Sep 12, 2008

Visiting of Snow Brand Milk Products 2

Mar 7,2008, Steed, Andy (my partners of lean implementation) and me visited a milk products company in Japan. The company located in Yokohama of Japan with historical operation. Before we arrived the factory, the guide of the visiting explained a little bit of the background and news of the company.

Personally, I felt that the visiting for this company is not related to lean manufacturing. Also, I believed that trip is arrange by the tourist agency or Japan government by the relationship of benefit. However, after the visiting, I still found something useful for the lean implementation, even lean thinking. Simply say, I got some thinking of the attitude to face the problem.

The web-link od Snow Brand http://www.snowbrand.co.jp/ (this is more details for the company and absolutely not a advertisment.

According to introduction of the guides, we understood Snow Brand faced two serious problem before and the affection still existing right now,

1. year 2000, the milk they produced caused more than 10000 people food poisoning. Nobody explain what is the root cause and as my understanding, it may be caused by human mistake in process or maintenance. The result is the company stop producing milk.

2. year 2002, there was a affiliated company of Snow Brand sold a beef with incorrect labelling. The marked the beef was domestic goods but actually it was imported. The domestic produced beef was much expensive and better than imported. The problem was affecting her honesty and the image of brand name.

Once we sat in the conference room, the guide of the company introduced the problem they have before. I can say the they faced the problem nakedly in front of us. One of my colleague asked a question, "why you not consider to quit the market and use another brand to operate?", the answer was, "we liked to face and solve the problem! it was agreed by all employee in the company." Wow, what kind brave attitude they had in front of trouble?

It is a culture different between China and Japan. Japanese encourage brave, enjoy challenge and they never give up. For Chinese, they more prefer to escape. When we hold the kaizen projects, how many time we heard the member to give themselve a excause to stop the improvement action? "It can't be worked!", "if we did that, there is another problem on...", ...etc. The point of your member wanted to tell you is that, we do not like to face the problem. All of this, it is the attitude problem and culture problem.

I am sure that if the situation of Snow Brand happen in China, the company will stop for a moment to change it brand name and start to product again in short moment. Actually, the critical problem of quality is stll not fixed. The story would be happened again and again.
For improvement project, the most important thing, is the attitude of facing problem.

1. Brave to face problem, (it proves the value of you to exist)

2. Enjoy the challenge, (it helps you to grow up)

3. Never give up, (It is the main factor of success, no matter how much you pay on the job, once you start to think to give up, you lost everything you have paid.)

The visiting of Snow Brand looks no relation to lean, we can not find any lean concept in such material and process flow. However, we found a important and useful attitude for everything you want to success. It is a good lesson for me.
And finally, I bought one to share with my sons, so far so good...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

“家丑不可外扬”在中国的弊端可谓历史悠久。中国奶粉事件,只是中国层出不穷的弊端其中一个典型案例。不发生奶粉事件,也会有其它事件……,无法否认,这是事实。
奶粉事件发生了,代价沉重到牵涉整个中国乳业,国际信誉度,行业的信誉没了,那整个行业也势必跟着垮了,接着再波及扩大着整个中国制造业,在国际的负面影响度,很多国家纷纷严查中国产品,很快法国查出中国东莞生产的皮椅使人皮肤过敏,最后查出问题是正常应该放三包的防霉剂,而厂家却放了十包至十三包,中国广东气候潮湿将三包增大到十包来防潮。
照如此下去,谁还相信“中国制造”?一个奶粉事件,就输了整个行业,影响到整个中国制造!

为什么中国会发生“奶粉事件”,先以小见大来分析原因:

以现在中国社会角度:
第一. 中国提出建设物质文明和精神文明的“双文明”社会主义社会,是很好的一个路线。
但实际上却更多注重于了经济发展。例如教育产业化,医院产业化……不该产业化的公益事业给产业化了,以利润最大化为目标。并且有些企业发展得过快,以至于没有健全的制度来跟得上这些发展。
第二.中国的贫富差距。
美国的贫富分布是橄榄型,穷人与富人各在橄榄尖小两端,中间椭圆最大部份为中产阶层。相对比之下,中国的贫富分布就像一根骨头型,穷人与富人各在骨头两个极端为最大头,各占最大比例,中间为中产阶层占最小比例。
第三.有些地方政府职能的作用没有充分发挥。
“家丑不可外扬”“大事化小、小事化无”是一些地方政府的一贯做法。奥运在即,地方政府尽力隐瞒不报各种事故隐患,上下通气。这一弊端,很多地方政府依然存在“知情不报”保护着一干人的利益与地位。所以政府职能没有公开透明化,也没尽到本份!

由以上原因,社会制度与道德文明的欠缺,贫富的差距扩大,势必引起社会的各种忧患与不安,上上下下之间的贫富悬殊,暴富心理,牟取暴利,上下欺瞒……等等社会现象,也就造成奶农将牛奶掺上三聚氰氨的“奶粉事件”,而更多其它尚未公布的事件呢?

在9月份网上传着这样一段话:

“中国人在食品中完成了化学扫盲
  从大米里我们认识了石蜡
  从火腿里我们认识了敌敌畏
  从咸鸭蛋、辣椒酱里我们认识了苏丹红
  从火锅里我们认识了福尔马林
  从银耳、蜜枣里我们认识了硫磺
  从木耳中认识了硫酸铜
  今天三鹿又让同胞知道了三聚氰胺的化学作用
外国人喝牛奶结实了
中国人喝牛奶结石了 ”

如果中国人连健康都不能保证,连道德都没有了,如何还科教兴国,发展民族企业?
如果国家不出台整套可行性可监督性的机制出来,整个中国制造也要跟着完了!所谓国家免检产品的标准是什么,免检就真的是不用检查了? 试问,食品类怎可以免检?


以营销角度:厂家没有彻底以消费者为导向,仅以规模生产来谋取利润。损害了消费者,最终结局就是失去市场。
以道德角度:商家诚信为重。中国有悠久的经商历史,从古至今都知道诚信最为重要。一个人失掉诚信,也会失掉一切,行业如此,大至国家也如此。

日本做得很聪明,一件事可以渗透整个日本社会的作风面貌, 能够“知耻而后勇”。日本的雪印可以,而中国的三鹿,还有其他企业,为什么不能?

Lily.Qin 21.Oct.2008

Cyndi said...

Keep up the good work.

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