This video is quite interesting, if you’re interested in how quickly a small company can innovate.
It is about how a small raincoat production company was asked to produce COVID-19 protective gowns by the Japanese government, but was struggling to meet targets of 10,000 gowns a day. They were used to producing only about 500 units a day.
That’s when some productivity engineers from Toyota saw an opportunity to help, by bring their expertise in kaizen and lean manufacturing, to suggest ways of reducing wasted time and effort.
Toyota is one of the companies which spends the most on R&D, renowned across the world for its efficient manufacturing capabilities, refined over decades into its Toyota Production System.
As a result, the company was able to go from struggling to produce 500 plastic gowns a day, to making over 50,000 gowns a day. All without significant expense.
And interestingly, every example of process innovation here was completely non-digital. It just goes to show that innovation is not just about new technology, it can apply to every part of the existing business as well.
Yes, the video is in Japanese, but it has English subtitles.
I’d highly recommend it, if you’re interested to see a different way of looking at innovation, from a process perspective.
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