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Automotive Academy and Ford team up to use Kaizen best practice

The Automotive Academy and Ford has teamed up in the UK to share best practices around quality and productivity-improvements for manufacturing and assembly plants.

The Academy is working with Ford's six ‘Sigma’ teams to teach the Japanese philosophy of ‘Kaizen’ to thousands of Ford employees at its UK facilities.

Kaizen is the philosophy and practice of continuous improvement.

Ford said: “Alongside other quality and productivity actions, the principles embodied in the Kaizen approach are regarded as an important element in further enhancing quality and productivity at Ford facilities.”

Skills and training experts from the Automotive Academy's south east office and human resources, manufacturing and training executives from Ford's Swaythling Transit Plant near Southampton have spent nearly six months jointly developing the latest programme. A pilot programme has already been successfully running at Ford’s Southampton plant and will be progressively rolled out to Ford facilities in Dagenham, Leamington Spa and Daventry.

“Partnering with the Academy to further improve awareness of the Kaizen process will ensure our employees have the skills necessary to continuously improve our cost, quality and productivity performance,” said Trevor Negus, manager at Ford's Southampton plant.

The Kaizen method consists of five founding elements:

1. Teamwork
2. Personal discipline
3. Improved moral
4. Quality circles
5. Suggestions for improvement

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