Our MD, Rick McCarthy recently visited Japan for a Lean Study tour. Here he writes about his experience with Dr Kobayashi who’s father created the 20 Keys that are crucial to develop a world class company.
My biggest learning is one about R-E-S-P-E-C-T. My first impression is that the Japanese will give you respect before you earn it. Wow, that is a generous offer! We talk a lot about Respect in our Lean training, but there is nothing like experiencing it to truly understand what it means. Respect is ingrained in their culture. And when it comes to the work environment, these guys not only want to do a good job, if they don’t, they will feel deeply ashamed!
I was in Japan on a 20 Keys/Lean Study Tour. The leader of our tour was Dr Kobayashi. His father created 20 Keys in 1982. 20 Keys is a way to implement Lean/Lean Thinking. It makes sense that the first Key is 4S – Cleaning & Organizing. The Lean office is set up just like any other production area, safe, clean, and built for speed. They say, if you can’t get past Key 1, then you are doomed to fail the rest.
Below are the 20 keys and a few photos from my insightful study tour!
THE 20 KEYS:
Key 1: Cleaning and Organizing
Key 2: Rationalizing the System/MBOs
Key 3: Improvement Team Activities
Key 4: Reducing Inventory (Shortening Lead Times)
Key 5: Quick Changeover Technology
Key 6: Manufacturing Value Analysis
Key 7: Zero Monitor Manufacturing
Key 8: Coupled Manufacturing
Key 9: Maintaining Equipment
Key 10: Time Control and Commitment
Key 11: Quality Assurance System
Key 12: Developing Your Suppliers
Key 13: Eliminating Waste (Treasure Map)
Key 14: Empowering Workers to Make Improvements
Key 15: Skill Versatility and Cross Training
Key 16: Production Scheduling
Key 17: Efficiency Control
Key 18: Using Information Systems
Key 19: Conserving Energy and Materials
Key 20: Leading Technology and Site Technology
さようなら Sayōnara – (Japanese for Goodbye!)