National Australia Bank credits Kaizen for improved efficiency

Like many organizations, the National Australia Bank has felt the burdens of the economic recession. As a result, it had to let go of key employees across all levels of the financial institution. However, thanks to adopting the Kaizen mindset, the company has been able to maintain productivity levels, IT News for Australian Business reports.

In the past 12 months, the company has been forced to reduce staffing requirements by 1,894 full-time positions – a 4 percent drop from peak employment numbers last year. Personnel expenses fell 2.5 percent from $2.32 billion to $2.27 billion in a six-month period. Kaizen initiatives have enabled the brand to stay productive, however, with the company posting a $2.05 billion profit despite the layoffs.

“Cost growth was managed to below revenue growth in spite of subdued market conditions and the ongoing technology investment program, and the group remains committed to pursuing sustainable productivity improvements,” Cameron Clyne, chief executive officer of the financial institution, told the news source.

While Kaizen is frequently noted for its use in manufacturing companies (it originated in Toyota's Japanese manufacturing plants), NAB clearly shows these principles can be applied to other fields as well.