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Update From Asia

Things are going well in Asia. We completed the first week of Sigma Tool Facilitator training last week and completed Mistake Proofing Tool Facilitator training the week before last. We'll be completing the CI Action Team planning sessions this month. Finally, we'll complete Sigma Tool Facilitator training during the first two weeks of October (with only one day off between the two weeks to cool the brain cells) after which we will launch the plans for FY 04.

We've been having some good events that were led by the newly-trained toll facilitators. One was a Kaizen event in Cikarang, Indonesia which resulted in a 10% capacity increase and over $100,000 annual savings for the cylinder fill plant there. We had a Workplace Organization and Visual Controls event in Singapore, led by the Singapore tool facilitator, which yielded $75,000 hard savings.
Since May 23rd we've had six events and have completed tool facilitator training in Facilitator Basics, WOVC, Kaizen, Mistake Proofing and week one of Sigma. We completed the Continuous Improvement (CI) Leadership Team annual plans for the entire region. And we have presented about six one-day CI Introduction workshops (Buzz Electronics). The whole Asia CI team was in Jakarta two days before a terrorist bombing nearly leveled the Marriott hotel there - and were in Central Java (a terrorist hot spot) when the bombing took place. Despite the tough schedule, the new CI team here has been holding up well and their spirits are high.

There has been a high level of interest and have been numerous requests for events throughout the region. My approach now is to have the CI Action teams evaluate all the requests and put together their annual plans (during September) - prioritizing events based on their potential benefits and alignment with the high-level targets. By the time they have their plans in place, the tool facilitators, organization champions and CI managers will be trained and ready to implement the plans.

It's been quite a trip! From May 23 to mid-August I spent four days in Hong Kong (my home away from home) - the rest of the time was on the "road" - including weekends and holidays. From now through October 10th all of the training and planning meetings will be in Hong Kong (with one exception - a three day planning meeting in Taipei). So, at least I'll be able to be at "home" most nights.
Well, that's it for now. Take care...


Mark R. Reed is a regional continuous improvement manager for a Fortune 200 company in the industrial gases and specialty chemicals industry. He has been implementing Kaizen since 1999 and has conducted Kaizen events in the U.S., the Middle East, and throughout Asia. He is a certified leader and has led training for workplace organization and visual controls, quick change, mistake proofing and team facilitation skills. He is currently leading the implementation of continuous improvement (providing training and leading demonstration events in team facilitation skills, Kaizen, workplace organization and visual controls, quick change, mistake proofing, demand flow technology, and six sigma) for the Asian segment of his company's global business.