Continuous improvement
An employee presents to her colleagues in a large office, explaining a dataset from one of the Engagement & Recognition schemes.

Continuous Improvement

Putting Kaizen at the heart of everything we do.

At Ricoh UK Products Ltd (RPL), our employees see Kaizen (continuous improvement) as an integral part of their ways of working, motivating them to engage in doing something a little bit better every day through the deployment of the RICOH Way Production System.

Doing something a little better every day

Building a culture, where our employees see continuous improvement as an integral part of their ways of working. At RPL, we all have two jobs: our functional role and continuous improvement. Our continuous improvement philosophy is about everyone, every day, doing something a little bit better than yesterday.  The engagement of all our employees in continuous improvement, through the deployment of the RICOH Way Production System, is key to delivering operational excellence. We put Kaizen at the very heart of everything we do, helping us to realise Fulfilment through Work.

A black and white photo of RICOH's Founder, Kiyoshi Ichimura, smiling and laughing.

What is the RICOH Way Production System?

The RICOH Way Production System is the systematic approach we take to ensure excellence in manufacturing.

In 1946, Kiyoshi Ichimura defined the RICOH Group’s Founding Principles, which instruct us how to do business, encouraging us to constantly improve and contribute to the wellbeing of our families, customers, and society.

An employee talking to a colleague as they hold the RICOH Way Production System (RWPS) booklet.

12 Key Fundamentals

RPL's Engagement & Recognition Programme

RPL’s Engagement Schemes encourage employees to embrace our continuous improvement philosophy, through consistent, timely and authentic recognition and reward.

The key principles of our Engagement Schemes are:

  • Ensure employees understand how and why we value them engaging in KAIZEN.
  • Give employees the skills and knowledge to identify improvement opportunities.
  • Put the right systems in place to encourage employees to apply their skills and knowledge to engage in improvement opportunities.
  • Reward and recognise the right behaviours.

We are proud that our engagement schemes have been recognised as best practice externally, including through the achievement of awards from IdeasUK.

Ricoh UK Products Ltd's (RPL) Engagement & Recognition Programme logo.

Bright Ideas

At RPL we believe that our employees are the experts of their processes and therefore in the best position to identify and suggest improvements.

To systemise this into RPL’s ways of working, our Bright Ideas Scheme was first launched in 2006.

All employees are encouraged to engage with the scheme either by putting improvement ideas forward or supporting with specialist knowledge.  A diverse range of suggestions are encouraged including those supporting safety and environmental improvement, as well as quality, cost and delivery improvements.

On a monthly basis we recognise Suggestion of the Month and Team of the Month, with certificates presented by a Senior Manager; teams display these with pride in their areas.

On an annual basis we recognise those who have best engaged in the scheme through a number of awards, thanking employees for their contribution to the business. In addition, small monetary payments are made to reward employees who have implemented their ideas, however large or small.

Ricoh UK Products Ltd's (RPL) Bright Ideas logo.

Good Spot

RPL’s Good Spot Scheme encourages employees to use their senses to identify and escalate abnormalities or unsafe states, to stop a potential issue becoming a problem.

Each Good Spot submitted and accepted receives a small immediate monetary reward, with further reward potential, depending on the size of the problem avoided.

On a monthly basis, we recognise Good Spot of the Month with a certificate and “thank you” delivered by a Senior Manager.

Annually, we also recognise those individuals who have best engaged in the scheme through a number of awards.

Like the Bright Ideas Scheme, ‘Good Spots’ are encouraged relating to safety, environment, quality and more.

The scheme recognises and rewards employees for not ignoring something that does not “look”, “sound“, “feel” or “smell” right. We ask employees to use their senses and ask “is this normal?”

Ricoh UK Products Ltd's (RPL) Good Spots logo.

Values Recognition

Our Values Recognition Scheme is a peer-to-peer programme, enabling employees to thank their colleagues for going above and beyond, in their demonstration of our Ricoh Way Values.

All employees can nominate their colleagues for an award. On receiving a nomination, the nominator and nominee are brought together for a thank you opportunity. The nominator is given a letter thanking them for engaging in the scheme and the nominee is given a card outlining why they have been nominated.

Some additional annual award winners are chosen, where employees have stood out in their demonstration of our Ricoh Way Values. RPL holds an annual celebration event to bring those winners together to receive additional recognition from Senior Managers.  Awards are small and symbolic, with the real emphasis being on giving people a chance to say thank you.

Gold medal winning nominations are then forwarded on for consideration for the Global Ricoh Way Award Programme. RPL is proud to have had employees recognised as Global Winners on more than one occasion.

Values Recognition logo.

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