Kaizen is a Japanese word that means continual improvement or change for the better. While centering on the concept of lean manufacturing, Kaizen sessions focus on receiving business input and quickly executing change.

At FlexPAC, our process fits nicely into the Kaizen business model. While on site the other day, we ran across a situation that many companies face, and a Kaizen session turned out to be the best solution.We have decided to share this situation because you may face some of the same issues internally while trying to improve your processes.


Two of our staff members went on a site visit, and this was their story from the visit.

Our Solution Provider noticed that the business’s automatic stretch wrapper was doing a poor job wrapping the loads. He asked our host why. Our host responded saying that because the wrapper was wrapping cylindrical products in square cartons, it was impossible to get much containment without crushing products. Our solution provider asked if we could come back with a tech and some different stretch films to work on the problem. Our host (an engineer) told us that stretch film was handled by purchasing. Our solution provider then asked our host if he would call purchasing and tell them of our desire to help improve the problem.

“I don’t want you talking to purchasing. All they care about [the] price per roll,” our host said. “What I would really like to do is get the appropriate people together and solve the problem.”

Our equipment specialist then asked if FlexPAC could participate in a Kaizen event. The engineer’s demeanor immediately changed. He perked up and seemed excited. He told us that he was the first lean trained engineer at this location, has led over 60 Kaizen events. We have decided to merge FlexPAC’s assets (internal staff and vendor expertise as needed) and our customer’s assets to solve their problem then help build a justification report that our engineer can take to purchasing.

Does your organization struggle with being driven entirely by numbers? Do you purchase the least expensive stretch film (like in this case) even though one product doesn’t tell the entire story?

This customer ran the risk of shipping damage resulting in other costs (returns, restocking, etc.) on the back end due to focusing on product cost instead of how that product affected their total costs. Does your current vendor provide you the products you ask for without helping you identify and solve problems?

If you need help getting internal buy-in or are interested in seeing what kinds of improvements can be gained by surveying your staff, perhaps a Kaizen session is in order. If you are interested in applying lean manufacturing or kaizen principles to your problems, schedule a free needs analysis and have FlexPAC assist in improving your processes.

Looking to improve?

Contact us for a free needs analysis and start improving and optimizing your facility today.