Japanese Production Management Seen in the Comparison of Ferrari and Toyota

Production in Ferrari and Toyota

According to the government, we have experienced the longest economic expansion since after the WWII. Although it seems like we ordinary people are left out of the economic boom, more than 500 of Ferrari cars are annually sold in Japan. Speaking of Ferrari, Enzo Ferrari (the founder of Ferrari) left these famous words. “In the beginning the engine existed.” His point is it’s engines that feature Ferrari. Italian craftsmanship, based on expert technique and experience, realizes the world’s leading engines. There’s a consensus for that anywhere in the world.

This doesn’t mean Toyota is inferior to Ferrari. I think the production of Toyota is also another act of God. They annually produce millions of cars in high and constant quality. No matter how much the price is, cars are precision machines consisting of more than 30000 pieces of parts. What high level QC Toyota has! In other words, Ferrari and Toyota can be said to be the world leading companies. The former is a leader in semi-handicraft manufacturing; the latter is one in production management. 

Our craftsperson is applying glue to the joint of the chair frame.

Wooden furniture production management

Now, it’s about wooden furniture. It’s much simpler, but hand work is essential like Ferrari, and the amount of production is much more than Ferrari (much less than Toyota, though). We are positioned in between them, but there’s one factor making our production management more difficult even than that of Toyota. We need to produce furniture in high and constant quality from non-constant material (wood). No two wood pieces are alike. Don’t you think it’s great? Please allow me to brag a little about our production management, because they are rarely spotlighted.

Shungo Ijima

He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.