In its efforts to embrace winning workplace strategies around the world, which are in line with Sharjah’s vision to enhance the efficiency of the Emirati workforce, younger generations in particular, and in keeping with the emirate’s future development plans, Sharjah for Capability Development (SCD) is pressing ahead with its philosophy to adopt global best practices to achieve continued growth and development.
The globally successful Lean Management Kaizen™ programme, which originated in Japan, was launched for the first time in Sharjah by SCD in collaboration with the Kaizen Institute last month, to further the emirate’s developmental goals by leading its workforce on a more dynamic and successful career path.
The programme was implemented in two phases, the first of which included a one-week theoretical course with the participation of 16 young Emirati leaders from various state entities, held at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
This was followed by an intensive practical training session titled ‘Kaizen Benchmark Tour’ during which participants travelled to the Japanese city of Nagoya for a week.
The benchmarking tour featured a visit to the nation’s biggest automobile manufacturer, Toyota’s manufacturing plant, which produces a car every four seconds, and included trips to the Toyota Museum, Convention Center, Nagoya Municipal Center, Nagoya Castle, Tokai Chennai Electronics, and GPS Factory and Museum. Through these field visits, the trainees gained insights into how Kaizen’s lean management principles and tools are applied by a diverse set of economic sectors to increase their efficiency, optimise time and costs, reduce waste, and introduce innovation to their production processes.
Here’s what some of the programme trainees had to say upon taking a closer look at the practical applications of Kaizen.
Abdullah Al Shehhi: Attention to details
Abdullah Al Shehhi, Head of Software Development at Sharjah Executive Council, said: “During our visit to the Toyota Plant, we met with the Director of the Quality Department who showed us how the manufacturing plant has used the Kaizen lean management programme to achieve spectacular results. We saw how intelligently they eliminate waste in their work processes and pay a great deal of attention to detail – aspects of work that have a direct impact on productivity and quality. If applied properly, Kaizen’s visionary methods and tools can greatly benefit our places of work too.”
Omar Afaneh: cleanliness saves factory from bankruptcy!
Omar Afaneh, Director General at Fast Building Contracting Company, said: “The tour was very important, especially the visit to Tokai Electronics Plant, which was about to declare bankruptcy but its precise and neat cleanness was the reason behind saving it from bankruptcy and achieving big profits. This was due to the precise and systematic method of hygiene, which led to prolong the life of equipment and machinery from six to 30 years, leading to reducing expenses and increasing profitability.”
Sara Al Midfa: Visit rich in information
Sara Al Midfa, Director of Accounting Section at Sharjah International Airport, said: “The two stages of the programme made our learning truly comprehensive. Theoretical understanding of Kaizen Lean Management followed by this visit was rich in information. Our learnings, if implemented properly, will offer a great boost to businesses in Sharjah.”
She added: “We learnt how to reduce waste and avoid mistakes by seeing the Kaizen philosophy in action in some of the biggest organisations in Japan, and saw how its principles effectively tackle issues of time and waste, and improve the overall work environment.”
Dina Al Nakhi: Kaizen philosophy enriches work and life
Dina Al Nakhi, Director of Quality and Corporate Excellence at Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), said: “As soon as we arrived in Japan, we began feeling the positive influence of the Kaizen theory in the Japanese community, staring from the way the airport staff conducted themselves while receiving visitors. Having visited this fascinating country, one realises that success truly lies in making simple improvements on a daily basis and that patience and innovation are some of the best incentives for a workforce. Most importantly, I learned that applications of the Kaizen philosophy is not only restricted to the workplace; it has the ability to truly enrich people’s lives.”
The Kaizen Programme is one of the most innovative programmes that help elevate the efficiency of workers, develop their abilities and inspire them to create new innovative methods that help achieve continued development in all business aspects at government and private organisations. It aims to reduce waste in time, effort and resources, and deal with challenges better through scientific methods and specific standards that proved success in many factories and companies.
Established in 2005, Sharjah for Capability Development is one of the four entities of the Rubu’ Qarn Foundation, which operates under the vision and leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Rubu’ Qarn Foundation. It is a membership-based community comprised of over 800 dedicated young members who contribute to the overall objectives of the organisation through suggestions, ideas, initiatives, activities and voluntary work. Their flagship program, Sharjah Leadership Program, has produced 380+ graduates – UAE nationals in the 25-35 years’ age group.