Just about everyone in American manufacturing today is asking “How do we keep our costs competitive with China?” Increasingly Lean manufacturing, based on the Toyota Production System, is part of the answer.
An essential part of becoming Lean is a culture change to engaging everyone in “kaizen” or the continuous improvement process. This is especially true for the leadership of the company. Yet change is not easy and because “seeing is believing”. Gemba Research offers the Japan Kaikaku Experience, a benchmarking trip to observe some of Japan’s best Lean manufacturing implementations in action
This trip offers a behind-the-scenes look at world class manufacturing practices in a variety of industries. Kaikaku is a Japanese word meaning a major change, or a revolution. This trip is a learning experience to help leaders understand and embrace Lean principles and rapid culture change.
Since launching this service in February 2000 Gemba has led 15 trips taking more than 250 people from 40 companies. Industry leaders such as Teleflex, Cessna, and Parker Hannifin have benefited from the Japan Kaikaku Experience.
The majority of public tours Gemba leads are private, meaning they are tailored and organized for the needs of one company. Gemba also offers public tours of mixed groups of individuals. The next schedule public tour is May 14-20, 2006.
For more information, or to sign up for an upcoming tour, visit gemba.com.
Jeff Kaas, president of Kaas Tailored and an alumnus of four trips says about seeing world class Lean manufacturing examples in Japan, "If you want real change, your whole team has to see it and they have to see it together."
The Japan Kaikaku Experience is led by Brad Schmidt, the managing partner of Gemba Research. Mr. Schmidt was born and raised in Japan and is fluent in Japanese and English. He is a founding member of Gemba Research.
Gemba Research is a consulting firm that specializes in helping organizations to remain competitive through kaizen. Since 1998 Gemba has helped over 100 firms in 11 countries implement Toyota Production System (or "Lean") principles to manufacturing and transactional processes.