Mahle Behr was recognised as one of the continent’s top Kaizen performers at the Africa Kaizen Annual Conference (AKAC) held virtually recently.
The Eastern Cape-based company was selected to represent South Africa after being winning the National Automotive Kaizen champions. It joined 22 other nominees from 13 African countries, to be awarded the Prize for Kaizen Achievement by The Japan International Cooperation Agency and the African Union Development Agency.
The Tier 1 supplier to automotive original equipment manufacturers, received the Kaizen Achievement certificate in the Small Medium Scale Organization category based on a submission which highlighted a 57% reduction in scrap.
The annual Africa Kaizen Awards are given to organizations that present prominent achievements in quality and productivity improvement, and who serve as model cases to be shared in Africa.
The top achievers were Eleonetech in Tunisia which received the Outstanding Award in the large-scale category and Multi-Service Material Industrial Ltd in Cameroon who claimed the Outstanding
award in the small and medium-scale category. Natec Medical Ltd. of Mauritius and Francis Aluminium Ltd. in Ghana received Excellent awards.
Mahle Behr was one of 19 companies that was recognised with an Achievement Award.
“The annual national and then African awards not only recognize spectacular improvements and process created, but expose participants to global Kaizen best practice and encourage the implementation of Kaizen techniques to empower their employees to work smarter rather than harder,” the Automotive industry Development Centre (AIDC) Eastern Cape said in a statement.
It added that one of the key adjudication points was teamwork between management and shopfloor employees to achieve better efficiencies and improved productivity.
“The AIDC has been implementing Kaizen techniques and Continuous Improvement Methodologies at different companies since its establishment in both Gauteng and the Eastern Cape, often in the context of cluster learning.
“Where many other manufacturing companies globally have a competitive advantage as a result of access and proximity to traditional markets or to economies of scale created by sheer volumes, South African manufacturers have to develop other areas of competitiveness, a key aspect of which is operational efficiency.”