Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Kaizen concept to uplift productivity in small industries

Tanzania industries have been lagging behind in terms of production capacity and quality assurance due to lack of skills, a government official has stated. Speaking in an exclusive interview on Saturday last week in Dar es Salaam on the sidelines of a one day seminar organized by the Tanzania Kaizen Unit of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the principal trade officer for small industries, Jane Lyatuu said skills were an integral part of industrial development. “In order to attain competition capacity and improvement, industry stakeholders need to undergo training for capacity building to increase productivity in workplaces,” she stressed. Due to those problems, small scale industries need to adopt what she described as the ‘Kaizen model,’ a Japanese teaching concept of improving quality and productivity to strengthen manufacturing industries. The concept helps build up managerial skills among small and medium enterprises, a program introduced in the country in April this year. During the seminar, 200 public officers of the ministry, the College of Business Education (CBE) and the Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO) were taken through the concept. Kaizen is a three year program that runs with the support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in collaboration with the ministry.  Ms Lyatuu, who is among 15 qualified trainers for the program, cited lack of entrepreneurship skills among small scale operators as still a major impediment to the development of small industries. Eline Sikazwe, the director of industrial development in the ministry, said that in an effort to increase industrial investments in the country, Tanzania and Japan had agreed to adopt the Kaizen teaching methodology, a concept formalized in Japan with a view to increase productivity and industrial improvement. Since the introduction of this pragmatic approach it has proved to be effective, benefitting local companies with the support of national trainers. The concept underlines intensive training on emerging technologies and how to develop market potential, plus various techniques on how to increase knowledge capacity for better productivity. Since the inception of the project in April, a sensitization program for capacity building was initiated for civil servants in Dodoma and Morogoro regions, where trainers and   pilot enterprises officials shared experiences. Takao Kikuchi, a consultant with UNICO, a major consulting firm, said that the Japanese Kaizen program was directed at developing countries, and in Africa it has been developed for the last five years. He said the program was introduced in Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzani, with the Japanese government setting aside $ 3m (Sh. 4.8bn/-) to run the project in Tanzania for three years from April 2013.

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