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Insight to Japanese Business Culture

Rahul Darshane

Success of Japan brand lies in deep rooted in societal values, discipline, sensitivity towards society including disabled peoples , inclusive approach , cleanliness and finally interest of country first ..

Here are some of the elements that are essential Japanese values:

Age Respect and care for ones elders--is an important factor for the Japanese. They have a great deal of respect for their elders and value them as critical members of society.

Silence In Japanese culture, those who say very little are considered credible. Their non-verbal communication are more important than verbal communication.

Traditions The Japanese are a people with deep-rooted traditions that are thousands of years old.

Five things that made Japanese Business successful are 1. The Spirit (Country First )2. Punctuality 3. Discipline 4. Politeness 5. No error attitude.

Some of the aspects or key factors of Japanese Business Management which contributed to success of Japan brand ( Toyota, Honda, Suzuki, Sony, etc .. ) are
Structure and Discipline
World-class Japanese automakers Business manage product development in disciplined way.. They set clear, understandable goals and communicate them consistently to suppliers, and they use targets and prototypes to enforce those goals. It is a simple, rigid process, much like an assembly line. Suppliers must “keep the line moving”—a highly regimented role.

All the Japanese customers and suppliers have surprisingly similar charts describing their product-development cycles—a single sheet of paper capturing a high-level view of the process and including clearly tagged milestones that begin several years before the start of production…

Japanese automakers give marching orders to suppliers through carefully considered targets for price, delivery date, performance, and space constraints. Then the suppliers go off and design to those targets. There is usually little room for missing them: a deviation by one supplier will have implications for designers of other component systems. Thus, for a supplier, design is a “pull system,” in some ways analogous to the renowned kanban system. It is “pulled” by explicit customer requirements in the form of targets and non-negotiable deadlines. Suppliers are expected to work hard to meet targets on time. Although customers generally understand that, if despite its best efforts, a supplier cannot meet a target, but they are unsympathetic if the supplier shows signs that they have not worked very hard.

In short, Japanese automaker’s Business ,use targets as a major co-ordinating mechanism

Establish mutual understanding.

Very few CEOs of large Japanese companies have any time available for managing their companies / Business. They keep control of things by giving careful attention to personnel decisions in the upper ranks of the Business and by requesting meticulous financial and planning reports. But they do not “manage”—that is left to lower levels.

The top people spend their time sitting, sipping cups of green tea, listening, asking a few questions, then sitting some more, sipping more cups of green tea, listening, asking a few more questions. They sit with the people from their own Business / industries , with suppliers, with the trading company people, with the managers of subsidiaries...

Their aim, of course, is not to solve anything but to establish mutual understanding. When there is a problem, one knows where to go. One knows what the other person and his institution expect, what they can and will do, and what they cannot or will not do. When either crisis or opportunity arrives, these immobile sitters are able to act with amazing speed, & decisiveness…

Focus on Factual Data ;
There are three ways to get factual data 1. Listening 2.Reading , 3. Observation.. Careful listening and power of Observations is used by many Japanese company to get factual data which will be used for improvement opportunities , taking decisions ..

The Toyota way of Business Management ..
Toyota production system developed by Toyota Motor Corporation to provide best quality, lowest cost, and shortest lead time through the elimination of waste. TPS is comprised of two pillars 1. Just-in-time 2. Jidoka

Just in time ;
A system of production that makes and delivers just what is needed, just when it is needed, and just in the amount needed. JIT relies on heijunka as a foundation and is comprised of three operating elements: the pull system, takt time, and continuous flow. JIT aims for the total elimination of all waste to achieve the best possible quality, lowest possible cost and use of resources, and the shortest possible production and delivery lead times. Although simple in principle, JIT demands discipline for effective implementation.

Level Production; Production Smoothing

Basic levelling of production volume and model mix is necessary to establish process stability and continuous flow. Levelling the type and quantity of production over a fixed period of time. This enables production to efficiently meet customer demands while avoiding batching and results in minimum inventories, capital costs, manpower, and production lead time through the whole value stream. This allows ship to order as per customer request but build to levelling schedule. Heijunka provides a standardized core for resource planning.

Role of Jidoka : Self monitoring machines..
Jidoka is roughly translated mean “ Intelligent machines “.

Providing machines and operators the ability to detect when an abnormal condition or problem has occurred and immediately stop work. It is an effort to have the machine work without continuous direct human monitoring and it will sound alert when problem occurs.

Jidoka highlights the causes of problems because work stops immediately when a problem first occurs. This leads to improvements in the processes that build in quality by eliminating the root causes of defects.

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