The secret of a consistent Japanese approach in the West

By Dr. Alin Posteucă

I am often asked in companies: why does the Japanese approach fail in the West? Everyone knows that there are many possible causes and many business effects.

In recent years I have had the great honor and privilege of discussing intensely and intimately about the original Japanese approach (from the beginning to the present day) with Dr. Shigeyasu Sakamoto (my mentor and I think I can say my good friend too).

So why failures? I don’t intend to make a list. It would be easy for me to say that Japanese improvement experts see/perceive the world differently. This is not entirely true. They work a lot and continuously, and consequently they are very good at deeply understanding the micro-movements within a cycle time (human and / or equipment). Then they can easily design much clearer working methods from the beginning, methods that turn into standards with short times and without significant variations (SOP).

I think that here is a big point of the differences between the Japanese approach and us in the West, the first step: the way to achieve the initial and subsequent standardization (the key to the much desired stability and the key to continuous improvement). What do you think?

Source: Alin Posteucă on LinkedIn

Dr. Alin Posteucă is a consultant in productivity and profitability, CEO of Exegens® and the author of Manufacturing Cost Policy Deployment (MCPD) and Speed-Based Target Profit (SBTP) concepts. His major research areas include manufacturing policy deployment, manufacturing cost improvement and visible profitability of operational excellence by improving productivity. His recent research includes the impact of Industry 4.0 on planning and developing synchronous profitable operations and on information systems of cost and budget in order to substantially improve the operational unit costs.

He has been actively involved in various industrial consulting and training projects for more than 20 years, delivering training/ workshop programs in Productivity, Innovation, Business Transformation and Leadership for over 5,000 participants.

He has a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and a Ph.D. in Managerial Accounting. He has an MBA Degree and a BA Degree in Accounting and Computer Science and he is certified Public Accountant in Romania. He has published in various research journals and presented papers at numerous conferences and congresses regarding Productivity, Profitability and Industrial Engineering.

Dr. Alin Posteucă is the author of Manufacturing Cost Policy Deployment (MCPD) and Speed-Based Target Profit (SBTP) concepts, published in four books at Productivity Press – Routledge/ CRC, New York (USA).