Metal One Isuzu – Factory Tour
Isuzu Corporation is an expert trading company which specializes in the steel industry. The Steel Service Division of the company processes and supplies cold rolled steel to various industries. Isuzu has nine regional service centers in the Kanto, Chuo and Tokai regions and one affiliated steel service company based in Kyushu. Isuzu Group also has Logistics, Life Service and Solution Divisions which provide other services related to its core-business.
- Company: Isuzu Corporation
- Foundation: 1947
- Location: headquartered in Tokyo
- Main Business: cold rolled steel processing and distribution
Isuzu Corporation – Lean Characteristics
Standardization, 5S, Corporate Culture
Isuzu specializes in the processing and sales of cold rolled steel. It is a completely unrelated entity to that of Isuzu Motors. Isuzu has several regional service centers for distribution of steel coil to various industries, including the automotive and electronic industries, that demand reliable and timely service.
The company believes that coil distribution is an old economy and that in order to remain profitable in this maturing industry the company must focus on creating new value for the market and cutting costs by boosting shop floor and office efficiency.
Isuzu strives to make efficient use of space within its service centers, through minimizing stock on hand and utilizing racking with automated picking. Efficient operations are supported by a high level of standardized work and their enterprise resource planning system developed in-house, which not only allows them to achieve a high processing volume, but in conjunction with their internal logistics division, enables them to respond to urgent orders with a lead time of between 2 to 3 hours from receipt of order to dispatch to their customer, without compromising their day’s production schedule.
The company is extremely dedicated to the thorough implementation of 5S and workplace safety. Their shop floor operators carry out a 5S and safety patrol daily, with the responsibility for these audits shared across every member of their factory, office and logistics staff.
The company also boasts an excellent corporate culture and an engaged, dedicated and vibrant workforce through their “full participation” and “all-in-management” approach.
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For me, the Lean Japan Tour was a journey through different companies guided by experts who explained the tools and demonstrated how to live in a work culture based on continuous improvement. This allowed me to discover new concepts and approaches to facilitate the successful implementation of a kaizen culture in American companies.
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The Shinka Management Lean Japan Tour is a professional development program run several times annually. The program includes a mix of lean and kaizen seminars, hands-on lean training and visits to several benchmark lean companies. For further information and program dates, see the lean tour overview page.