First KAIZEN™ Awards presented in Germany


Tension was quite tangible at the KAIZEN™ Award 2018 Ceremony in Bad Homburg on January 31st. About 50 guests gathered to celebrate the winner of the two KAIZEN™ Awards and to witness the awarding of the Special Award.  

“The KAIZEN™ Award already has a standing tradition in countries such as Portugal, Spain, Brazil and The Netherlands, with increasing importance. Over 200 companies worldwide have already applied for this Award in 2018. For us, it is now a great pleasure to celebrate the KAIZEN™ Award also in Germany”, so John Verhees, CEO of Kaizen Institute Germany. The Award Program offers companies, regardless of their size and industrial field, to assess and comprehend their actual Lean Excellence maturity. 

The program consists of two prizes, the Masaaki Imai Award, named after the founder of Kaizen Institute. It it presented to companies with the fastest progress in their Lean journey.  

As second prize, the KAIZEN™ Award, honors companies that succeeded to integrate KAIZEN™ holistically at all levels. In addition, a Special Award was given for excellent Continuous Improvement achievements.  

As co-organizer, Barbara Oelschleger explained the criteria for selecting the winner of the KAIZEN™ Awards. Two experts of Kaizen Institute Germany went to the Gemba of the candidates to get a firsthand impression. Using a standardized set of questions, the current state was assessed at all levels of the organizations. An external juror, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Kraemer from the University of Applied Sciences Saar ensured that the procedure for assessing and choosing the winners was based on sound principles.

Plant Manager Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wilhelm Reiners and Lean Manager Mathias Goebel rejoiced over receiving the KAIZEN™ Award 2018 for their excellent, innovative and effective implementation of Continuous Improvement for LEONI Kerpen GmbH. 

Frauenthal Powertrain GmbH was awarded with the Masaaki Imai Award 2018 in recognition for their fast growth in Continuous Improvement. General Manager Berthold Repgen and Lean Manager Sabine Schwarz received the trophy for their team.  

Continental Automotive GmbH (Central Electronic Plants, CEP – Global Manufacturing Network) received the Special Award 2018 for their extraordinary achievements in the category of Daily KAIZEN™ Level 2 Workplace Organization (5S). 

All candidates were deeply impressed about the value of the assessment: an external qualified view showing strengths and potential for improvements, also giving first hints for solutions. This advantage inspired a present participant of the Award ceremony immediately and he spontaneously registered his company for the KAIZEN™ Award 2019.

For further information on how to apply, please contact:



Kaizen Institute GmbH

Werner-Reimers-Strasse 2-4
61352 Bad Homburg

+49 (0) 6172-888-55-0

Get the latest news about Kaizen Institute