The title picture is from IC photo, an aircraft business of a Japanese Honda company in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA. This article comes from micro-channel public number: CEIBS Business review (ID: ceibs-cbr) , author: Zhang Yu Hung

In recent years, some Japanese manufacturing companies that have experienced “lost 20 years” have gradually recovered their vitality under the impetus of change, and have undergone transformation and upgrading for a new round of development. In the coming era of the Internet of Things, manufacturing companies are facing the problem of how to survive and develop. Trends such as autonomous driving and the sharing economy have brought many problems to manufacturing companies.

China proposes “Made in China 2025”, Germany proposes “Industry 4.0”, and responds to changes in the environment. Japanese management experts Keimura Kimura and Numata Shunsuke put forward the term “Visualization 4.0”. According to the book “How Japanese Manufacturers Restore Profitability in the Era of Networking,” Visualization 4.0 is Industry 4.0. As a review, analysis, and outlook for Japanese manufacturing companies, some of the views in the book also have some reference significance for the transformation and upgrading of Chinese manufacturing.

Not long ago, Dong Mingzhu arrogantly claimed that without manufacturing, the Internet economy is a cloud. In fact, Lei Jun, known for his Internet thinking marketing, has long bet on the Internet of Things, got involved in manufacturing, and even sold air conditioners. On the Internet, Dong Mingzhu and Lei Jun’s “two person turn” performances from time to time also imply that they are returning from the same route. As Kimura Keisuke and Numata Shunsuke said, “The foundation of both the utilization of the Internet of Things and the evolution of business models lies in manufacturing, otherwise everything is an air tower.”

Instead of thinking about what to produce, consider how to make a profit

In the opinion of Kimura Keisuke and Shunuma Numata, the advantage of Japanese companies lies in the refined operation based on the strength of the front-line team and the constant search for balance. However, in today’s product life cycle is greatly shortened, companies often fail to recover R & D costs. Japanese companies are good at taking time to research and produce satisfactory products. The author says: “This approach is gradually showing the outdated side.”

But then again, despite the embarrassment of a certain manufacturing company, Japan has invested heavily in scientific and technological research and development in the so-called “lost 20 years” and has accumulated a large number of core technologies, so-called hard technology, It has laid a great competitive advantage for the country in the future.

It’s a bottom-up approach to find a balance point, which is to synthesize the views of everyone on the scene. Continuously improve the quality, cost, delivery time and production line PDCA (planning, execution, inspection, processing, also known as “Deming ring”) > After the Second World War, Japanese manufacturing companies won a huge competitive advantage.

Because of the shortage of supplies after the war, the products on the market are all ready-made. Japanese companies do not need to worry about creating demand. Lower-cost, higher-quality Japanese products swept the world. Today, standardized production, efforts to “reduce a dollar” of costs, are becoming less and less important along the value chain. Shi Zhenrong, the founder of Acer Computer, who proposed the “smile curve”, attended the East Asian Manufacturing Conference a few years ago and found that all entrepreneurs were overcharging.

Inspired by the smile curve, Keimura Kimura and Shunsuke Numata believe that the impact of Industry 4.0 on Japanese companies will no longer be limited to the improvement activities of front-line teams, and the value chain will be expanded throughout the product life cycle. There are many other profit points beyond the manufacturing process.

The two divided the manufacturing process into (R & D) and (Design) , making (production) , sales, after-sales (Operation, maintenance) and other processes. In the past, the front-line service department responsible for maintenance was often positioned as a “cost center.” Through the Internet of Things, companies add sensors to their products, and after obtaining various data, after-sales service may become a profit point.

Under the sharing economy model, some companies try to set up a long-term cooperative relationship with users based on services, and fundamentally review the existing business model. Similar to the popular C-end sharing, from one-time purchase to rent collection, the two authors predicted that the sharing model will also be popularized on the B-end. In fact, there are also Chinese heavy industry companies making profits by renting machines.

Four stages of manufacturing

In the view of Kimura Keisuke and Numata Shunsuke, “Industry 4.0″ is not limited to a single process, a factory, or an enterprise. It can break the barriers of the enterprise group system or the upstream and downstream of the industrial chain and connect everything to achieve ” Visualization of the manufacturing industry as a whole. ”

In the book, the two authors summarize the foundation of the manufacturing industry as “Visualization 1.0”, “Visualization 2.0”, and “Visualization 3.0”. They believe that after the first three foundations are consolidated, companies can deal with the Internet of Things era well. “Visualization 4.0”. The so-called visualization, as the name implies, can be regarded as a manifestation of tacit knowledge. It can be seen from neglect or inability to see. Only by seeing can it be done.