Japan-based companies are among the largest and most technologically sophisticated sources of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. While automobile manufacturers are perhaps the most well-known among Japanese companies investing in the United States, other important industries include machinery, finance, metals, computers and electronics, plastics and rubber products and insurance industries.
When Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America (MHIA) started operating in the United States in 1979, we learned first-hand how to merge the methodical approach of a Japan-based company with the fast-paced culture associated with U.S. businesses. Over the past nearly 40 years, we have not only learned how to survive, but how to thrive by implementing the process-oriented Japanese approach to the U.S. business culture.
MHIA is certainly not the first company to incorporate Japanese business practices in the U.S. Even non-Japanese companies have adopted these methodologies and management styles to improve their systems and operations. Below are three ways companies can increase efficiency, attack problems and improve overall business output by incorporating techniques from the Japanese way of doing business.