We are well into the May 2018 edition of the EDM, and the experience continues to impress!

Our first site visit today was to a home appliance and personal computer recycling facility that operates as a member of the Sony group. This organization began operations in 2000, and they are part of a network of 45-50 recycling facilities across Japan. Our group was intrigued with how this organization is truly living “long-term contribution to society” based on their efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle raw materials and components. As was stated during their introductory presentation – “The viewpoint of a producer who produces high-quality materials as its “product” – using used, discarded, and recycled appliances as its raw materials – is crucial.”  Currently, the facility is able to recycle 99% of the resources it handles. This particular location processes a mix of 650,000 air conditioner, refrigerator, washing machine, tv, and personal computer units annually. It was particularly impressive to see how they used pneumatics, air flow, magnets, and buoyancy to conduct sorting throughout their processes in order to capture as much reusable material as possible.

The second site visit of the day was an automotive parts supplier consisting of nearly 10,000 employees globally. This facility manufactures parts for the automobile, information technology, and agricultural industries, and the president of the company has been a frequent contributor to the EDM. He humbly stated before the visit that they are still in the process of learning as an organization, and, likewise, we were humbled to be able to learn from their environment. We were impressed by the Floor Management Development Systems, Quality Circle engagement, and their expansive training dojo. In addition to the standard week of onsite job instruction, product knowledge, and safety training for every company employee, it was easy sense their ongoing, deep commitment to people development.

We sped to Tokyo on the Shinkansen this evening ahead of the final day of this EDM. Our final visits will be to a housing manufacturer and a restaurant operations facility. The group continues to share valuable insight as we reflect on the experience and brainstorm ways of applying the concepts in our home organizations.

Thanks for learning along with us!