Gemba Engineering (GE) is based on the principle of the Japanese Monozukuri (making things). Thanks to this principle and the ingenuity of our nation, Japan accomplished a real economic miracle after the Second World War.
Since then, the performance and the results of the Japanese companies have inspired and enriched the Western world’s industrial management sciences from the field of logistics („Just in Time”) through production (Kaizen principles and process improvement by smaller developments) to organizational structure (working in small groups led by a „primus inter pares”, a so called Hancho).
The Monozukuri philosophy is based on the principle that is – contrary to the other two factors, the „Material” and the „Machine” – focusing on the most important factor of the production, the „Human” who communicates, learns, has thoughts and is able to improve.
Fulfilling the promise of the reproduction of „goods” in factories is one of the main characteristics of modern industrial production. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult in an environment based on division of labour and within procedures using several connection points and massive amount of data. Not even the several attempts to completely automate production have provided a way out of this.
The solution is to make „Humans” able to manage production procedures again instead of them simply serving the machines.
In consequence, employees should be enabled to think their own work through, share their thoughts and experiences, and implement positive changes into their work environment and process.
In order to improve harmony with the production procedures, the „Human” has to be considered as a person, whose task is to improve and develop the „Machine” and the „Material”. In this task the biggest support of the „Human” is the Visual Management:
Storages, tidiness and cleanness, minimum and maximum stocks, andon, kanban, Piece Management, working standards, high qualification. – These tools make deviations from what is expected immediately visible in every field.
The standards shall describe „activities” in a way that if there is a deviation from the expected results, employees are able to think about and learn from the mistakes, as well as discuss further steps that need to be taken.