Tuesday, April 10, 2018
UD gemba voices series
What is gemba?
Gemba is a Japanese word that describes where action takes place and value is created, from the factory floor to dealerships to customer facilities. It literally means “on-site”. Wherever the gemba is, it is a place where we seek out solutions and opportunities for improvement.
What is UD gemba spirit?
UD gemba spirit is the professional, passionate and dependable spirit of the UD people; it is the will to roll up sleeves and provide a solution. It is being close to the ground to identify the essentials and the driving force to excel at them. And it guides us, drives us at work everyday.
Customers’ sites – the ultimate gemba
“It is important to listen to customers’ voices directly. Their voice is key to keeping us motivated and to helping us improve, so that we provide them with trucks that are fully satisfactory.”
Chief Project Manager for trucks
Kazuhito Hosono has spent his entire career at UD Trucks, and is a chief project manager for trucks. In his opinion, the ultimate gemba is at the customers’ site. “I always tell my teammates to “go to gemba”, to understand what’s going on. Gemba is the starting point, where we solve issues, and also where we receive feedback,” Hosono explains. He started with one customer’s request to visit their site, and then went on to visit each and every UD Customer Center in Japan. Hosono collected feedback from different customers as well as the UD gemba people: customer services and mechanics teams.
“I believe it’s important to understand what the customers really need. It is sometimes difficult to get a clear picture so I make sure I’m attentive to the small details in our initial conversation. I prefer to explain solutions in my own words, and make it easy for my customers to understand and visualize all the processes involved. “
UD Trucks Fukuyama Customer Center
As a service advisor, Masashi Inoue is the first point of contact between UD and customers at the Fukuyama Customer Center. Besides being an attentive listener, and designing services and trainings according to each customer’s needs, Inoue makes sure his message to customers is clear and effective. “I prefer to explain solutions in my own words, and make it easy for my customers to understand and visualize all the processes involved,” Inoue says.