Thursday, August 8, 2013

Japan Final Days


8 August 2013

Today marks the final appointment of my Nuffield adventure and thank you to Kumi Ito of ALIC and Kate Neath of MLA, who joined me today in venturing north into the Tsukuba prefecture to visit Tukuba Kimura Farms (TKF), a business just commencing its CI journey.

TKF produce about 1000kg of packed, mixed lettuce leaf and an assortment of herbs, daily for sale in Tokyo's restaurants, shopping centres and wholesale markets. Based on a biological production model, plants are grown in open fields and hot houses across 3 prefectures in Japan and packed at Tsukuba.

50 employees work around the clock to ensure all the packed fresh produce is available for distribution by 12 noon each day and have commenced using some of the base level TPS methods to stream line their business.  To date operational improvements have been achieved by using  the following tools;

Waste walking the packing line
Standard working procedures
Asset utilisation reviews, &
Weekly cross functional management meetings.

TKF have along way to go in achieving their objective of a 3 fold increase in production within 5 years, but have commenced this journey with the right knowledge gained form the TPS audit, best of luck.

Thank you to everyone I have meet and discussed TPS with, to the team at Wynns for covering me during this sabbatical, to TWE for the opportunity and support for this scholarship and mostly to my family for allowing me to travel, for accepting the high and lows of the past 2 years and for growing up so much while I have been away. 

Wow what a journey, Cheers.

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