Productivity for Competitiveness

By Dr. Shigeyasu Sakamoto
Real Story: Productivity Vision Revolution into Action

Productivity has been improved by 276% in four years within companywide activities.

B company had a few opportunities to get outside management consultants support more than 20 years. But top management had discouraged such support because they thought there was no concrete effect for improving company’s financial situation.

Then after the company met a case of MDC contribution for a company revolution, a project team was organized for implementing MDC, performance control and measuring productivity system to five factories. The project was full time for the team of 30 engineers. It lasted about 5 years for five plants.

The results were carried on a newspaper. The news story was that B company has reduced the number of employees by 1,000 workers within three years, as result of MDC activities. It meant reducing the number of manufacturing employee from 5,000 to 4,000. The reduction results were as follows: 200 employees on retirement, 800 were employed by affiliated companies or transferred for outsourcing work.

The project activity results were not only successful for the company’s productivity enhancing but also for the company’s position on measuring productivity among other competitors. The company has always been behind others but it has reached the top level.

The record was an impressive story as following figure:

So, What Do You Think?

What business expectations should be deployed to teams and individuals to ensure real competitiveness through productivity?


1. Manufacturing Cost Policy Deployment(MCPD) and Methods Design Concept(MDC), The Path to Competitiveness,  Alin Posteuca and Shigeyasu Sakamoto, CRC Press, USA, 2017.

2. Beyond World-Class Productivity, Industrial Engineering Practice and Theory, Shigeyasu Sakamoto, Springer, UK, 2010.

3. Design concept for methods engineering in Maynard Industrial Engineering Handbook, the Fourth ed. Hodson, Shigeyasu Sakamoto, McGraw Hill, 1992.

Dr. Shigeyasu Sakamoto is a management consultant in productivity and profitability improvement and president of Productivity Partner Incorporation - Japan. Before his current appointment, Sakamoto was vice president of Maynard MEC AB (Sweden) and vice president of JMAC (Japan).

Dr. Sakamoto is a Fellow at the World Academy of Productivity Science. He received his doctorate degree of policy science from the Graduate School of Doshisha University in Japan and is certified as a P.E. by the Japanese government. He is also certified as: industrial engineer from the European Institute of Industrial Engineers, international MTM, method-time measurement instructor from International MTM Directorate (IMD), a MOST instructor from Maynard Management Institute and Work-Factor and Mento Factor instructor from WOFAC Corporation. He worked for the IMD as the technical coordinator responsible for developing a new system of MTM. Sakamoto is a senior member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers in USA.

Dr. Sakamoto has more than 50 years of management consultant experience and he has very good feedback from his clients - top management - especially regarding the direct contribution to corporate performance with his own developed methodology of MDC, method design concept and work measurement rather than introducing a lot of fashionable topics. Basic industrial engineering technologies are not hackneyed. Effective results come when industrial engineers know how to use the technologies and demonstrate their abilities. This includes going back to the basics.

Dr. Sakamoto insists that the fundamentals for a higher level of Syakaku is only possible to reach through a higher level of profitability based on a higher level of productivity. There are so many arguments and targets for improving productivity for the purpose of competitiveness in the world market. However, poor levels of productivity and profitability only compromise higher corporate dignity, which is Syakaku.