Together with Shinka Management, Rieter China reached a new level of lean production capability. Through site workshops and on-site support we could develop our staff with the latest lean methodologies. The direct link between theory and practice was the main driver for the successful development of our lean program here in China. Our Production and Management teams learned a lot from Hyodo Sensei’s extensive production management experience. Thanks to this support we implemented continuous improvement practices in all production departments, including a successful lean office program!
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Andreas Parpan, Vice President Operations ChinaRieter China

Had the pleasure to accompany Ben and clients on the 2007 Lean Japan Tour. I had worked with many Japanese, ASEAN, UK and US firms and as such have participated in benchmarking assignments and tours of their operations. Some involved attending and presenting at various strategy, productivity and quality management conferences. In that context, I was so taken away with Shinka Management’s tour. The productivity best practice survey lessons learned and lectures from our Japanese hosts followed by excellent Tokyo and Nagoya plant tours were breathtaking and one of the most enjoyable learning experiences. The re-enforcement of the little continual improvement activities, coordination and collaboration of all the companies and their suppliers was “in-your-face” so to speak. There was little need for explanation in some ways as the plants were “visual” and Ben’s clarifications were timely – every time. He filled the gaps in our understanding and what Ben’s clients had achieved by their productivity, quality and lean interventions. As for the personal time, the co-tour attendees and Ben’s hosting were memorable. During the in-bus post plant tour de-briefs it was interesting to hear what each of us got out of the visit and what we learned from what we saw – different eyes, experience and perspectives. Brilliant!
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Michael W McLean, Managing DirectorMcLean Management Consultants

The fact that you can go past all the books and see the Toyota Production System in action first hand is fantastic. It is not sold in a complicated form by those involved but rather the opposite. The training room was found to be hands on and simple allowing us to touch and feel examples of good practice. I am looking forward to sharing my time with colleagues through the feedback sessions planned.
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Stuart Cumming, Continuous Improvement ManagerETEL Transformers

Amazing Tour. Great experience to see and share with Japanese managers. I learned a lot about their culture, their way to think, to work and to improve by themselves. Great moments during training and after work. Thanks a lot. We will return back home with a new eye and mindset.
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Alexandre Belkanichi, Operations ManagerAirbus France

During the Lean Japan Tour I came to the realization that improving an organization is not through large capital investments alone. We were completely surrounded by examples of minor investments into small improvements that produced significant savings. The clever use of visual management techniques gave a clear understanding of the current situation and Ben who is fluent in Japanese was able to remove any language barriers. The open discussions with local senior management helped me identify the misconceptions I had regarding Lean Manufacturing. From the tour I came away with a much broader comprehension of the key elements and how each company had achieved them. We saw the application of lean in various industries – not just automotive. Having said that, what we did experience with the automotive visits were certain management concepts that I realized could be applied in many other situations. In our case we implemented “one piece flow” and “process value mapping” and achieved considerable savings. The tour was a seamless and very professional experience and the group was able to gain a better understanding of the Japanese culture. This is not just a tour for production people but for everybody with an open mind to improve processes, like for myself coming out of Finance.
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Thomas Baron, Financial ControllerFuji Xerox

I highly recommend the Lean Study Tour of Japan as an experience not to be missed. Having attended the tour for the past three years, supporting our clients, I have come away with new learnings every time. Whether you are new to Lean Thinking or well into your Lean Journey you will undoubtedly have an amazing experience immersed in the heart of the Toyota Production System. For companies wishing to develop their world class manufacturing skills this tour is a must do. Shinka Management’s co-ordination and guidance throughout the tour is faultless.
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Peter Cox, DirectorSimply Lean Business Solutions Limited

A great tour. Having spent over 20 years in manufacturing I now understand the true meaning of Kaizen.
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Martin Karlsson, Operations ManagerVolvo Buses

From a remote rural engineering company – to the shining lights of Japan’s finest. I have returned overwhelmed from the experience to learn from some of the worlds best manufacturers and absorb decades of experience from my fellow peers. Highly recommended and treat it as a sound investment for your company’s future!
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Luke Ellery, Production ManagerKelly Engineering

Businesses need every weapon at their disposal to help compete in a global market. This tour opens up more ideas and opportunities and is highly recommended to manufacturers, engineering or service related industries. Everyone can learn something on this tour! Paul and Ben have done a marvelous job of putting together an action-packed week, which is highly recommended for those who wish to not only study lean practices but who have an interest in dealing with the Japanese in business.
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Lee Baines, Business Advisor & Manager Best Practice UnitDepartment of Industry, Australian Government

I attended the tour in 2011 and found the whole experience very useful to build on my understanding of Lean Manufacturing. For those having a reasonable understanding of Lean this tour shows in detail the gap that Australia experiences to world class productivity practices. Most interesting was the deployment of essentially the key elements of the Toyota Production System into an SME with 50 employees. It showed that even small business can be world class, and there is significant potential from my experience to do this in local SME’s as well as larger firms. This is really a must as part of the serious Lean journey and excellent for small and larger enterprises.
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Robert Lloyd, Business AdviserAustralian Industry Group