Lean Manufacturing

Questions About Lean Manufacturing in China

By Jon Miller Published on October 7th, 2007

I will be in China this week seeing some factories and talking to people about Lean manufacturing. Adapting and applying time-tested methods and approaches to new environments and new challenges is always a treat. I go with many questions.
I haven’t kept count but this trip may take me into double digit visits. The experience has been like watching the industrial history of the Western world unfold in fast forward. In some places, it’s been stuck on pause for quite a few decades. It’s hard to keep up, in either case.
How do you say “genchi genbutsu” in Chinese? Oddly, it’s not the same as the Japanese (現地現物). Likely it’s 現地実物 which is very close. It’s harder than you might think to translate ideas from Japan to China. From Japan to the US to China, not so hard.
What questions do you have about Lean manufacturing in China? Perhaps some of your questions can be answered if I keep them in mind as we observe the facts on the ground. Feel free to post your questions below.
Have a good week everybody.

  1. Alberto

    October 8, 2007 - 9:49 am

    Maybe i’m falling into a Chinese stereotype but i visualize massive manual manufacturing practices not including that many automatic process, so if that is so how do they handle Work Instructions and most importantly how do they extend their efforts of developing people into massive amounts,

  2. Mark Graban

    October 8, 2007 - 6:38 pm

    Travel safe. I’d be curious how they do on “respect for people” and employee involvement. Do employees do what they’re told or are they engaged in finding improvements?

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