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Business Advice

Lessons from the 'international school of business' - Japan

In the land of the rising sun, quality is king. Find out what else makes Japanese-made products so popular
ST701 Editorial Team - August 10, 2010
By: Sheila Lim
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Lessons from the 'international school of business' - Japan

As an entrepreneur, you can glean new business ideas and practices whenever you travel. If you visit Japan, you would notice how orderly things are in most places. And if you shop there, you’ll rarely find goods that are shoddily made or of inferior quality, or rude sales personnel.

Japan – where quality is a way of life     
Consumers around the world have come to associate “Made in Japan” with “high quality”. Whether it be buckwheat noodles, sushi, knives, televisions or computers that they’re making, the Japanese take pride in ensuring that high standards are maintained in the production of their goods. 

Business concepts like just-in-time (JIT) and work productivity were developed in their manufacturing plants during the ’70s and ’80s because they not only believe in maintaining quality control, but in working smart as well.  

Success stories
While the Americans are well-known for their creativity, the Japanese are famous for their knack of improving things. Their innovativeness and problem-solving skills have spurred them to become a world leader in digital technology and robotics, and one of the biggest exporters of electronics goods. 

Lessons to learn
The Japanese work ethic and total commitment are admirable traits we should emulate. To understand why the Japanese are such a hardworking and dedicated people, one must first understand their culture. They believe that work is a duty they must perform without hesitation, and the purpose of work isn’t simply to make money, but to help improve their business and society.

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