Home Lifestyle Kaizen begins on the shop floor and extends to the living room

Kaizen begins on the shop floor and extends to the living room


TVS Motor Company in Hosur encourages its employees to take this quality-management philosophy home, and this approach is reportedly bearing fruits during the pandemic

B.C. Vijay Mohan and his family are perpetually on the alert against the novel Coronavirus. At the gate, a plastic tray filled with neem water greets visitors. It is actually waiting out there to receive the milk packet.

“It’s an easy way to disinfect the milk packet before it is let into the kitchen,” explains Mohan and credits his wife for the sanitisation idea.

The pandemic has led the family to take home-based sanitisation several notches higher.

“Fourteen improvements have been introduced around the house,” discloses Mohan who works at the Hosur factory of TVS Motor Company.

Kaizen begins on the shop floor and extends to the living room
Kaizen begins on the shop floor and extends to the living room

They include a touchless calling bell, an elbow-operated sanitiser stand, a doormat sprayed with sanitiser and soap oil to disinfect footwear and a foot-operated door lock. Mohan points out that a majority of the gizmos are results of home-brewed solutions.

This cautiousness is actually an organic carry over from the factory. TVS Hosur campus introduced a laundry list of innovations targeting the novel Coronavirus. However, the spirit behind the exercise predates the pandemic, and has a philosophical underpinning.

Continuous improvement

In the 1990s, TVS Motor Company made Kaizen, the Japanese Quality Management philosophy of continuous improvement, integral to many of its processes, especially those involving the shop floor.

For the last 12 years, it is said to have consistently ensured 100% employee participation in its Kaizen initiatives. An offshoot of this exercise is ‘Home Kaizen’ which co-opts employees’ families into the Kaizen movement by getting them to focus on energy conservation, waste management, meaningful education for children and safety.

Over the last two years, the company has been hosting ‘Community Kaizen’, an exercise whereby employees’ spouses are primed for work focussed on neighbourhood welfare.

“My wife attends three events every year. Thanks to her, our children have started thinking out-of-the-box while tackling problems,” elaborates Mohan.

Innovation mindset

As per a communication from the company, annually over 200 families are trained on the campus on how to effect simple innovations and a competition is organised every quarter to showcase the best works. Participation in these events has been on the increase. From 100 a year, now 145 families have been showcasing their ideas and solutions. The quality of Kaizens has also grown.

K. Saravanan, for instance, can explain how adopting water conservation methods can cut down on the utilities bill, backed by data.

“Until a year ago, I used to spend ₹900 to fetch 6000 litres of water that would be used two to three days to water our plants,” says Saravanan, who works in the operations department.

Saravanan and his family worked out a solution to this problem, inspired by innovative designs presented by employees’ families at a Foundation Day celebration. The family conserves rainwater.

Saravanan has fitted solar panels on his gate. “Four other families on my street have installed solar panels seeing how much we have gained from ours,” he says.

The company has put out these impressive figures: 2,136,00 litres of water is saved a year thanks to 324 families adopting water conservation methods. And, more than 1000 employees have switched to power-saving devices.

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