Incremental improvement: the kaizen approach to business
Our culture is built around this ethos of continual improvement, as are our manufacturing processes and even our warehouse operations.
Kaizen (改善, かいぜん) is a concept of incremental improvement as it refers to our activities as a business. It’s an approach that is always at work in the background, improving all tasks and operations, involving employees across all departments and in management. There’s a simple workflow that empowers this process of transformation, and it has four stages: plan, do, check, adjust.
PLAN: what objectives and processes do we need to get us where we want to go?
DO: carry out the plan.
CHECK: how did it go? Check data and results gathered from the ‘do’ phase: how does this information compare to the expected results? What went wrong? What went right?
ADJUST: we look for the root causes of any problems or opportunities for improvement. At the end of this phase, our product development process has better guidelines and goals.
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Reaching new heights with our inherently fire retardant fabrics
This approach is especially clear in the work of our in-house textile design team, with each new collection of fire retardant fabrics better than the last.
Improvement points can range from excelling in more demanding test criteria, to working with more sustainable manufacturing processes with fabric mills, to introducing new, best-selling fabric patterns and designs to the contract market.
Related read: In It Together: a community trend towards sustainability >
FR-One fabrics are a dynamic part of our collectively sustainable revolution
We all know that environmental issues have never been more pressing. Our development of sustainable collections of fire retardant fabrics is one of the ways we’re addressing this. Sustainability is a never-ending journey.
One path leads to the next, all with challenges and opportunities, innovations, and improvements. All of us have a responsibility to improve the way we’re living our lives and operating our businesses, step by incremental step.
Related read: Quality over quantity: our minimalist approach to design >
We’re committed to moving forward, to consistently improving our operations and manufacturing in small ways that all add up.
We believe that the key to creating sustainable contract textiles is to always work proactively. To continually improve the production of our inherently fire retardant fabrics.