My friend Mr. 

I put a high value on and appreciate your activity. Then I decided to send following message to you in this opportunity.

(Please acknowledge to distribute this message to the other comrades and friends because I think this would be helpful for them.)

For starting your new stage activity I would send following words which is  “Molting to Practice from Enlightenment”.

And I send following messages.

 

KAIZEN

At first, I write about KAIZEN.

 

I think it is difficult to teach Kaizen because Kaizen is one of concept or philosophy and doesn’t have the certain shape like as a system. If I dare to say the system of Kaizen, it is the QC Circle. I taught and practiced QC circle in various countries as one method of Kaizen.

You have been conducting enlightenment activities for Kaizen and as your next phase please teach and practice the QC Circle for the dissemination of Kaizen. Teaching the 5S also is effect. Please coached it in parallel. As I told in the material of 5S which I gave already, 5S is not a mere beautification campaign and also KATAZUKE activity which is mare initial step of 5S. Please spread the correct 5S. As you already know "Seiketsu" is the step of the thing of the Kaizen.

I would like to write a little more about Kaizen.

There are vital 3 elements to spread Kaizen in the enterprise.

One is the “shared sense of values” (between the workers and management) ​​. One is “air”. The last one is the “time”.

 

Shared sense of values

There are cases of successful Kaizen in any country. These are the following two cases.

One is home. Change the layout of the furniture, buy a cooking tool and device the position to use easily etc. Another is a small company like as a cottage industries.

 

Why these cases do go well Kaizen?

Because they can love the work, love the fellow, also love the product (although is a general theory). And because there is a "Shared sense of values”​​ referred improving the home, the company". And it's important to promote the Kaizen.

On the other hand how is the situation of the companies which are larger than cottage industries? (This is my experience in Mexico, USA and India) Do the workers who are the protagonists of Kaizen love their company, gemba, fellows and products? The answer is most likely “No”. They work for the sustenance of tomorrow. However it is vital to establish the “Shared sense of values” with employees. 

 

Air

Right then how can be possible to establish the “Shared sense of value” with employees?

In my description of 5S, I wrote the case of Chrysler who implements Kaizen well.

What is the causes which this factory can implement Kaizen well? The cause is that the employees of Chrysler experienced the bankruptcy (Ap. 30.2009) and resumption of the factory with the Federal bankruptcy law.

When the bankruptcy of this company the employees experienced the loosing job. And after the resumption of the factory the shared sense of values sprouted.   

This experience led to the shared sense of values in the workers.

But it doesn’t go in the general companies. It is necessary to seek in other sound way. And it is necessary to make the “air” another words “Corporate culture of all people’s participation (to company’s management)”.

 

Now how can we make it? 

It is the Sharing information and to display key factory management index in the information board. It's the thing to display the annual policy of the company, quality, efficiency, claim, safety and accident, examples of Kaizen, Kaizen result graph and number, 5S, progress of project, logos and banners--- simply.

Of course it never neglect the daily or weekly and monthly maintenance of these information. 

When I spoke this story in a conference, there was the objection immediately from the managers and said.

“Even though display, nobody of employee look at these”. Yes it is quite true.

 

Then I questioned to them. “Do we need air for live?”

And it was quite natural and they answered me “It is necessary.” And I continued “Is it possible to see air?” The answer was of course “No”. And I told them that “Air is necessary but not possible to see. But it is possible to feel occasionally. The workers of the gemba do not look at the graphs and charts. But it is necessary for the shared sense of values and to make the corporate culture of all people’s participation. These indicators of factory management displayed in the notice board are important not only for the daily control and visual control, but also are essential to establish and maintain the shared sense of values.

 

Time

I have told in my conference that there is no magic bullet to Kaizen and if there is to be, only keeping to say Kaizen 3 years.

These 3 are the necessary conditions for the dissemination and continuation of Kaizen. Please teach these to your clients.

The group activity of these 5S and QC Circle is a good way to establish the shared sense of values which is "the benefits of the company and the original desire of people which to want to challenge something”. And I have never failed. QC circle in itself doesn’t have a failure.

 

Lean

Still it is important to continue the activity which enlighten the effect and usefulness of TPS in your country (I say the continuance of sing the hymns). But I would require to proceed to next phase which is to teach and practice the TPS in actual gemba. 

At present the needs of TPS (Lean) is very high in the world. And ever Tom, Dick and Harry say Lean, Lean and Lean. However there is a thing which I would require you.

Please teach the Basic Factory Management exactly. I would explain the necessity of the Basic Factory Management in the 3 stories.

First of all it is a thing to say that The Toyota men who retired recently or is in active duty can’t teach TPS. They are expert of TPS, because they have been using or are using TPS in Toyota.

But they can’t teach and spread TPS in the foreign countries and companies. Why not?

Because they can’t teach and establish the base of management, because they grew in the sufficient situation which is the completed Basic Factory Management. They can teach TPS in the condition which the Basic Factory Management is completed and in fact can just sing the hymn of TPS in the lecture at the best.

TPS is the thing such as an application software in a computer. And for using the application, the system software is necessary. And the Basic Factory Management is the thing such as the system software. The Toyota men can use just the application software in the proper condition of the system software.

I would tell you one more story which is the case of the construction of house to explain the relation of the Basic Factory Management and TPS. For construction of a house the foundation work and soil improvement are important. And a house is built on it. As you can understand already, the basis and soil are to correspond to the Basic Factory Management. And on the firm base it is possible to build a firm house called TPS or Lean.

If the base is not firm, it is not possible to construct TPS or Lean and even though it was introduced, it is not possible to keep it or gain the effects.

I would show the case which there was in your city in fact.   

There is a technique called “One piece flow production” in the TPS.

It is the method of which produce not in large batch, but produce various products and quantity which are necessary to produce in one day in small batch or one by one in the production flow. This method is useful to reduce the stock in the process and warehouse.

A Japanese consultant taught this method to the factory. But unfortunately this method was no longer and disappeared without the trace with in less than half a year after he returned home.   

The reason is simple. For using this technique, it is necessary to provide the base which are Heijunka which based on the certain Production Control, SMED which is essential for quick change of line and/or machine in standardization, Line balance control in working standards, Visual control, Quality control and inspection system, Poka-Yoke, training of multi-skilled operator and cross-training. And also the Efficiency control is vital.     

This Japanese consultant taught the one piece flow production system without teaching these soil and base.

When I was in San Jose (California, US) and Juarez (Chihuahua Mexico), I dedicated to the NUMMI project as the production engineer. And one GM engineer who was a member of Saturn Project was always with me. The NUMMI project was a magnificent trial to introduce the TPS and the small size car in GM. GM desired gain TPS. 

And GM could started the plant of Saturn which was the world strategic model also built the plant of Brazil which was the complete copy of Toyota factory including the factory management system (TPS).

However as you know GM went bankrupt and the world strategic car ended. And after the resumption, the TPS copied Brazil factory was also closed. Why?

About this series of events, the Toyota man of my old friend simply told that it is not possible to introduce TPS with just copy or without certain base. GM. Lack of base? What is the lack of base? Corporate culture and “all people’s participation”, Kaizen, QC circle these are essential base of TPS. TPS shouldn’t be mere technique or system, but be the foundation and basic philosophy of management. GM is a very large company. However even though the large company there is the case of giving up to maintain. In GM, in where TPS remains?

I have been teaching one European company. The requirement of this client is to introduce TPM (Total Productive Maintenance and Management).

Then my team has presented the 5years action program after the diagnosis of the company. Yes it is the program of 5 years.

Initially the company reacted against our plan.

In fact, the results of the diagnosis was 43% and much lower than the 70% which is the acceptable level to introduce TPM, TPS. And judged that it is necessary to prepare the Basic Factory Management before start the introduction of TPM. And as the result our action plan was accepted by the client. And now we are teaching in this action plan.

Was lengthy, I think that your teaching the TPS would be very nice, but please don’t miss to teach the base and soil.   

I‘ve attached the Check List of Basic Factory Management out of kindness. In the check list, I selected 110 vital items for introducing TPS.

At your new start, I would ask you the molting “From hymn to practice”.

I will support you. And please don’t forget that I will be with you always. 

--

Your Japanese friend

International Consultant