to reductions in the efficiency of the production system, in three fundamental aspects:

  • Downtime or stoppage of the production system
  • Operation at a speed lower than the capacity of the equipment
  • Defective products or malfunctioning operations on a piece of equipment

The means used by the TPM are the different management systems that have allowed the implementation of adequate maintenance, both at the level of design and the operation of the equipment, to alleviate as much as possible the losses of the production systems that may be related with the same these are the fundamental aspects:

  • Basic maintenance and prevention of breakdowns are carried out from the workstation itself and therefore by the operator himself.
  • Optimized preventive and corrective maintenance management.
  • Complete and continuous conservation of the equipment and consequent increase in its life.
  • Beyond conservation, it will try to improve the equipment, its operation, and its performance.
  • Appropriate training for production and maintenance personnel on equipment, its operation, and maintenance.

The TPM represents a new concept of maintenance management, which tries to ensure that it is carried out by all employees and at all levels through activities in small groups. This implies:

  • Participation of all personnel, from senior management to plant operators. Include every one of them to successfully reach the goal.
  • Creation of a corporate culture aimed at obtaining maximum efficiency in the production system and team management. It is what is disclosed as the objective: GLOBAL EFFICIENCY: Production + Team Management
  • Implementation of a production plant management system that facilitates the elimination of losses before they occur and achieves the objectives of Zero Defects – Zero Breakdowns – Zero Accidents
  • Implementation of preventive maintenance as a basic means to achieve the goal of zero losses through integrated activities in small workgroups and supported by the support provided by autonomous maintenance.
  • Application of management systems to all aspects of production, including design and development, sales, and management.

The six great losses of the teams

Dead and empty times 

  1. breakdowns
  2. Equipment preparation and adjustment times

process speed losses

  1. reduced speed operation
  2. Empty time and short stops

Defective products and processes

  1. Quality defects and rework
  2. Startup

All these aspects are not only typical of industrial companies but also of service providers, such as transport, banks, sanatoriums, and energy distributors, among others.

Let’s think of simpler cases: the cost of stationery and ink (or toner) due to a malfunction of photocopiers or printers, added to the cost that these supplies have today.

Thus we have that the TPM implies:

  • Operators participate in preventive maintenance, they are trained in the internal operation of their machines and take responsibility for there being no stoppages due to breakdowns.
  • Diagnose the malfunction in advance, before a shutdown occurs.
  • That all maintenance stoppages and all purchases of spare parts be foreseen and programmed. Zero stoppages due to breakdowns and a minimum inventory of spare parts.

The TPM requires the following:

  1. A suitable computer program to capture figures, trends, and comments about the maintenance history of each machine.
  2. That the operating personnel is trained in the internal functioning of the machines they manage and is capable of diagnosing their problems while in operation, by perceptible symptoms by hearing, sight, touch, and smell.
  3. What procedures are available so that the operator can ask for and receive immediate help when he needs consultation about a new symptom of the machine?
  4. That there are agenda lists, generated by the computer or manually, that indicate in advance when the wearing parts must be replaced.
  5. That the operator has a “SEIKETSU Team”, with everything necessary to fix small details that allow the machine to always be kept in perfect condition.

The main thing ordered by the TPM is that there is no maintenance engineer or technician who considers it impossible to schedule maintenance work to the point of achieving zero unforeseen stoppages. We must banish the attitude of living in expectation of breakdowns. The TPM technique requires continuous monitoring of any symptom to diagnose early; this consists of knowing that the machine has problems before it stops. For this, the operators must be perfectly trained in the internal functioning of the machines.

policy deployment

Management must set clear objectives to guide each person and ensure that they provide leadership for all kaizen activities directed toward achieving the objectives. Senior management must devise a long-term strategy, detailed in medium-term strategies and annual strategies. Top management must have a plan to deploy the strategy and pass it down through subsequent levels of management until it reaches the production floor.

The Suggestion System

The suggestion system functions as an integral part of individual-oriented kaizen, emphasizing the benefits of raising morale through positive employee engagement. This is not expected to reap large economic benefits from each suggestion. The primary goal is to develop self-disciplined, kaizen-minded employees.

Small Group Activities

A Kaizen strategy includes small group activities that are organized within the company to carry out specific tasks in a work environment. They not only deal with issues related to quality, but also related to costs, productivity, and safety, among others. In any company, leaving aside its size and activity, it is possible and necessary to promote this type of activity aimed at achieving better teamwork and obtaining interaction between its components to improve the organization’s standards. It must always be kept in mind that “ there is no commitment without participation ”.


Statistical process control (SPC) is a statistical technique, widely used, to ensure that processes meet standards. All processes are subject to certain degrees of variability, for this reason, it is necessary to distinguish between variations due to natural causes and due to attributable causes, developing a simple but effective tool to separate them: the control chart.

Statistical process control is used to measure the performance of a process. A process is said to be operating under statistical control when the only causes of variation are common (natural) causes. The process, first of all, must be controlled statistically, detecting and eliminating the special (attributable) causes of variation. Subsequently, its operation can be predicted and its ability to meet consumer expectations can be determined. The objective of a process control system is to provide a statistical signal when attributable causes of variation appear. A signal of this type can advance the taking of adequate measures to eliminate these attributable causes.

Natural variations affect all production processes and are always to be expected. Natural variations are the different sources of variation in a process that is under statistical control. They behave like a constant system of random causes. Although their values ​​are all different, as a group they form a sample that can be described by a distribution. When these distributions are normal, they are characterized by two parameters. These parameters are:

  • The mean of the central tendency
  • standard deviation

As long as the distribution (output precision) stays within the specified limits, the process is said to be “in control”, and small variations are tolerated.

Variations attributable to a process are usually due to specific causes. Factors such as machine wear, ill-adjusted equipment, fatigued or under-trained workers, as well as new batches of raw materials, are potential sources of attributable variances.

Natural and attributable variances present two separate tasks to the operations manager. The first is to ensure that the process will have only natural variations, thus operating under control. The second is obviously to identify and eliminate attributable variations so that the process can remain under control.

Statistical process control is a means by which an operator or manager can determine whether a process produces outputs that conform to specifications and whether it is likely to continue to do so. It achieves this by measuring key parameters of a small sample of outputs generated at intervals while the process is running.

This information can be used as a basis for making adjustments to the inputs to the process, or to the process itself if necessary, to avoid producing out-of-specification outputs.

Producing close-to-specification items may be acceptable today, but any targeted variance from face value can lead to rejects and rework down the pipeline. Variations in face value can also cause significant problems because of the interdependence of components in complex products. The CEP allows companies to constantly improve process performance to reduce variations in outputs. This ability to reduce variances from face value can provide clear competitive advantages and can enable higher prices to be charged for products.


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  • IMAI, Masaaki. Kaizen. The key to the Japanese competitive advantage – CECSA – 1999
  • DEMING, W. Edwards. The New Economy – Díaz de Santos – 1997
  • LEFCOVICH, Mauricio . Kaizen. Continuous improvement applied to quality, productivity, and cost reduction – www.monografias.com – 2003
  • LEFCOVICH, Mauricio . Kaizen applied to administrative – bureaucratic processes and activities – www.monografias.com – 2003
  • LEFCOVICH, Mauricio . Kaizen. Philosophy – Culture and Ethics of Continuous Improvement – www.monografiass.com – 2003