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 9
The sun light is getting stronger. It is time to start taking care against heat stroke.
Three people kept discussing although I an outside Japanese visitor was there. The person who guided me there told me that a big decision was made then there. If so, it is very prompt decision.
The walls in the corridor were all whiteboards and I saw plenty of people discussing in front of the boards. I was overwhelmed to see big decision done quickly in front of me. But taking time calmly afterwards, I thought that their way of making quick decision with the related people together is also the way which Japanese manufacturing industry was good at.
Question: I wrote that the great meeting which I saw there is what Japanese manufacture industry was good at. Do you agree with me?
The strong intrinsic which Japanese manufacturing industry has 7
“The reason why we can produce them is because there are the customers who buy them.” We sometimes forget this fact. The essay this time covers my experience about this fact.
I said “All of you have doctorate degrees and I imagined that you are doing research in your own laboratory by yourself but you are not.”
Then their answer back was “We are not responsible only for developing products, but also for selling them. So we need to work together. It is absolutely impossible for one person to do all.”
In other words, they were responsible for doing their own tasks by exploring market needs, developing products, producing products and selling them.
There were two things that surprised me when I saw the work of the American top companies.
Question: What do you think is the two things that surprised me? Please imagine.
The strong intrinsic which Japanese manufacturing industry has 6
I took a business trip to Nanjing for three days. I was stimulated by the speed of change there, such as taxi dispatch, train booking, payment for buying things, etc., even senior people are using smartphones. And the bicycle lane that was not there a year ago was there.
I got an opportunity to visit two companies in San Francisco in December 2015, company A and company B. From the fact that the two companies are the top IT companies in the world, I imagined that there are many doctors who obtained doctorate degrees at famous universities and are studying in their own laboratory. However, at the inside of the company reality was completely different from my expectation. There were no individual laboratories in the office, the arrangement of desks was ordered with ordinary square desks arranged side by side, there were no partitions, just like the old Japanese offices. But the big difference was that there were not many people on the desk where they were located, but many people were talking here and there, at the walls, including the corridor, which were all white boards, with a lot of notes remaining.
Two women and one man were talking in the aisle of company B. I was interested in the conversation of those people and I interrupted them. One of the two women was the vice president, the other woman was a marketer, and the man was an engineer.
As the three people were from different departments, I asked a question if they got the permission to meet from their bosses. Because in Japan, it is often necessary to have a stiff process such as “needing permission from the boss”, such as “Do you let me go over?” When it comes across discussions across departments.
But they did not understand my question at all. So I explained that in Japan, it is often needed permission from our boss when we meet with other department people. Then they answered to me that if they did such an awkward thing, they would never match the speed of change in the present era.
Question: I think it is a very effective to use white boards to get good solutions. How do you use the whiteboards at your company?
The strong intrinsic which Japanese manufacturing industry has 5
How previous Japanese manufacturing was done and what is the difference from present way?
Unfortunately, however, many Japanese manufacturers currently do not recognize the true strengths that they themselves have inherently and have not made improvements and changes that make use of their strength.
Japanese people have a strong sense of responsibility for their work. And often they do Kaizen of their work without being ordered. If there are occasions that related people regardless of department and position get together, they start discussing problems or targets and often get excellent solutions. Discussion beyond department and position was a good practice of Japan.
Question: In fact, what do you think Japanese people have a tremendous strength but they are not recognized?