By Keith Breene
East and West have always had much to learn from each other, in business just as much as philosophy and culture.
In the 1970s and 80s, Japan famously revolutionized manufacturing with the just-in-time approach which cut waste by supplying parts only when the process required them. The old system, known as just-in-case, held inventory for every possible eventuality.
Just-in-time eliminated the need for each stage in the production process to hold buffer stocks, resulting in huge savings.
This seemingly simple change transformed production processes around the world and remains the model of efficiency and productivity.
So, what else can the West learn from Japan’s business practices?