Continued from Calsonic Kansei Steps Up In-house Knowhow Sharing (2)
Q: Why did you need the EWM in the first place?
Narita: First, I will explain the circumstances surrounding Calsonic Kansei (CK). Currently, CK belongs to the Nissan Group as one of its "tier 1" partners, and most of our business is dependent on Nissan Motor.
While we must contribute to the expansion of Nissan's global business, only about 1/4 of Nissan's production takes place in Japan. Moreover, it is required for Nissan to locally develop and sell cars that meet the needs of the overseas markets instead of developing cars in Japan and manufacturing them in foreign countries. And, of course, we, as a parts supplier, will follow that movement.
Training overseas human resources
We also aim to expand our business to the outside of the Nissan Group as an independent auto parts manufacturer. So, we need to cut project development costs as well as to standardize operations and drastically improve the efficiency of project development for developments that lead to further business expansion.
By substantially improving the first run rate (reducing the number of tasks handed back to the previous stage) of indirect operations at individual and group levels, we want to enable engineers at any level to produce uniform outputs in any base at their first try.
Currently, 75% of CK's development resources are located in Japan. But we plan to increase development resources outside Japan by further promoting development in overseas bases. In fact, CK intends to increase the number of overseas engineers by several hundreds in three or four years.
For example, in our development sector in India, we consider that it will be necessary to increase the number of engineers from the current 70 to about 500. To employ low-cost, brilliant workers and make them ready for work is as important as the improvement of operational efficiency. And we have to keep the quality of development in foreign countries, where markets are growing fast, educate local employees at an early stage and make them ready for work so that even inexperienced engineers can maintain the quality.
That's why we developed the EWM by analyzing the work procedures of experienced engineers, standardizing them and storing them in a system so that even new recruits can learn how experienced engineers do their work and keep a certain design quality.