Fechter, William F. (1990, ASQC) Kaizen Institute of America, Austin, TX
Kaizen, which is Japanese for continuous improvement, has the potential to transform America's trade deficit to a trade surplus. During the 1980's America had a huge trade deficit and found it difficult to compete in a global market. While many of American manufacturing managers look to technology as a sole solution to remain competitive, Kaizen philosophy and techniques hold promise of revolutionizing the way American business operates. Quality, the key ingredient to consumer confidence, has more to do with a mentality of improvement as opposed to any one specific technique or solution. The American consumer has become very quality conscious and demands quality products and service. This demand for near perfection means that manufacturing and service organizations must learn to collect data, analyze that data, and respond to the data in a timely and correct manner. This continual data collection and response leads to on-going improvement. The answer for American manufacturers is Kaizen.