Sunday, September 10, 2006

Japan Kaikaku Experience


I landed in Japan last night after a 27 hours journey but only 16 hours in the air. Here is the cool view from my 21st floor hotel room of the city of Kitakyushu, Japan. This trip is not a vacation but a learning experience hosted by Gemba Research called the Japan Kaikaku Experience. It is more of a lean learning mission in the heart of Japanese manufacturing. If you want to really see Japanese manufacturing first hand, there is no better way than joining the first class run tour experience that Gemba provides. So this week, I'll report my first experiences visiting Japan and most of all, my lean learning.

4 comments:

Mark Graban said...

That's outstanding. I'm very jealous of your trip! That's great that you're willing to share your experiences with us all!

Mark Graban said...

One question -- do we really have to do all the way to Japan these days to see the best lean companies? Does anyone do an equivalent tour around the US?

Mike Wroblewski said...

Thanks for your comments Mark. I'll let you know this week how the few companies I have visited in the US compare. Most US tours of lean companies are on an individual basis or through local organizations like SME or with seminars. As far as I know, no other tour experience like this is similar in the US. I'm sure we can find good examples in the US for elements of lean but nothing like the "real" thing shall we say so here I am.

Kevin said...

AME has a 2-day "Southern California Lean Tour" each year. I sent several people last year and they came back amazed at what could be learned from a hot tub manufacturer, as well as the high tech companies they visited. However I doubt they saw the president of a company scrubbing the factory floor!