Where do your ideas for cost reduction and profit
improvement originate? Ideas come from your people ...often
in spite of what you do or don't do to facilitate idea generation
Here's a brief summary on idea generation methods from our
executive summary on the seven primary methods in use today for
cost reduction and profit improvement.(1)
Employee suggestion programs have been
around for over 100 years in business.
The first suggestion box was hung on a wall in 1721 by the
eighth shogun of Japan, Yoshimuni Tokugawa. Suggestion programs are
included under the broader classification of employee involvement
programs. Employee involvement programs have enjoyed varying degrees of
popularity since the mid-20th century. They are based on the popular precept that people want to the
right thing at work and will act on that thought.
Wide use and apparent success in Japan
drove rising popularity in the West in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Employees
of companies with world-class suggestion programs such as Toyota
commonly contribute 50 or more ideas per person per year with
implementation of about 80% of the ideas. Employee participation is
essentially 100%. Suggestion
systems are an integral part of Japanese quality and continuous
story is different in the United States according to a 1992 report
from the Employee Involvement Association.
Participation in formal programs is about 8% with 2.4 ideas
per person per year and an implementation rate of 35%.2
Companies without formal programs don’t even do that well.
How many ideas per year do you
implement from your employees: about 40 like Toyota or about 1 like
most US companies? Employee suggestion programs help but they only
go so far for so long and then invariably stall.
See exactly how other companies have cut costs
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Do you want to wait around for implement able
ideas or foster their creation? Profit
Improvement Process two-day training generates about 20-30 ideas
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Contact us for a
1. Martin, S. C. (2003). "Profit
Improvement - Executive Analysis." Williamsville, NY: Business
Solutions -The Positive Way: p 10-11 Get this $99 report FREE with
the purchase of Achieving World-Class
2. Savageau, J. (1996). “World
class suggestion systems still work well.” The Journal for
Quality and Participation 19(2):
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