21 July 2021

Oleksandr Sokolov, founder of the Smilefood brand and SE MBA student shared his experience of implementing Kaizen practices in the presentation at the Get Business Festival 2021. 

The presentation itself was much shaped by the discussion of Kaizen with the classmates. Various experiences enriched the presentation with managerial ideas and were also applicable to different business projects. 

“MIM-Kyiv’s MBA is always about practicality. Living cases presented by the businesses’ decision-makers, usually owners create a very special learning experience. The case of Kaizen implementation at Smilefood presented by Oleksandr Sokolov, the company’s founder, and our SE MBA student is a great example of living cases. Class discussion helps to make the most of people's experiences by creating a safe learning environment. Our classes are usually a tight-knit community and a place to share and exchange ideas. Such discussions facilitate further business development,” Oleksiy Vynogradov, MIM-Kyiv’s VP explains. 

Smilefood is known for taking into account staff advice, reducing costs, and expanding the scope of responsibilities of the managers. “We started to look at our “factory” from Kizen's point of view. After we started measuring the movements of our employees at the manufacturing site, we managed to reduce 6 kilometers of their movements. After we separated pre-packaging and product manufacturing we increased productivity. Looking at the business as if from outside is difficult but critical for developing the business,” Oleksandr Sokolov explains.

The creation of the guidelines system and video training materials is crucial because according to Kaizen it is the way to prevent mistakes. Development and implementation of the motivation system that accounts for employees' efforts is another instrument that improves overall business performance. 

Oleksandr Sokolov does not believe in punishment. In his opinion, there are very few people who cannot or do not want to work properly. It is better to let such people go. “If you look at your employees as your lifetime team, you practice a very different approach to the relations. At certain point employees also understand that they found their best employment where they are developed and respected,” Oleksandr believes.