Shinka Management to Relaunch Study Missions to Japan Following Pandemic Interruption

Australia-headquartered Shinka Management has announced a relaunch of its lean manufacturing study mission program in Q4 2022, following a hiatus of over 2 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company of lean consultants has been operating study tours to Japan since 2007 under the banner of the Lean Japan Tour, hosting participants from over 60 countries to date.

The week-long study missions focus on Japanese operations management practices such as lean manufacturing and kaizen improvement culture, which have grown in popularity outside of Japan over recent decades as increasing evidence has emerged of their effectiveness as an organization operating model. Participants learn how to implement, lead and sustain lean management practices within their organisation to achieve improved levels of profitability, quality and safety, whilst improving morale and contribution from their employees.

The study mission program includes seminars, practical training, tours of benchmark factories and in-depth management discussions, together with an exciting mix of Japanese food and culture. The study mission leadership comprises Shinka Management’s bilingual lean consultants together with Japanese veteran factory managers from Toyota.

A core component of the program is the opportunity to meet with senior management from Japanese industry and tour their operations to experience first-hand how the theory is translated into practice. Shinka Management has led visits to over 40 Japanese organizations over the history of the Japan study mission program including manufacturers, logistics companies, hospitals, government and universities.

Given lean manufacturing’s evolution via the now world-renowned Toyota Production System, Toyota Motor Corporation final assembly plants and factories within its supply chain remain popular destinations offering a wealth of learnings.

The study missions are a core offering from Shinka Management’s lean training curriculum. The program is coordinated by Adelaide-based Shinka Management Consultant Eri Dennis, who has been managing the challenge of relaunching the program in the face of continuing uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our team is excited to welcome our clients back to Japan and it’s fantastic to see a lot of pent-up demand for this program which is booked out until early 2023. Our most recent tour program was held way back in November 2019, and up until then we were running up to 10 study missions to Japan each year. We’ve certainly missed this activity and we’re working hard with our team in Japan to ensure a COVID-safe environment for participants, host organisations and staff, whilst maintaining a high-quality learning experience.”

The program is scheduled to recommence subject to pandemic-related restrictions from November 2022, with a study mission visiting Tokyo, Aichi and Gifu. To learn more about Shinka Management’s lean manufacturing study tour program, see Japan study mission.