Retro Play, an arcade and pinball machine manufacturer based in Victoria, Australia, is fighting back against all the doom and gloom facing businesses all over the world. With rising inflation, rapidly increasing interest rates, the global supply chain problem, the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, businesses all over the world, in particular manufacturing companies, are facing uncertain futures.
Retro Play are adopting the Kaizen method of lean manufacturing in order to reduce waste, improve their products further and significantly decrease manufacturing times. David Gilmore, CEO of Retro Play explains.
"It has been a very tricky couple of years for manufacturing and one of the consequences have been that the time it takes us to manufacture some of our products has increased" says David. "By adopting the Kaizen method we are entering a new phase of product improvement, improved personal discipline, teamwork and reduced manufacturing times"
Kaizen is a term that refers to on-going or continuous improvement. The definition of kaizen comes from two Japanese words: ‘kai’ meaning ‘change’ and ‘zen’ meaning ‘good’. The Japanese philosophy was first introduced by Toyota back in the 1980s and has since been adopted by thousands of companies around the globe. This lean transformation encourages an improvement culture that gradually increases quality, efficiency, and profitability.
So, what is kaizen exactly? Well, it is statistical process that improves quality in every aspect of the business. Employees are empowered to suggest ideas that address common problems so that they don’t reoccur. By tackling issues head-on, they aren’t allowed to persist and grow into bigger challenges. This grassroots approach delivers incremental improvements that add up to big wins. This lean digital transformation has begun, saving frontline employees precious time and empowering them at the same time.
Retro Play have embarked on their manufacturing transformation by trialing a pre defined 'Build Day' starting with focussing on arcade machines. "In our first week we are going to try and build two arcade machines in one morning" says David.
Let's see how they get on: