Four Principles launches second edition of annual Kaizen awards

10 September 2019 3 min. read

Lean management firm Four Principles has announced the second edition of its annual Kaizen Awards for lean projects in Saudi Arabia – with submissions to close in November. Meanwhile, the firm has entered into a partnership with non-profit Nesma Embroidery, which provides employment opportunities for disadvantaged Saudi female nationals.  

Following the success of last year’s inaugural Kaizen Awards – which saw the top prize in the lean transformation category go to Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Group – the Middle East lean management specialist Four Principles has announced that the awards will be back again in Saudi Arabia in December,

“Complacency is the main challenge facing many organisations, especially the most successful ones,” the firm states on the awards page. “The widespread belief that if there are no problems then there is nothing to fix, is actually a huge problem, or quoting Taiichi Ohno, ‘the biggest problem of all’. Lean management remedies this as the belief that everything can be improved stands in its core.”

Celebrating and promoting lean transformation initiatives in the Kingdom, interested participants are invited to share their success stories in one of two categories; ‘Continuous Improvement’, describes as a small scope project limited to one area of the business, and ‘Lean Transformation’, which concerns multiple smaller projects which impacted an entire organisation over a longer period of time.

With the awards ceremony set to take place in Riyadh on the 9th December, applicants will not only get the chance to meet successful like-minded Lean professionals in the region, but will be in the running for significant prizes, including an industry-tailored five-day trip to Kaizen-pioneering Japan for three senior executives from the winning company in the Lean Transformation category.Four Principles launches second edition of annual Kaizen awardsThe winner of the Continuous Improvement category will meanwhile receive a one week analysis project by Four Principles in an area of operations of choice, including the identification of areas of potential improvement, proposed initiatives, and the defining of operational KPIs. Last year’s title went to Nesma Embroidery, a non-profit which provides employment for disadvantaged women.

Established in Jeddah in 2009, Nesma Embroidery and Tailoring Center is a manufacturer of textile goods for individuals, designers, and corporate clients, with the goal of providing sustainable employment, training, and workforce integration opportunities for female Saudi nationals, many of whom are speech-and-hearing impaired or have other special needs.

Recently, Four Principles entered into a partnership with parent Nesma Holding to improve operational performance across Nesma Embroidery, with a focus on production efficiency and performance across its network of factories through advisory, training and the implementation of Lean principles – which seek to boost performance through the elimination of waste and maximisation of resources.

“We at Four Principles are truly honored and humbled to support Nesma Embroidery in its noble mission of creating sustainable jobs for women across Saudi Arabia,” said Four Principles co-founder Seif Shieshakly. “Implementing a Lean Culture will help to integrate people with disabilities into the community and increase the rate of women in employment helping them achieve a key step on the path to economic independence.”

“Our aim is for a Nesma Embroidery factory to be opened in every village in Saudi Arabia,” responded Nesma Holding Vice President Noura Al-Turki. “This ambitious vision requires a degree of collaboration to ensure that the factories are standardised and sustainable – which is what we hope to enable through our partnership with Four Principles. This is why we truly look forward to witnessing the results of the Lean Transformation on our organisation.”