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After removing the scotoma (psychological blind spot), the goal comes into view.

If a customer chooses a standard model for a product, is there anything the designer should do?


If the customer selects a product with standard specifications, the drawings can use designed in advance for the standard model.


There was a time when blueprints were blueprinted, but now they are stored as CAD data, so if you copy the data, you can transfer the information to later processes such as parts procurement and manufacturing.


Should designers do anything for repeat production of standard products?


From this point of view, if we look at the series of operations associated with this work,

The answer comes back, "Regarding the standard product, there should be nothing for the designer to do."



On the other hand, what would it look like for someone following these work habits for nearly a decade?


Mr Yokoyama (provisional name) has been in charge of product design for eight years.


Since joining the company, he has been assigned to this office and is now a mid-level designer.

In the last few years, I have also started taking care of designers who joined the company later.


In cooperation, the sales representative will inform you of the customer's specification information in a memorandum.


Mr Yokoyama checks all the specification documents.


After spending about 10 minutes checking the specification sheet, he concluded, "This is the standard model."


He then retrieves the standard drawing and submits it to the customer via the sales representative as a confirmation drawing for the customer.


A few days later, I received a reply from the customer via sales.


There are no additional requests from the customer, and we will move on to issuing standard drawings.


Mr Yokoyama has continued this work for eight years, adding new designs while assessing differences from the standard specifications when a customer orders a product.


When there is a special request from the customer, we examine the difference from the standard model, create a confirmation drawing, present it to the customer, and have the customer fill in the detailed request on the confirmation drawing. Increase.


The purpose of the confirmation drawing is to confirm a common understanding of the customer's new request using the drawing.

What about standard models?


There were no additional requests from the customer, and we moved on to issuing standard drawings.


Since the standard model is defined from the beginning, he doesn't need the customer to confirm it.


Does he need to follow the same steps as for custom items?



Get out of your scotoma = get out of your comfort zone.

Continuing the same work procedure for eight years (even if it is irrational from the outside) will become "the world of nature".


Even without being conscious, Mr Yokoyama continues this procedure without any doubts.


This world is called the comfort zone in cognitive science coaching.


I've become accustomed to this procedure, which gives me satisfaction and good performance.


On the other hand, if Mr Yokoyama does not follow this procedure, he will feel something needs to be added.




Doing the same thing over and over again creates a comfort zone.


This way of doing it will improve your performance because it's a skilled routine, but on the other hand, if you try to do something different from this way of doing it, you'll feel uncomfortable, or something doesn't feel right.


This skilled routine work is Yokoyama's comfort zone.


When you're in your comfort zone, the scotoma hides you, and you can't see the outside.

A scotoma is a psychological blind spot. Just as the eye has a blind spot, the mind also has a blind spot.


Taiichi Ohno, the creator of the Toyota Production System,

He left us with the words, "No one is more troubled than the one who is troubled."


When you are in your comfort zone, you are in a state of "not bothering = not being able to see it as a problem".


I need help seeing the problem and can't find a good solution.


Initially, in Toyota-style Kaizen, this is called "prejudice", and it is the standard of the kaizen process to notice this in the early stages of Kaizen and overcome it.


In the Toyota Production System, the phrase "disrupting the status quo" is often used.


This case is no exception, and from an objective point of view, the work that Mr Yokoyama continues to do is, "Aren't standard products wasteful?"


However, due to the effects of scotoma, Mr Yokoyama, a patient, cannot notice it.


In addition, our brains do not receive information as information because the RAS (reticular activation system) filter in the brainstem blocks what we think is irrelevant to us.


In other words, the RAS works so that people only receive the information they perceive to be relevant.


In Kaizen activities, we first visualize the current situation.

It is called Omotehyojun.

It objectively records what is happening in as much detail as possible.


I asked Mr Yokoyama, "Why are you creating confirmation drawings?"


Yokoyama's scotoma was stubborn.


I repeated the same question repeatedly and input it into his brain.


As a result, it took time, but Mr Yokoyama could get rid of the scotoma by objectively looking at what he was doing.


Waste has come to be seen as waste.


The purpose of this work is to distinguish between standards and non-standards.


You can eliminate this waste by considering "what is necessary" to distinguish whether it is a standard.


If the standard judgment criteria are clarified, salespeople may be able to make judgments.


During business negotiations, if we can determine that the product is a standard model, we can obtain only the necessary information from the sales department.



However, Mr Yokoyama gave priority to promoting the use of IT before realizing the waste.

He wanted to eliminate waste in his daily work and believed IT would solve the problem.


When I said, "You are trying to advance things with IT," they didn't listen at first.


By introducing a commercial efficiency system, our work would become more accessible.


However, looking closely at the current situation, you will find that many things need to be redone.


The redo will stay even if you replace the work with IT.


If you introduce an IT system, you can get the correct answer if the initial input information is correct.


Customers - Salespeople - Designers, are you shelving the problem of miscommunication between these three parties?


The information provided by sales is insufficient, so we are making additional inquiries to the customer.

In the first place, the information from the customer misrepresents, so he rewrote the drawing later.

Mistakes such as this still need to be resolved.


Even if you introduce the system while leaving such mistakes, the output will not from the system be obtained correctly. Or the system will return an error.


It happens often.


In this case, the point was to break the habit of confirming the customer's request using a confirmation diagram as a starting point.


All humans have scotomas.

If you remove one scotoma, you will find it again.


Mr Yokoyama noticed his scotoma while searching for an answer to the question, "Why are you creating confirmation diagrams?"


And now I can see the real problem.


He collected the records of the current redo work, grasped the cause of the redo work, removed it in advance, and then changed course to the actual kaizen process of promoting IT.


If you rush to IT quickly, you will be hindered by the same redo and mistakes as before, so please be careful.


Finally, this Kaizen aims to target standard products with zero designers.

Kaizen does not end here.


For example, if there are 50 standard products per month, 13 hours ✖️ 50 cases = 650 hours.

It will be a calculation that floats for 650 hours.


It is essential to do more value-added work in these 650 hours.

Don't just end up with waste.

Kaizen, the custom design method

Focus resources on developing new products

Cost reduction of existing products, etc.

There are many ways to add value.


The starting point of Kaizen is to eliminate jobs with little added value and allocate resources to jobs with added value.



Below is a summary of the critical points of this Kaizen case study.


  1. Distinguish between standard products (including options and choices) and custom-made products

  2. Improve standard products so that they can be printed with the push of a button

    1. Visualize the current state and extract problems

      1. Redo self-blame (lack of knowledge, mistakes, etc.)

      2. Redo responsibility for others (delayed information, incorrect information, etc.)

      3. Long lead times due to poor planning, etc.

  3. Digging deeper into the causes of the above problems

    • Cause of lack of basic knowledge

      1. How do you teach?

      2. Are you leaving it to someone who does not know?

      3. Can you recognize what you don't understand?

      4. Is it an environment where you can ask what you don't understand?

    • Cause of error (If replaced by machines, human error will decrease, so there is no need to spend time on analysis.)

      1. Are there design procedures in place?

      2. Customer information is not communicated promptly.

      3. Correction of customer information (mistakes in sales, miscommunication)

      4. Eliminate or reduce checks (inspections)

      5. Write down the reason for checking - is there?

        • (With IT, human error will decrease, so there is no need to spend time on analysis.)

        • get rid of the boss's approval

        • Write down why you need approval - yes?

        • Doesn't your boss control how you work? Stamping is not management

What should be done next after standard Kaizen is completed?

  • Enhancement of custom-made product design

  • Move from passive to proposing.

  • Are you listening to your customer's needs? Our company is more professional in product functions, so we will proactively make proposals.

  • Establishing a custom design process

  • How to check missing information through sales

  • Establish the necessary information acquisition → design concept → detailed design → drawing process

Etc. There is no end to improvement.

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