A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to return once again to Japan to visit with a number of Deloitte Japan manufacturing clients. One of the many highlights of my trip this month was the opportunity to meet with several manufacturers in Nagoya. Japanese manufacturers have been long admired by many for a relentless focus on continuous improvements to their business. So it is not surprising that during my visit we had rich discussions around best practices of leading manufacturers to sustain top performance.
During several of these conversations, I referenced a point of view written by my partner Craig Giffi, Deloitte United States (Deloitte LLP) and others entitled, Cracking the genetic code of high-performing manufacturers. Hot off the press, the article provides great insight on the set of game changing capabilities that high performing manufacturers have in areas of brand image, leadership and management, business strategy, research and development, delivery speed, manufacturing processes, and supplier networks.
During my visit with several Deloitte Japan clients in Tokyo, we also had a wide ranging discussion on business models. While many of the best companies in Japan are role models as best practice companies, they are always looking increasingly outside their industry for ideas for business model innovation, as they strive to have the most efficient support structure. In all of my visits, I found a real thirst for insight on what others were doing to drive efficiency and high performance. It is this relentless focus on high performance that allows these companies to be truly viewed as world class.
Japan is a country of many challenges with the aging population and limited natural resources. Yet the best companies are prospering and are increasingly looking to invest where their customers will be in the years ahead. Among the locations of interest are the fast-growing economies across Southeast Asia, which represent very attractive customer markets for many Japanese companies. Japanese manufacturing investments in research and development, manufacturing plants, and to establish sales and distribution operations in these growth markets is expected to continue in the years ahead.
Tim Hanley is the Global Leader of the Manufacturing Industry group of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL). In his global industry leadership role, he directs strategic initiatives and investments to grow Deloitte member firm market share within the manufacturing industry. During his distinguished 35-year career, Hanley has led teams serving all business aspects, including consulting with top management regarding organizational financial strategy development and execution, acquisitions, and market development.