• Seiri (整理): Sorting. Refers to the practice of going through all the tools, materials, etc., in the work area and keeping only essential items. Everything else is stored or discarded. This leads to fewer hazards and less clutter to interfere with productive work.
• Seiton (整頓): Simplifying. Focuses on the need for an orderly workplace. "Orderly" in this sense means arranging the tools and equipment in an order that promotes work flow. Tools and equipment should be kept where they will be used, and the process should be ordered in a manner that eliminates extra motion.
• Seisō (清掃): Sweeping, Systematic Cleaning, or Shining. Indicates the need to keep the workplace clean as well as neat. Cleaning in Japanese companies is a daily activity. At the end of each shift, the work area is cleaned up and everything is restored to its place, making it easy to know what goes where and to know when everything is where it should be are essential here. The key point is that maintaining cleanliness should be part of the daily work - not an occasional activity initiated when things get too messy.
• Seiketsu (清潔): Standardizing. This refers to standardized work practices. It refers to more than standardized cleanliness (otherwise this would mean essentially the same as "systemized cleanliness"). This means operating in a consistent and standardized fashion. Everyone knows exactly what his or her responsibilities are. In part this follows from Seiton where the order of a workplace should reflect the process of work, these imply standardised work practice and workstation layout.
• Shitsuke (躾): Sustaining. Refers to maintaining and reviewing standards. Once the previous 4S's have been established they become the new way to operate. Maintain the focus on this new way of operating, and do not allow a gradual decline back to the old ways of operating. However, when an issue arises such as a suggested improvement or a new way of working, or a new tool, or a new output requirement then a review of the first 4S's is appropriate
2. Andon is a manufacturing term referring to a system to notify management, maintenance, and other workers of a quality or process problem. The centrepiece is a signboard incorporating signal lights to indicate which workstation has the problem. The alert can be activated manually by a worker using a pullcord or button, or may be activated automatically by the production equipment itself. The system will include a means to stop production so the issue can be corrected. Modern alert systems will incorporate audio alarms and text or other displays.
An Andon system is one of the principle elements of the Jidoka quality-control method pioneered by Toyota and now part of the Lean methodology. It gives the worker the ability to stop production when a defect is found, and immediately call for assistance. Common reasons for manual activation of the Andon are part shortage, defect created or found, tool malfunction, or the existence of a safety problem. Work is stopped until a solution has been found. The alerts may be logged to a database so that they can be studied as part of a continuous-improvement program.
The system will typically indicate where the alert was generated, and may also provide a description of the trouble. Modern Andon systems can include text, graphics, or audio elements. Audio alerts may be done with coded tones, music with different tunes corresponding to the various alerts, or pre-recorded verbal messages.
Usage of the word originated within Japanese manufacturing companies, and in English is a loanword from a Japanese word for a paper lantern.
3. Autonomation describes a feature of machine design to effect the principle of jidoka used in the Toyota Production System (TPS) and Lean manufacturing. It may be described as "intelligent automation" or "automation with a human touch." This type of automation implements some supervisory functions rather than production functions. At Toyota this usually means that if an abnormal situation arises the machine stops and the worker will stop the production line. Autonomation prevents the production of defective products, eliminates overproduction and focusses attention on understanding the problem and ensuring that it never recurs. It is a quality control process that applies the following four principles:
1. Detect the abnormality.
3. Fix or correct the immediate condition.
4. Investigate the root cause and install a countermeasure
4. Continuous Improvement Process (CIP) is the meta process for most management systems (Business Process Management, Quality Management, Project Management). It has its origin in Kaizen (the translation of kai (“change”) zen (“good”) is ”improvement”). This method became famous by the book of Masaaki Imai “Kaizen: The Key to Japan's Competitive Success.”
• The core principle of CIP is the (self) reflection of processes.
• The purpose of CIP is the identification, reduction and elimination of suboptimal processes.
• The emphasis of CIP is on incremental, continuous steps, avoiding quantum leaps.
5. Gemba is a Japanese term meaning "the place where the truth can be found." Others may call it "the value proposition."
6. Gembutsu is a Japanese word meaning “real thing” and it is a component of the Three Reals as related to lean manufacturing (or Toyota Production System).
This is the Japanese mindset teaching that when there is a problem somewhere (on the shop floor of a factory for example), one should get as close to the problem as possible before proposing a solution. By observing the actual process or problem at the actual place where it is occurring, the problem solver is able to obtain actual data or facts, which will improve the chances for a better solution. This in in contrast to the Western thinking in which managers make decisions in a remote location (like behind a desk), armed only with second hand information from others
7. Genchi Genbutsu means "go and see for yourself" and it is an integral part of the Toyota Production System. It refers to the fact that any information about a process will be simplified and abstracted from its context when reported. This has often been one of the key reasons why solutions designed away from the process seem inappropriate.
8. Go-nin Gumi is a group consisting of five people with the aim to improve a product or develop a new product.
This practice in Japan is also known as quality circle or creativity circle.
The Gonin Gumi was also a street gang that was active until about 2003 in the Edogawa, Harajuku, and Setagaya areas of Tokyo. Name was taken from the term above, but the products and methods in this case were streetfighting, petty thievery, covert methods of killing, drug smuggling, etc. While the Gonin gumi disappeared, their name is still quite well known in underworld circles as an extremely brutal and ruthless street gang.
9. gōdō kaisha abbreviated GK, is a type of business organization in Japan modeled after the American limited liability company (LLC). It is a corporation with full limited liability for all investors, but has a simplified internal structure like that of a partnership.
10. Heijunka is Japanese term that refers to a system of production smoothing designed to achieve a more even and consistent flow of work. Heijunka as a concept is closely related to lean production and just in time manufacturing.
Heijunka means two different, but related, things. One is the leveling of production by volume. The other is leveling production by product type or mix.
11. heijunka box is a visual scheduling tool used in heijunka, a Japanese concept for achieving a smoother production flow. Whilst heijunka refers to the concept of achieving production smoothing, the heijunka box is the name of a specific tool used in achieving the aims of heijunka.
The heijunka box is generally a wall schedule which is divided into a grid of boxes or a set of 'pigeon-holes'/rectangular receptacles. Each column of boxes representing a specific period of time, lines are drawn down the schedule/grid to visually break the schedule into columns of individual shifts or days or weeks. Coloured cards representing individual jobs (referred to as kanban cards) are placed on the heijunka box to provide a visual representation of the upcoming production runs.
The heijunka box makes it easy to see what type of jobs are queued for production and for when they are scheduled. Workers on the process, remove the kanban cards for the current period from the box in order to know what to do. These cards will be passed to another section when they process the related job.
12. intermediary corporation is a type of corporation existing under Japanese law.
There are two types of intermediary corporations. Limited liability intermediary corporations are designed to resemble yūgen kaisha (limited companies) in formation and function, while unlimited liability intermediary corporations are closer to gomei kaisha (general partnership corporations).
13. Japanese yen is the currency of Japan. It is the third most-traded currency in the foreign exchange market after the United States dollar and the euro. It is also widely used as a reserve currency after the U.S. dollar, the euro and the pound sterling. The ISO 4217 codes for the yen are JPY and 392. The romanised symbol is ¥ while in Japanese it is also written with the kanji 円. While not a usage specific to currency, large quantities of yen are often counted in multiples of 10,000 (man, 万) in the same way as values in the United States are often quoted or rounded off to hundreds or thousands.
14. Kabushiki kaisha or kabushiki gaisha (lit. "stock companies") are a type of business corporation (kaisha?) defined under Japanese law.
15. Kaizen (Japanese for "change for the better" or "improvement"; the common English usage is "continual improvement"). In the context of this article, kaizen refers to a workplace 'quality' strategy and is often associated with the Toyota Production System and related to various quality-control systems, including methods of W. Edwards Deming.
Kaizen aims to eliminate waste (as defined by Joshua Isaac Walters "activities that add cost but do not add value"). It is often the case that this means "to take it apart and put back together in a better way." This is then followed by standardization of this 'better way' with others, through standardized work
16. Kanban (in kanji also in katakana カンバン, where kan, means "visual," and ban, means "card" or "board") is a concept related to lean and just-in-time (JIT) production. The Japanese word kanban (pronounced [kambaɴ]) is a common everyday term meaning "signboard" or "billboard" and utterly lacks the specialized meaning that this loanword has acquired in English. According to Taiichi Ohno, the man credited with developing JIT, kanban is a means through which JIT is achieved.
Kanban is a signaling system to trigger action. As its name suggests, kanban historically uses cards to signal the need for an item. However, other devices such as plastic markers (kanban squares) or balls (often golf balls) or an empty part-transport trolley or floor location can also be used to trigger the movement, production, or supply of a unit in a factory.
It was out of a need to maintain the level of improvements that the kanban system was devised by Toyota. Kanban became an effective tool to support the running of the production system as a whole. In addition, it proved to be an excellent way for promoting improvements because reducing the number of kanban in circulation highlighted problem areas.
17. Karōshi ( karōshi?), which can be translated quite literally from Japanese as "death from overwork", is occupational sudden death. The major medical causes of karōshi deaths are heart attack and stroke due to stress.
18. keiretsu (lit. system or series) ("ei" pronounced as in "weigh") is a set of companies with interlocking business relationships and shareholdings. It is a type of business group.
19. Machine orders data (also known as machine tool order data) is a figure issued by Japan Machine Tool Builders Association (JMTBA) every month. It serves as one indicator of the Japanese economy. In the forex market, the release of such data is often followed by sharp change in currency exchange rate
20. Mochibun kaisha are a class of corporations under Japanese law. While mochibun kaisha have legal personality as corporations, their internal functions are similar to partnerships, as they are both owned and operated by a single group of members
There are three types of mochibun kaisha:
• Gomei kaisha, in which all members have unlimited liability for the company's debts (similar to a general partnership)
• Goshi kaisha, in which some members have unlimited liability and some have limited liability (similar to a limited partnership)
• Godo kaisha, in which all members have limited liability (very similar to a U.S. limited liability company)
Mochibun kaisha are formed by preparing articles of incorporation and depositing the articles with a local Legal Affairs Bureau.
The Japanese civil code also provides for partnerships a different type of business organization. Civil code partnerships lack legal personality and are mainly used for specialized investment purposes.
21. Muda is traditional general Japanese term for activity that is wasteful and doesn't add value or is unproductive. It is also a key concept in the Toyota Production System and is one of the three types of waste (Muda, Mura, Muri) that it identifies. Waste reduction is an effective way to increase profitability.
A process adds value by producing goods or providing a service that a customer will pay for. A process consumes resources and waste occurs when more resources are consumed than are necessary to produce the goods or provide the service that the customer actually wants. The attitudes and tools of the TPS heighten awareness and give whole new perspectives on identifying waste and therefore the unexploited opportunities.
Muda has been given much greater attention as waste than the other two which means that whilst many Lean practitioners have learned to see muda they fail to see in the same prominence the wastes of mura (unevenness) and muri (overburden). Thus whilst they are focused on getting their process under control they do not give enough time to process improvement by redesign.
22. Mura is traditional general Japanese term for unevenness, inconsistency in physical matter or human spiritual condition. It is also a key concept in the Toyota Production System and is one of the three types of waste (Muda, Mura, Muri) it identifies. Waste reduction is an effective way to increase profitability.
Mura is avoided through Just In Time systems which are based on little or no inventory, by supplying the production process with the right part, at the right time, in the right amount, and first-in, first out component flow. Just in Time systems create a “pull system” in which each sub-process withdraws its needs from the preceding sub-processes, and ultimately from an outside supplier. When a preceding process does not receive a request or withdrawal it does not make more parts. This type of system is designed to maximize productivity by minimizing storage overhead.
1. The assembly line “makes a request to,” or “pulls from” the Paint Shop, which pulls from Body Weld.
2. The body weld shop pulls from Stamping.
3. At the same time, requests are going out to suppliers for specific parts, for the vehicles that have been ordered by customers.
4. Small buffers accommodate minor fluctuations, yet allow continuous flow.
If parts or material defects are found in one process, the Just-in-Time approach requires that the problem be quickly identified and corrected.
23. Muri is traditional general Japanese term for overburden, unreasonableness or absurdness. It is also a key concept in the Toyota Production System and is one of the three types of waste (Muda, Mura, Muri) it identifies. Waste reduction is an effective way to increase profitability.
Muri can be avoided through standardised work.
To achieve this a standard condition or output must be defined to assure effective judgement of quality. Then every process and function must be reduced to its simplest elements for examination and later recombination. The process must then be standardised to achieve the standard condition. This is done by taking simple work elements and combining them, one-by-one into standardised work sequences.
In manufacturing, this includes:
• Work Flow, or logical directions to be taken,
• Repeatable Process Steps and Machine Processes, or Rational methods to get there, and
• Takt time, or reasonable lengths of time and endurance allowed for a process.
Standardised work encourages the close examination of
1. Ergonomic and Safety questions
2. Quality issues
3. Productivity, and
4. Cost benefits
When everyone knows the standard condition, and the standardised work sequences, the results observed are:
• Employee morale is heightened,
• Higher quality is achieved,
• Productivity is improved, and
• Costs are reduced.
24. Nemawashi in Japanese culture is an informal process of quietly laying the foundation for some proposed change or project, by talking to the people concerned, gathering support and feedback, and so forth. It is considered an important element in any major change, before any formal steps are taken, and successful nemawashi enables changes to be carried out with the consent of all sides.
Nemawashi literally translates as "going around the roots", from 根 (ne, root) and 回す (mawasu, to go around [something]). Its original meaning was literal: digging around the roots of a tree, to prepare it for a transplant.
Nemawashi is often cited as an example of a Japanese word which is difficult to translate effectively, because it is tied so closely to Japanese culture itself, although it is often translated as 'laying the groundwork.'
25. The Nenko system or Nenko Joretsu as it is called in Japan, is the Japanese system of promoting an employee in order of his or her proximity to retirement. The advantage of the system is that it allows older employees to achieve a higher salary level before retirement and that it usually brings more experience to the executive ranks. The disadvantage of the system is that it does not allow new talent to be merged with the experience and those with specialized skills cannot be promoted to the already crowded executive ranks. It also does not guarantee or even attempt to bring the "right person for the right job".
The Nenko system can also be seen in Japanese government. Japanese parliament seats are usually filled with the older members from each party.
After the economic bubble burst in Japan in the late 80s and the venture capital (dot-com) shock of the 90s, the Nenko system has become less popular amongst business as they could not afford to keep older employess with high salaries on the payroll. Many mid-level executives that climbed the corporate ladder with the Nenko system fell victim to "RiSuToRa" or corporate restructuring. Without knowing how to compete for a high wage position unlike the younger talents, in the 21st century, the Nenko system is seen as a decadent system that has spoiled the older generations
26. An office lady, often abbreviated OL is a female office worker in Japan
who performs generally pink collar tasks such as serving tea and secretarial or clerical work. Like many unmarried Japanese, OLs often live with their parents well into early adulthood. Office ladies are usually full-time permanent staff, although the jobs they do usually have little opportunity for promotion, and there is usually the tacit expectation that they leave their jobs once they get married.
27. Pecha Kucha or Pecha Kucha Night is a presentation format in which (mostly creative) work can be easily and informally shown. It was originally devised by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein-Dytham Architecture (KDa) in Tokyo in 2003 as a place for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. The format has spread virally to many cities across the world.
The name derives from a Japanese term for the sound of conversation ("chit-chat").
28. Poka-yoke pronounced "POH-kah YOH-keh" — is a Japanese term that means "fail-safing" or "mistake-proofing" — avoiding (yokeru) inadvertent errors (poka)) is a behavior-shaping constraint, or a method of preventing errors by putting limits on how an operation can be performed in order to force the correct completion of the operation. The concept was formalised, and the term adopted, by Shigeo Shingo as part of the Toyota Production System. Originally described as Baka-yoke, but as this means "fool-proofing" (or "idiot proofing") the name was changed to the milder Poka-yoke.
An example of this in general experience is the inability to remove a car key from the ignition switch of an automobile if the automatic transmission is not first put in the "Park" position, so that the driver cannot leave the car in an unsafe parking condition where the wheels are not locked against movement. In the IT world another example can be found in a normal 3.5" floppy disk: the top-right corner is shaped in a certain way so that the disk cannot be inserted upside-down. In the manufacturing world an example might be that the jig for holding pieces for processing only allows pieces to be held in one orientation, or has switches on the jig to detect whether a hole has been previously cut or not, or it might count the number of spot welds created to ensure that, say, four have been executed by the operator.
29. Salaryman refers to someone whose income is salary based; particularly those working for corporations. Though the word itself can be considered a type of engrish, its frequent use by Japanese corporations, and its prevalence in Japanese manga and anime has gradually led to its acceptance in English-speaking countries as a noun for a Japanese white-collar businessman. The word can be found in many books and articles pertaining to Japanese culture, and carries associations of long working hours, low prestige in the corporate hierarchy, absence of significant sources of income other than salary, wage slavery, and karōshi. It should be noted that the term salaryman refers almost exclusively to males.
30. Sodanyaku are former executives of banks who retire, yet still draw large salaries from the company as "advisors". It is a form of cloistered rule often found in Japanese history and politics.
31. Sōkaiya (sometimes also translated as corporate bouncers, meeting-men, or corporate blackmailers) are a form of specialized racketeer unique to Japan, and often associated with the yakuza that extort money from or blackmail companies by threatening to publicly humiliate companies and their management, usually in their annual meeting
32. A statutory auditor ( kansayaku?) is an official found in Japanese kabushiki kaisha (business corporations).
Statutory auditors are elected by shareholders and hold a position in the hierarchy alongside the board of directors. A KK must have at least one statutory auditor, unless the transfer of shares is restricted in the articles of incorporation. If the company is classified as a "large" company (i.e. with more than ¥500 million in paid-in capital or ¥20 billion in liabilities), it must have three statutory auditors, or an audit, compensation and nominating committee system similar to that used by public companies in the US.
Statutory auditors have several functions:
1. They initiate derivative suits against the board of directors on behalf of the shareholders, and represent the company in those suits. This right was once reserved for the auditor; however, following precedent from a recent lawsuit against Daiwa Bank, groups of shareholders can now file suits themselves without going through the auditor.
2. In "mid-size" and "large" companies (i.e. with more than ¥100 million of paid-in capital), they have the right to attend board meetings to monitor the directors' actions.
3. In "mid-size" companies, they audit the financial reports submitted by the company.
4. In "large" companies, they oversee auditing performed by outside certified public accountants.
Statutory auditors are often selected from among the senior management of the company, or are former directors of related companies (such as suppliers or keiretsu partners).
33. Tokumei kumiai literally "anonymous partnerships," are a Japanese form of partnership governed by the Commercial Code of Japan, Article 535 et seq. In many respects they are similar to common law limited partnerships.
In a tokumei kumiai arrangement, "anonymous partners" ( tokumei kumiai'in?) invest in a venture operated by a manager ( eigyōsha?).
By law, the partnership itself has no legal personality. Any assets of the partnership are the property of the manager; however, the anonymous partners have a right to a share of any profits from the venture, as provided in the partnership agreement.
Anonymous partners have limited liability for the partnership's debts, on the condition that they are anonymous. If an anonymous partner allows their name to be used in the name of the manager or in the name of the partnership, the anonymous partner loses their limited liability.
34. A yūgen kaisha or yūgen gaisha (Jp.lit. "limited company," abbrev. Y.K.) is a form of business organization in Japan.
Yugen kaisha are based on the German GmbH and were implemented in Japan in the Limited Company Act of 1940. Companies Act, implemented on May 1, 2006, replaced the yugen kaisha with a new form of company called godo kaisha, based upon the American limited liability company. Following the implementation, no new YKs were allowed in Japan, but pre-existing YKs were allowed to continue their operations as kabushiki kaisha under special rules. 
Whether the term is pronounced as yūgen gaisha or yūgen kaisha is up to the local dialect, or up to the company's preference when it is part of the company's name. While it is pronounced yūgen gaisha in standard Japanese dialect, the alphabetic abbreviation is always Y.K. by standard.
35. Zaibatsu (財閥; ざいばつ lit. property?) is a Japanese term referring to industrial and financial business conglomerates in the Empire of Japan, whose influence and size allowed for control over significant parts of the Japanese economy from the Meiji periods until the end of the Pacific War.
Thank you very much..
Hiren Sondarva. From India, Vadodara
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