The new management approach based on Kaizen by all 10
Spring has come. I am happy!
If you are a member of the department other than manufacturing and join the KZ method, you may find many Kaizen items which you can be applied for your department. It is because you got a thought arising from discussions beyond division and position. And you got the ability of abstract conceptualization and your Kaizen power become stronger.
I regard this KZ method as “5S to change management”. When I start Kaizen first time for a client, I do this KZ method first and let them understand the meaning of total optimization.
Question: Do you have opportunities to work with people from other departments?
Yukio Kakiuchi’s Kaizen diary 7
It is almost year-end. At this time of the year, I have kept saying “Time flies!”. It is really very fast!!
The end of the year is the time to look back the year to finish and to think of the coming year. It is time to execute Check and Plan of P – D – C – A cycle. So, I’d like to try out the C – A – P – D cycle based on what have happened recently around me.
I was chatting with some managers in a meeting a few weeks ago. One person (A department manager Mr. A) said, “Our company has insufficient power to challenge new things.” Then I asked him, “What can’t you do in your company?”. He answered, “I do not have any concrete idea, though …”. “Our company” was also about “I”. I thought that all the managers which Mr. A belongs are saying the same. Such a company has a very small amount of Kaizen ideas and little improvement.
On the other hand, at the company D, we ran the KZ method by 10 people including the president a few days ago. Each person stack cards to things that are not used immediately, moved them outside, and everyone discussed and made a good conclusion on overall optimum Kaizen. The site became very refreshing! After the activity, all the 10 people spoke about the activities of next year clearly. The implementation plan for Kaizen in the early years was also concrete. I thought the company D was reliable.
The difference between Company A and Company D is whether they do Kaizen immediately or not. Nothing will happen no matter how much you analyze how difficult it is or how to take responsibility in case of failure. On the other hand, if improvement is carried out just by doing the KZ method by everyone in front of the actual thing and further ideas come out lot more immediately.
2019 is the year of action! Let ‘s do Kaizen enjoying with Waiwai Gayagaya.
Thank you very much for your great support this year and have a happy new year!!
The new management approach based on Kaizen by all 6
Big typhoons are hitting Japan one after another. I am sorry for those who suffered from the these.
When Japanese manufacturing was remarkably strong in the world, both cars and electric appliances were outstanding in their functional quality. Speaking of functional quality, “No breaking down” was the most important factor. Next factor, if it is a mobile phone, was that the other party’s voice could be heard well even in the shadow of the building or a long mail was possible. Speaking of cars, running well, turning well, stopping well, they were the representative of functional quality.
Japanese products were outstanding in functional quality, and as a result, the manufacturing industry lead the economy of Japan. However, I have written in recent lectures that today’s markets are not so simple as before, and we need to understand what the customers want in addition to function.
The other day, J.D. Power of the United States announced “1018 U.S. Initial Quality Study”. There are only 2 Japanese car companies in the top ten, 8th Lexus and 10th Nissan. Considering that there were six Japanese companies in “2011 edition”, 1st Lexus, 2nd Honda, 3rd Acura (Honda), 5th Mazda, 7th Toyota, 8th Infinity (Nissan), Japanese cars are not evaluated so high as before. Functional quality of Japanese cars is still good as before, but in other quality field as usability of car navigation system and IT information systems are not evaluated as other high ranked cars. You can see that the market evaluation has changed.
The change in the world is fast and we need to change ourselves at the same speed. The attitude of “User in” is required.
Question: What do you think about changes in the car evaluation?
Improvement diary of consultant 5
I cannot proceed my job with my own pace. Once the consulting schedule is fixed with the client, I must visit the factory on the day because many people are waiting for me. Therefore, it is necessary for me to keep the condition always good.
I mentioned that I am a health geek before. The health item which is the oldest among the otaku items of mine is the “breath control”.
There are various breathing methods in the world, but the breathing method that I practice is a very simple one. I breathe out slowly and quietly and breathe in again slowly and quietly. That’s all.
After today’s work is finished, I will start the breathing on the Shinkansen train by which I move to the workshop tomorrow. I repeat fifteen round trip breathing in about 10 minutes (one trip is 40seconds). I will do it slowly and quietly so as not to be thought that I am a strange man by the person aside me.
after having calmed down by breath control, I start enjoying the trip with tea and sweets (episode 94).
References: “Ki’s Breathing Method” by Koichi Tohei, Gentosha
The strong intrinsic which Japanese manufacturing industry has 2
I think that Japanese way of manufacturing is different from that of Western way. This time, I will write about it.
Production of one product always involves all departments of the company. It is unlikely that you do everything from planning to sales, production, delivery, and payment collection by yourself.
If the people from all the departments relating a product get together on production shop floor and start talking about it, I am sure that you will get many excellent ideas. The people from marketing, design, sales, purchase, production, inspection and delivery department get together. The ideas will support the management of the company. This unique approach by Japanese companies is bottom up approach and very different from the Western top down approach.
Question: Does your company have opportunities for people in various departments to talk about products together?
Change in the world and the problems with Japanese manufacturing industry. 8
What should we do against various changes?
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By my observation, these changes are not temporary, and it is the result of changes in the business environment. Management must start fighting against these changes. Managers need to abandon their successful experiences so far and start their management reform with the intention of reviewing everything from scratch. Their future is not on the extension of the past experiences.
Then, how can we improve our production management? Is there a way of improving our production way without staying in the conventional way of our Kaizen or improvement?
Looking at the media reports, there are plenty of pessimistic information about Japanese production industry.
Question What kind of Kaizen do we need?
Change in the world and the problems with Japanese manufacturing industry. 4
This time, I will start talking about changes in the market and manufacturing.
This means that Japan’s manufacturing industry can not survive just by doing 5S, removing wastes, or shortening production lead time, which have shown a lot of good effect so far. In order to acquire the strength again, we have to understand that we are entering new era in which new improvement and further change are required while keeping the on-site improvement ability which we have made so far.
Then, what kind of change is coming in the future? Consumers already have most of the things and they do not show interests except what they really want, and even if they are interested they will not buy it if the price is high.
It has been said that if you make a good product you can sell it, but the good product then was the product with high functional quality. So Japanese manufacturing companies have been improving quality and cost competitiveness. In other words, competition has been in the field of production engineering and Genba Kaizen ability for high quality and low cost.
Question : I wrote that consumers have been changed. What do you think?
Change in the world and the problems with Japanese manufacturing industry. 3
Last time I wrote a visible part of the changes in the world. And this time I will write about invisible part of changes in markets and in manufacturing.
Markets themselves are also changing drastically, and as a result manufacturing has been forced to change too.
In the era when all the products were sold out, it was called as the product out era and the production process was simple, mass production with small variety. At the time, on-site improvement activities that realized quality improvement and efficiency improvement like the QC circle expanded production capacity and produced great results in improving profitability.
After that, when the variation increased gradually, it shifted to the production of small-lot size with a lot of variation, which was called as the market-in era. At that time, to respond to the customer orders without making the customers waiting although with very small amount of inventory, many Japanese manufacturing industry studied Toyota production system. That helped the Japanese manufacturing industry to get shorter production lead-time and to be profitable and they got high reputation.
Nonetheless, in Japan many small and medium-sized companies have already disappeared due to bankruptcy or lack of successors. And many companies which show good level of 5S and have done high level Kaizen like removing Muda or wastes are facing difficulties that their products are not selling as before or their profits are not as big as before.
Question: The level of Japanese manufacturing industry is high represented by Toyota production system. Nevertheless, many of them are facing a lot of difficulties and struggling . What are the problems?
Change in the world and the problems with Japanese manufacturing industry. 2
What are the reasons for it?
In Japan, wages have started to rise with the improvement of national strength and it has used foreign low wage workers and has produced some parts abroad. However, sales declined extremely due to the collapse of the bubble economy, and significant cost reductions were required to maintain profit. Then many home electric product industries relocated their production bases abroad.
As a result, domestic work decreased, and technological outflows occurred.
In home electronic products, sales declined due to lack of adaptability to local needs. In addition, in digital home appliances such as flat-screen televisions, cost competitiveness declined due to delays to global procurement of parts in modular production.
In the automobile industry as well, in the results of the JD Power US car quality survey in recent years, evaluation of quality has been changing from function quality to design quality, and Japanese cars are not evaluated so high as before.
Furthermore, a sharp decrease in the labor force has occurred due to aging of the population and decreasing birthrate, the quality and quantity of workforce has been short, and the problem of job skill handover also becomes serious.
For example, there are many foreign workers who do not understand Japanese at the site of production and temporary employees who have little experience even if they are Japanese. There are also generation alternation due to mandatory retirement by age.
Among them, there are many companies that have stopped Kaizen or continuous improvement.
Question I wrote what are happening on the production sites. But I am sure there are a lot more happening. Please tell me your experiences.
Change in the world and the problems with Japanese manufacturing industry 1
This is the first report in 2018. I am going start a new topic which is more concrete.
I am sorry to say but the manufacturing industry in Japan clearly has lost its competitiveness.
I will analyze the reasons in Chapter 1. And in Chapter 2, I will clarify the original strength of Japanese manufacturing industry. In Chapter 3, I would like to propose how to strengthen Japan’s manufacturing.
Chapter 1. Changes in the world and the problems with Japanese manufacturing industry
There was a time when Japan’s manufacturing industry was leading the world. At that time, Q, C, D (quality, cost, delivery time) was the basis of competitiveness, and outstanding Kaizen on the site played a big role.
And Japan had many hit products like Sony Walk-man or good quality compact cars which showed the Japanese technology.
However, nowadays, Japanese manufacturing industry has lost its momentum.
Request. I will tell you my answer next time. Please think two or more answers to this question by that time.
I would also like to hear the opinions from you, and I hope discussion starts.