The KAIZEN mindset in the BETAGRO culture
Originally, the company had started its own KAIZEN activities, but the Strategy Deployment Project made the results visible, so the company created a reporting venue for the results. Named TPm Champion, this is the venue for presentations and for the competition for the title of best department. The event is expanding with the number of participants rising every year: 500 persons participated in 2013, and this year, there were a thousand participants.
With regard to the TPm Champion, Mr. Taepaisitphongse says, "The KAIZEN activities are positive for the day-to-day business, but difficult activities are not sustained for long. If there is a venue for announcing tangible results, the activities are also worth doing, so I thought it might increase motivation."
Mr. Taepaisitphongse provides both the initiative and the ideas. He asked the 2013 champions to use manga or video instead of the conventional PowerPoint slides for the in-house presentations. In the department that manufacturers blood cakes by clotting chicken blood, which used to be destroyed, he uses the Pan Cake character, named after a famous Thai actress, and promotes it to raise its profile within the company.
Mr. Taepaisitphongse himself also enjoys the character, saying, "I think the Pan Cake character has been very effective. It is already widely recognized within the company, and since there are plans for the character to appear in a movie at this year's competition, everyone will want to participate. I believe that the KAIZEN mindset and the improvement activities will take hold in the consciousness of staff members through the Strategy Deployment Project. Launched in 2006 and supported by JMAC up to 2012, the Strategy Deployment Project has powered itself and added layers of ingenuity until it is now part of the DNA of the BETAGRO culture.
The activities shared through company newsletter in BETAGRO
Cultivating the KAIZEN mind set to aim for further growth
The Strategy Deployment Project has cultivated a KAIZEN mindset base at the company. Since 2007, senior consultant Takanori Kondo has also provided assistance aimed at reinforcing BPR, HR system reforms, branding, and BCP. Since 2012, senior consultants Masatoshi Matsuda and Toshio Nagai have preempted enterprise resource planning (ERP) by helping define the ideal situation of the company and develop company's overall strategies as well as individual business strategies.
Evaluating the activities since 2000, Mr. Taepaisitphongse says, "In the past we have had advice from Western consultants and well-known university professors, but what sets JMAC apart is that they promote projects tailored to the current situation, and they add variations that are suited to the style of BETAGRO. They simplified theories and tools so that everyone could easily understand, and I believe this is linked to the results. Above all, I felt that the JMAC commitment to achieving the targets was amazing."
He also narrates an anecdote. "I am particularly fond of visual management. For some projects it was necessary to interview the customers, but Mr. Kondo summarized the content of the interview in a one-page report and handed it in on the day. Since the staff member in charge accompanied Mr. Kondo to the interview, the event was extremely useful from the perspective of employee education."
Hiroaki Katsuta, the CEO of JMAC Thailand, which continues to provide local support, comments, "Top management is committed to the activities of the Strategy Deployment Project, nurturing robust information exchanges, and making decisions quickly in a way that could teach Japanese companies a lot."
The company is growing not only in Europe and Japan, but also in the ASEAN region. The thinking is that "business does not take priority, but the first step is to make friends. By helping other corporations to improve, you make friends, and as a result, you also create business links." Looking to what the future holds for BETAGRO, Mr. Taepaisitphongse says, "The mentality my father valued was 'to survive'. I believe that BETAGRO is now a strong company that must leverage its survival and the company's knowledge on behalf of our customers and society." The steady advance of growth at BETAGRO will continue with 'this unshakeable axis' and the cultivated KAIZEN mindset.
* Note 1: The Strategy Deployment Project is a method referred to as TP management at the JMA Group. BETAGRO refers to TPm to make a distinction from TPM (Total Productive Maintenance), which the company has already introduced.
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