The Arusha-based A to Z Textile Mills was bestowed the award in a competition organised by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and took place in Tunis, Tunisia, and now Tanzania will proceed to the Global KAIZEN competition to take place in Tokyo, Japan on August 28–30 this year.
Speaking at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) after arriving from Tunisia, A to Z KAIZEN Co-Coordinator, Ruben Lyanga, said that Tanzania was competing against eight countries represented by 16 industries, whereby they prepared and presented activities done under KAIZEN and success achieved.
The countries are Tunisia, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zambia and Namibia. Kaizen is a method to improve quality and productivity by continually making small efforts that add up to a big result. It is a general term that encompasses several techniques.
Those include sorting, setting in order, shining, standardizing and sustaining for increased productivity in quality and quantity.
Lyanga said that apart from presentations, judges visit respective industries, and for the case of A to Z, the judges were satisfied that Tanzania was the best in implementation of KAIZEN.
The competition attracted industries from different sectors, and before participating at continental level, A to Z emerged the winner at the Tanzania KAIZEN Award Competition that took place in Dar es Salaam on March 1st this year, and was regulated by the Ministry of Industries, and Trade and KAIZEN Tanzania, and was chosen to represent the country in Tunis.
Speaking on behalf of A to Z Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kalpesh Shah, foreign trade manager, Sylvester Kazi dedicated the award to President John Magufuli who is spearheading the industrial drive, as well as to all Tanzanians.
Kazi said that President Magufuli was supposed to be awarded the award due to his determined efforts to improve the country’s economy through industries, and requested him to receive the award through an assistant who will be sent to take it to Dar es Salaam.
A to Z Textile Mills Ltd is located at Kisongo area in Arusha, which started with a single sewing machine in the 1960s, expanding to presently include 11 companies within the group that offers a wide variety of products and services in both local and international markets.
Among other products, it produces polyester and Long-Lasting Insecticidal Bed Nets (LLINS) in an effort to combat malaria.
Kaizen is an approach to creating continuous improvement based on the idea that small, ongoing positive changes can reap major improvements. Typically, it is based on cooperation and commitment and stands in contrast to approaches that use radical changes or top-down edicts to achieve transformation. Kaizen is core to lean manufacturing, or The Toyota Way. It was developed in the manufacturing sector to lower defects, eliminate waste, boost productivity, encourage worker purpose and accountability, and promote innovation.