Edy Saputra, a Kaizen Connoisseur Striving for Continuous Improvement
For Edy Saputra, a Learning and Development Specialist in Asia Pacific Rayon (APR), the highlight of his career is to be able to lead the monthly Kaizen improvement project for employees in the Spinning Department since June 2019.
Working in HR in APR since 2017, the Chemical Engineering graduate has seen how fast the company has grown. He knows that one of the most important factors in the success of a company is the quality of all its employees.
A year after joining APR, Edy, who comes from central Aceh, gained the opportunity to learn about using the Kaizen method at Sateri Jiu Jiang, APR’s sister company located in Jiang Xi, China.
Kaizen is a Japanese word meaning continuous improvement. The implementation of the Kaizen method in a company aims to drive improvement in the working culture to increase quality, profitability and efficiency.
“I’m so grateful to be a part of a company that values the development of its employees. I don’t think I will be able to undergo comprehensive training in China if it wasn’t for APR,” Edy explained.
“At Sateri Learning Institute, I learned how the Kaizen method is implemented so that every employee will be able to seek continuous improvement in their day-to-day tasks. The knowledge I gained there has become the foundation for me to start on the right foot,” he continued.
For Edy, the three months in Sateri was the most memorable experience of his professional life.
“Now, I’m trusted to lead the Kaizen improvement project. It’s a big thing for me and I never imagined before that I will be where I’m standing now. I think the training in China has a big impact on my personal and professional development,” the 27-year-old proudly said.
Although he works in HR, Edy leads a Kaizen project in the Spinning Department. Together with his team, he looks for opportunities to improve operations, no matter how small, then reports back to management for potential implementation.
Training the team
Aside from Kaizen, Edy’s main responsibilities are to analyze the training needs of employees so they gain the right expertise and certifications.
“Every job has its own challenges. For me, it’s to collect the right data from employees to be able to analyze their needs. We don’t want to provide them with training that they don’t really need. It will be like training a fish how to swim,” Edy said.
“The best method for me to tackle these challenges is to brainstorm with my team, with my superiors and especially with the employees who will receive the training,” Edy explained.
“During the brainstorming, I always try to make it like a casual talk and not a formal session. People are already tired from work with their own tasks, so I want the discussion with me about their professional development journey to be a kind of refreshment,” he smiled.
Another challenge is to ensure that everyone will always be focused, committed and motivated during the training.
“As I said, we have to understand that some people might be overwhelmed from work. The best method for me to keep them motivated is to remind them that the training is part of a continuous improvement process instilled in our company’s Core Values. It’s always effective because everyone in the company has a great respect for the Core Values,” Edy said.
Edy’s next plan is to continue to broaden his network and skill set. “While it’s important to encourage continuous improvement for other people, I must not forget to improve myself as well,” he concluded.