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Institute of Japanese Studies: "Innovation and Experience in Workforce Development by Small-to-Medium Size Firms in Modern Manufacturing" Lecture


Tuesday, February 19, 2019, 5:00PM - 7:00PM


The Institute for Japanese Studies presents: "Innovation and Experience in Workforce Development by Small-to-Medium Size Firms in Modern Manufacturing - A Case Study of Funai Service Corporation, Groveport, Ohio" Lecture.

Hajime Miyazaki
Professor of Economics and IJS Director, Ohio State
Yoshihiro Sasaki
President and CEO, Funai Service Corporation
Ai Collins
Director, Human Resources/Accounting, Funai Service Corporation
Nim Chen
Director, Returns Center, Funai Service Corporation

5 - 5:30 p.m.: Survey lecture on modern manufacturing
5:30 - 6:30 p.m.: Case study of Funai Service Corporation
6:30 - 7 p.m.: Q&A with audience

This IJS Lecture consists of two parts. Hajime Miyazaki will deliver an introductory survey of modern manufacturing and the interface of the U.S.-Japan management and human resource practices in the economic and historic perspective. Yoshihiro Sasaki will show how his firm, based in Groveport, Ohio, implements new concepts and techniques as the new horizon opens in the GAFA world. 

The origin of the U.S. dominance in the modern world economy dates back to the revolutionary manufacturing technology and engineering innovations pioneered by seminal global U.S. corporations such as Ford Motor Co., U.S. Steele, AT&T and IBM. Toyota Motor Co. and other emerging Japanese corporations in the 1970s then startled the industrial world with just-in-time supply chains, lean production techniques and assembly line technology that combined the economies of scale and scope. Now, already in the thick of post-information revolution, we have come to do business in the new world as fast and diverse as that spanned not only by GAFA but by numerous de novo firms. Thus has become the challenge to modern manufacturing to transform its mentality and modus operandi to the world of  new automation, robotics, AI and IoT.   

An interesting and important aspect of Japanese production systems has been the role, share and contribution of small to medium size firms in the organization of markets and industries. Many small and medium size Japanese firms have invested overseas, and Ohio has been a prime site of their FDI’s in the U.S. The Japanese transplants, not only large firms but also many small-to-medium size firms, have done well in their human resource and supply chain management in the U.S. In the face of the radical shift from the analog regime to digital regime, how can small to medium size firms orchestrate their human resources and knowledge capital not only survive but successfully grow in the ever changing marketplaces? Yoshihiro Sasaki presents how his firm Funai Service Corporation does it in the line of business known as “reverse logistics.” He and his associates will illustrate how a small, seeming local, firm can reach a larger regional, national and global market by developing a workforce capable of implementing new techniques and of innovating new ideas. 

This event is free and open to the public.

Location : 150 Cunz Hall
Contact : East Asian Studies Center

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