Patterns of Creativity in Japan Lessons from Successful Japanese Companies – A Resource

Focus on Productivity

Simply focusing on increasing labour productivity can foster innovation.

Example By focusing his mind on improving labour productivity Masao Ogura (Yamato Transport) innovated and created a ‘virtuous circle’ for the company. Examples of this include (1) A move to tractor-trailer rigs for the fleet enabling 24-hour utilization, (2) The relay system for long-haul runs, improving driver conditions and reducing working hours, (3) Separation of loading and driving roles, which enabled routes to be manned by only one driver (instead of the then-normal two), (4) The implementation of the roll-box pallet, allowing very quick loading/unloading times (down to 5 minutes from 2.5 hours)

Source: Ogura (2004: 30-33)