The period of emergency declaration has ended, and we can finally visit domestic factories on site.
So, I visited SumiRiko Yamagata Company Limited (Yonezawa City, Yamagata Prefecture), which is positioned as a global mother factory for general-purpose automotive anti-vibration rubber products, while taking thorough measures to prevent infection.
I was really encouraged to see that they have been steadily accumulating good Kaizen cases which can be deployed globally.
I asked them to “collect basic data on the cost for Kaizen and its horizontal deployment”, and to “visualize the tools used for Kaizen and their expected effects”.
This is because the cost of kaizen activities varies depending on the circumstances of each region of the world, and it is important to clarify the extent to which the tools should be prepared and how much effect can be derived as a result.
After the factory visit, we gathered in a small group to hold a dialogue with the people who promoted and explained the Kaizen activities.
When I asked them what they really thought, they said,
"We don't really feel that our own Kaizen cases are being deployed overseas.”
“The head office has given us a goal to make SumiRiko Yamagata a global mother factory and a role model for the world, but we don't know if we are really achieving that goal.”
In many situations, I believe that the members of SumiRiko Yamagata have been told that Yamagata's Kaizen cases are being deployed around the world.
However, they cannot be fully convinced if their cases are well applied around the world unless they can actually see the actual things at the actual sites.
In a way, I felt they are genuine Kaizen people.
Therefore, I said to them,
“Your kaizen ideas have been definitely implemented and proven effective. I would like you to make further improvements and visit the sites to give guidance.”
On the other hand, to my delight, I received a comment from someone who said,
"You are just as frank as I imagined from your blog.”
I was grateful to hear that he was reading my blog, and I replied,
"Of course I am, since I am the one who actually writes it.”
Our company's strength is the accumulation of steady Kaizen activities like the one described in this story.
Everybody, let's work with the spirit of “Banji-Nissei” at all times.