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The background of the target value fostered collective efficacy.

Updated: May 29, 2022

It's April from today, but March will be a milestone in the Kaizen activities I support.

Of course, there are temperature differences depending on the organization, but there are organizations that have achieved impressive results for me as a supporter.

As an engineer, every engineer naturally has the desire to "create a good product."

I don't usually use the word spirit, but the "engineer's spirit" seems to continue to burn in my heart.

It caught fire and spread to everyone.

Design work is not limited to drawing drawings.

The actual designer is the one who is "responsible for price, profit and realization."

Roles assigned to the parts in charge.

Given constraints (cost, mass, production constraints)

Beautiful engineering shape

There are many items that actual designers should consider and incorporate into their drawings, but costing activities are considered the most important.

It is the "profitable mechanism" of the actual manufacturing industry without any price.

It would help if you made a profit to survive as a company.

At Toyota, cost planning in product development is so vital that it can be said that "product planning work = cost planning work".

Each designer is responsible for their responsible parts.


At Company A, I challenged the introduction of this cost planning with everyone involved.

Please see this figure.

In cost planning, it is essential to set goals.

The formula that determines the cost planning target is "cost" = "selling price"-"profit".

Customers will decide whether or not to purchase after listening to various detailed explanations of the product at the store.

In the case of a car, "I like a car that feels a little calm, not a sports type", or "I wonder if the colour should be grey", etc.

They will decide on the amount of money that says, "If this is the case, can I pay this price?"

That is the "price that the customer will buy" on the left side of this figure.

And we have to make a product that satisfies our customers with the amount of money after deducting the profit necessary to survive as a company.

In product development, in addition to considering the parts' colour and shape, it is necessary to design the parts at the "price that the customer will buy".

It is the cost planning target. The target amount is broken down for each part, and the target of each person in charge is decided.

Company A also tried to set a goal with the same idea of ​​"cost" = "selling price"-"profit".

First of all, the first wall is the setting of "the price that the customer will buy".

I couldn't decide by the technical department alone, so I consulted with the sales department.

Please tell us the "price that the customer will buy" from the engineering department for the sales department. I was asked, but I didn't know what to do since it was my first time.

"Customers always say,' I want you to make it a little cheaper.'"

"It's certainly more expensive than competing company X, so there have been a lot of cases where customers are taken by company X these days."

Most companies have competitors. It is healthy, and companies without rivals have a laid-back feel because they have no sense of competition.

Little progress has been made in such companies.

The problems that the sales department was thinking about daily were gradually sorted out.

And from the sales department, if it is 2,550,000 yen/unit, we can offer it to our customers at a price that is competitive with the standard type. So the amount of money that the customer would buy was presented at this price.

Next, when they asked the accounting department about the target profit, They presented 200,000 yen/unit. When they asked how much the current profit was, they said it was only 25,000 yen/unit.

I was a little shocked because I didn't think the product we developed wasn't so profitable.

Finally, the cost planning target was set at 2,350,000 yen / unit.

2,550,000 --200,000 = 2,350,000

The engineers were made to think about selling prices, costs and profits in a short period.

"We were not lazy."

"I intended to do my best."

"For that reason, I was shocked that I couldn't contribute to the company."

"For new products, we will develop more attractive products at reasonable prices!"

If they can be made with a product cost of 2.35 million yen, it will be eight times the current profit by a simple calculation.

The efforts of the engineers will contribute eight times more profit to the company.

"If the number of units sold increases, it will not be eight times as much!"

Until now, "Do your best to aim for a cost planning target of 2,350,000 yen/unit!"

The formula of "cost" = "selling price"-"profit" has the above story.

However, to achieve 2,350,000 yen/unit, it is necessary to reduce the cost by about 200,000 yen.

Each engineer was angry with what they had to do.

Then. I have become motivated to actively challenge technologies that have seemed impossible until now.

A young engineer proposed a major structural change proposal.

No one was against it on the spot.

"Let's try it!" "Maybe we can." "There is also such a plan."

In this way, until now, the words "I can't do it!" And "What should I do if there is a problem with such a structure?" They are no longer heard.

It is collective efficacy.

The moment I got angry that the goal was not just to number but "what we should do", everyone's feelings began to aim for that height.

It sprouted into an engineer who had the feeling that "we can do it!" And spread it to everyone.

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