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Kaikaku, sometimes called Kakushin, is a Japanese Lean term meaning radical improvement in a limited time. It is a philosophy centered around creating more value and less waste in production by implementing major changes. Innovation is key to Kaikaku, and innovating new processes, new products, new management practices, and new machines can have a huge impact on the facility as a whole.
Kaikaku is often used in the context of another Japanese production philosophy, Kaizen. Both Kaizen and Kaikaku work to improve production processes but are two very different approaches. Where Kaizen is focused is focused on continuous incremental changes, Kaikaku works to make fundamental changes that will have a significant impact. Kaizen projects are typically smaller, require less resources, and project timelines are relatively short. On the other hand, Kaikaku changes are larger projects that require more resources, more staff, and a longer period of time to plan. Although more time, effort, and cost are put into Kaikaku efforts, changes will likely have a much more dramatic impact on efficiency and the bottom line.