Category Archives: Interesting Facts

Kaizen for Accounts Payable (Part 2)

In our previous blog about Kaizen we told you how the Japanese philosophy can help increase your accounts payable department efficiency through applying the main 5 Kaizen principles. In this blog we’ll explain you the concept of waste, its negative impacts on the working process, productivity and try to give you several tips on how to avoid it.


Kaizen is based on making little changes on a regular basis: always improving productivity, safety and effectiveness while reducing waste. The concept of waste in Kaizen is defined as activity consuming resources (time, materials, money) but creating no value.

Wastes are the drivers of excess costs, delays and quality issues. The critical problem for management is not the one of knowing how to prevent a specific occurrence of waste. Instead, the critical problem is identifying the root cause of the waste and eliminating this cause.

Looking closer at a typical accounts payable department, we can identify several ordinary wastes declining the department’s performance efficiency. We can divide such wastes into the following categories: people waste, process waste, information waste and asset waste.

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Kaizen for Accounts Payable (Part 1)

Kaizen is the Japanese philosophy that focuses upon continuous improvement, seeking to achieve changes in processes in order to enhance efficiency and quality. Kaizen can be roughly translated from Japanese to mean “change for the good”. The concept of Kaizen encompasses a wide range of ideas: it involves making the work environment more effective by creating a team atmosphere, improving everyday procedures, ensuring employee satisfaction and making the job more fulfilling and less tiring.

Today Kaizen is recognized worldwide as an important pillar of an organization’s long-term competitive strategy. A lot of big and small companies across the world have adopted the Kaizen principles for doing business and running departments. In our blog we’ll examine this idea in the context of accounts payable issues.

To better understand the idea of Kaizen, we used our chance to ask Tsuneaki Sugata, Production Control Manager of Nissan Motor Company, to briefly tell us about the concept. Fortunately, Sugata-san kindly agreed to provide his assistance:

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