Bonfiglioli Consulting to host lean management study tour of Japan

15 March 2019 3 min. read

Italian management consultancy Bonfiglioli Consulting is set to embark on a lean study tour of Japan, with participants having the opportunity to visit a number of companies at the epicenter of the Kaizen philosophy.

Leading Italian lean management specialist Bonfiglioli Consulting will next month host a customised, one-week lean study tour of Japan, including a visit to renowned Kaizen exponents Nissan Motors among the highlights of the itinerary. For Bonfiglioli’s part, the consultancy has more than 20 years of cross-sector experience in lean implementations for various organisations and industries, including having served the likes of famed Italian names such as Lamborghini, Gucci, and Ducati.

Established in 1973, the Bologna-based firm – which is part of the Cordence Worldwide management consulting network alongside Asian members S.Point, Key To Way, Avalon Consulting and GENEX Partners of Japan – today has ten offices across the globe, including Asian outlets in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City alongside three locations in India: Bangalore, New Delhi and Pune. Last year, Bonfiglioli added a branch in San Diego, to serve as its North American headquarters.

Proponents of the Kaizen philosophy of lean management – which first emerged in the automotive industry of Japan and stresses top-to-bottom continual improvements through a customer-minded elimination of waste – Bonfiglioli has expanded on the approach through its Lean World Class methodology, which combines lean thinking with the latest in world class manufacturing concepts and the pillars of cost deployment and people development.Bonfiglioli Consulting to host lean management tour of Japan The latter of these concepts – people development – targets enduring change through the altering of personnel’ mind-sets with the aid of training programmes, and in addition to its client field work, Bonfiglioli has established an innovative Lean Factory School, where cross-functional participants can test Industry 4.0 technologies and experience putting the firm’s Lean World Class approach into practice in a mocked-up working environment. Dozens of leading international companies have already taken part.

And now Bonfiglioli is taking the Lean Factory experience on the road with its live study-trip to Japan, the heart of Kaizen. Along with Nissan Motors, where participants can appreciate first-hand the Nissan Production System, those joining the tour will have the opportunity to visit a number of other local manufacturers, including cosmetics firm Fancl Corporation, to experience an example of Lean Implementation in a highly regulated industry, and Bankyo Pharmaceutical, learning how to combine legislative restrictions and lean flexibility.

According to the firm, the site visits and direct interaction with managers and the local working environment will be enhanced through the support of a Japanese culture expert, while the study tour will be further underpinned by daily group debriefings from an ex-Toyota manager and lean specialist. As tour alumni, participants will also benefit from sharing their own experiences on real issues in follow-up meetings, and discuss potential solutions to improve and strengthen the knowledge gained in Japan.

For those who miss out, or want to dive even deeper, Bonfiglioli will back up the tour with another study trip in October, this time to Silicon Valley – with a comprehensive ‘Lean&Digital’ schedule of visits to Industry 4.0 plants, workshops at UC Berkley, and meetings with innovative organisations to explore the rapidly evolving world of open innovation, artificial intelligence, blockchain, fast prototyping, and manufacturing design technologies and their current and future applications.