YKK Stories

Fundamental Behavior 10 – Be process driven

August 28, 2020
Author: YKK
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A “process” is each thing that should be done to get closer to the ideal form (result) from the current situation. To be process-driven is to pay attention to each of these things, and to ensure that each process is executed reliably and quickly to reach the ideal form.

Focusing on process has three benefits: 1) Clarification of purpose; 2) Finding the cause of inefficiencies and making improvements; 3) Reliable execution. Focusing on the process in this way ensures that the results are reached faster.

Let me tell you a story about myself. When I worked with the TFM business in Europe in my previous job, a new law was adopted in Europe regarding the indication of the fixed position of child seats in automobiles. It was therefore essential to introduce legally compliant products, and we are the first in the industry to introduce a new snap button product for this purpose to the market. However, at first it was impossible to meet our customers’ demands. In order to overcome this situation, we sought to build a strong process for stable supply by reviewing the work that each person had individually handled so far, namely…

Confirm weekly the rate of consumption inside and outside the region, the type of product, and the future increase amount;

Check the inventory of each company on a weekly basis;

Confirm the production capacity of YKK in-house and subcontractors weekly;

Make weekly decisions on production items and ship-to parties;

Review the timing of mold and manufacturing equipment maintenance weekly.

In this way, we constructed a weekly process and started operations, and we were gradually able to improve delivery times. In addition, even if the manager was not present or there was a change, the process made it possible to respond immediately without causing confusion at the manufacturing site. This process greatly contributed to the stabilization and increase of sales.

Every day we work using processes. However, I don’t think that these processes, once created, are perfect. It is important to constantly update the processes that have been created in response to various changes such as the global situation, market conditions, technological innovation, and legal changes. “Kaizen,” or constant improvement, is what really transforms the process into a better one. Each of us thinks about how to improve the process by ourselves, and by doing so, we will be able to deeply understand the process and execute it reliably. Let’s do “kaizen” while respecting the process that we have created so far and create a better process together.

Be process-driven. This is one way to ensure that “what should be” (the result) is reached faster. Thank you.

Kaz Tomioka
YKK (U.S.A) Inc.
National marketing manager for textiles and plastics