This story is from the 2014 Access 25. Explore more from this issue

Kaizen

It means “continuous improvement” in Japanese. It’s at the heart of companies like Toyota whose corporate giving delivers big expertise, not just big checks.

January 2014

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The Food Bank for New York City relies on a number of corporate sponsors for funding, but Toyota might be the most unique. Instead of donating in dollars, it donates kaizen — a Japanese approach to efficiency. Toyota process engineering experts go on-site, helping with everything from reducing wait times for dinner to maximizing warehouse efficiency.

“When we give our team members the opportunity to implement Toyota’s know-how and core philosophies at a nonprofit with scarce resources, it’s an extremely valuable — and rewarding — way to hone problem-solving skills. And it helps us develop future leaders at Toyota,” says Jamie Bonini, General Manager of the Toyota Production System Support Center.

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