The strong intrinsic which Japanese manufacturing industry has 8
Producing and selling go together. We have to think both together.
The first surprise was that they recognize that the speed of the market change was extremely fast and that they were working accordingly. This was a surprise for me, but it was also what I could imagine.
The second surprise was that the people whose responsibility were “Create”⇒ ‟Produce”⇒‟Sell” got together in one place and made immediate decision. The gathering member was not the people in one department or not a big conference which one person spoke, and the rest people just listened. all the related people stood up and each of them had a white board marker in front of the whiteboard and created the active solution.
Question: Have you ever held a meeting that in front of the whiteboard everyone has a marker and discuss writing on the board?
The strong intrinsic which Japanese manufacturing industry has 3
Last time, I wrote that the manufacturing in Japan is different from that of Europe and the United States, but what is the strength of Japan? I will talk about that this time.
Japan is said that it lost the strength because of the digitization, which increased the modular type manufacturing and it does not require high skill to assemble which Japan was good at.
In the analogue era, Japan showed the strength in assembling the complicated products. But I think that the strongest skill of Japanese manufacturing is the power of getting ideas and motivation by getting together on shop-floor.
Question: Do you sometimes communicate freely with the people from all departments and positions in your company?
The strong intrinsic which Japanese manufacturing industry has 1
I have written about “Change in the world and the problems with Japanese manufacturing industry”. From this issue, I start writing about “The strong intrinsic which Japanese production industry has”.
I have worked as Kaizen consultant so far and I would like to introduce what happens on shop floor. As my title is Kaizen consultant, the presidents who use me expect to improve the work efficiency and product quality by applying Kaizen technic on shop-floor.
However, in addition to the improvement of work efficiency and product quality, development of new products or new markets often occurs. But as I have no experience or knowledge in developing new products or marketing, it is certain that the result is not brought by my guidance.
I do Kaizen on shop-floor wearing the work uniform of the plant. The important point is that there are always the president and other top people from design, sales, marketing, engineering and so on. All of us do Kaizen on shop-floor together and in the process of this activity, there may be the clue to the development of new products and new market.
Question: Have you ever experienced that super ideas came out while all the people are doing kaizen and chatting on site?
P.S. I received the title “Advanced Technology Meister FY2017” from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. I am happy.
Change in the world and the problems with Japanese manufacturing industry. 6
There are various names for the coming era. What kind of names are there in America?
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In English “mass customization” may be the word which shows the coming trend of manufacturing. In the coming era, as the consumers already have most of the things they want, you do not buy it unless you really like it and the price is as reasonable as the mass produced products.
From the view point of production, even if the consumer demands become very individual, the production cost should be as low as the mass production. This is the mass customization. Then it is required to develop products which take customers’ request one after another, take orders, produce them and collect payment in a short time.
It can be said that the market and the manufacturing are changing from the era of mass production to mass customization.
Question : The time may come when the price is low even for individual custom production. The 3D printer shows the new way of custom production. Have you already seen this trend?