Welcome to Kaizen Institute New Zealand

Kaizen Institute New Zealand was one of the first business units established in 1988 when our founder Mr Masaaki Imai visited New Zealand with Toyota's Taiichi Ohno to support Fisher & Paykel Appliances to set up Just-in-Time manufacturing. 

Like our Kaizen Institute colleagues around the globe our Auckland-based team enables leaders to achieve their performance dreams through continuous improvement of people, processes and systems. We diagnose problems, create awareness, draw roadmaps, lead implementation, develop experts and coach leaders to sustain business excellence.

We introduced the kaizen methodology to the world in 1985. Today we are a global consultancy active in all sectors. Our 400+ professionals work to advance the continuous improvement body of knowledge. We research, publish and license various publications including books, training materials and online learning.

Kaizen Institute consultants challenge clients to help develop leaders capable of sustaining true continuous improvement in all aspects of their enterprise.

Are you new to the lean journey?
Are you excited by the possibilities but unsure where to start?  
Then we can help you choose a successful path.

Are you already on your lean journey?
Are you at a performance plateau, facing new obstacles, or not sustaining your improvement gains?
Then we can help you reach the next level of Lean performance.

Are you advanced on your lean journey?
Are you satisfied, complacent or needing to see the next breakthrough improvement?
Then our decades of lean implementation experience and wisdom will help to challenge and renew your vision.


“Kaizen has made a massive difference in terms of staff engagement, which has gone from about 20% to 80%. The change to visual management now means that everyone understands how things work and where they fit in terms of the bigger picture.” says Louis Sylvester, Aquatic & Leisure Manager for Rotorua District Council.

“This isn’t a project; it’s how we do business everyday, everywhere with everybody. I’m excited about the opportunities ahead – I feel like we’ve only just scratched the surface. If we’ve achieved this in the first two and a half years, just imagine where we will be in the next two and half?”
The Rotorua Aquatic Centre is a community facility owned and operated by Rotorua District Council. Its team is dedicated to providing one of the best aquatic facilities in New Zealand. The Aquatic Centre started its Lean journey at the end of 2011 with the New Zealand Kaizen Institute and since that time has seen a number of significant improvements both internally, in terms of staff engagement, and externally, with visitor numbers and increased customer satisfaction.

We've captured some of the great eamples of KAIZEN in action at the Rotorua District Council Aquatic Centre. Enjoy the video. Read more ...

By Danie Vermeulen

A couple of weeks ago our team had coffee at espressocoffeeschool, a different kind of cafe you’ll find in downtown Auckland. I’d read about it in a newspaper article so we specifically went in search of it. So what distinguishes this cafe from others is the fact that the customers decide how much they want to pay for their coffee. For real. There’s no price list on the wall; only an open, "honesty" payment system!

I'm a self-confessed coffee snob and I consider myself a decent home barista. So, I do place a high value on a good flat white. Fortunately in New Zealand we're blessed with a high standard of coffee and I have a few trusted favourite coffee spots where I know I won't be disappointed.

When from time to time I’m disappointed by a below-par coffee, I simply take my business elsewhere to a new café– deciding that they won't see me again. Sadly, the offending cafe with its long waiting times, old beans, dirty machine or clueless barista, may take some time before realising that their customer numbers are dropping off. By then, with the hospitality industry being highly competitive it will be hard (if not impossible) for them to fix their problems. Even if they do lift their standard, their reputation and getting back former customers is an upward climb. I'm likely not to risk going there again.

What espressocoffeeschool does that’s exceptional is that it gives me the customer, the choice to make a value determination on the spot and then decide how much I’m willing to pay for that value. If the coffee isn’t up to par, the barista will see a below average amount being paid by the customer - thereby receiving real-time feedback. The barista may even get an opportunity to ask why the coffee was valued below the normal going rate, so immediate corrective action can be taken.

Kudos to espressocoffeeschool. Thank you for a practical demonstration of what we mean by "value-add". In Lean speak we see value as "what the customer is willing to pay for". In business, a “value adding” activity is anything you can do to transform materials or information into something that your customers need. Where there’s value adding activities, there’s contrasting “waste”, which is any activity that consumes resources, but creates no value for your customer.

So this leads me to put out a challenge to any business in Auckland who sells products or services to go have a coffee at espressocoffeeschool. While you're sitting there judging the value of your coffee, reflect on what kind of value that you're adding to your customers now. What other activity can you change on what you offer into something the customer wants. Imagine letting your customers decide how much they're willing to pay, based upon how much they think your product or service is worth. Then have another coffee while you plan on what you’re going to do about it.

By the way I paid $5 for a great flat white. That’s slightly more than the going rate, but I figured that I’d received additional value through the reflection and learning opportunity.

For future reference, my trusted value-adding cafés around the country include Columbus near our office in Botany Town Centre, Ben and Allpress in the Auckland CBD, as well as Supreme in Ponsonby. Altura across the harbour bridge, Rocket in Hamilton and The Hangar, Cafe L'affare or Astoria in Wellington. Now, I with pleasure add espressocoffeeschool to my list.

Seeing Kaizen in practice during an Office Live Tour has proven to be an invaluable first-hand experience for organisations and individuals to get a taste of Lean concepts and we’ve had tremendous feedback. Office Live has been operating for about 5 years now. It allows people to come to our space to first-hand see how we apply Kaizen in our own office and our own processes. It’s a visible example of how Kaizen can be employed to help drive success in an organisation.

Office Live kick starts a dialogue and prompts our visitors to imagine how they could apply Kaizen and Lean thinking to their own workplace. With the popularity of Office Live been, we’ve recently welcomed our 800th visitor - a significant milestone and one that we are proud to celebrate.

Celebrating successes and achievements is an important activity in any Kaizen organisation. It creates pride within a team and engages staff members if it’s done sincerely. When the senior leaders from Retro Vehicle Enhancement Ltd (RVE) recently visited our Office Live at Botany Town Centre in Auckland, it marked the 800th visitor counter and hence time for a celebration! This milestone presents us a fantastic opportunity to look to see how we can improve the Office Live Tour experience going forward. Read full article


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KAIZEN Institute New Zealand

Level 1, Fashion Pavilion, Botany Town Centre
Corner of Te Irirangi and Ti Rakau Drives
PO Box 64066,
Botany, Auckland, 2163
Tel +64 (0)9 274 0829

CEO - Danie Vermeulen

Mobile: 0274 366 664

email: dvermeulen@kaizen.com

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