“Having fun leads to positive results”
From assembly to final inspection and shipment, the Customized Product Assembly Team is responsible for custom orders, each of which is uniquely designed to meet the needs of a specific customer. We talked with Yuki Ikeda, leader of the inspection line, with eight years of experience on the team.
"Though it may be one of hundreds for us, every product we make is the only one for the customer who ordered it. So I always put myself in the customer's shoes and ask myself, 'When I receive this, will I be satisfied?'"
In charge of inspections before shipment, Ikeda is the last bulwark defending Kito quality. He carefully checks each product to see that it operates normally and appears flawless. When production volume is high, this job can be a race against time.
He says, "Quality is not about just the product, it's about our practice of meeting deadlines. With severe time constraints it's hard to achieve both goals at once -- manufacturing with care and meeting the deadline. This is where I as line leader demonstrate my skills."
Outside work he wears a different hat as captain of a local baseball team. He keeps very busy during the season with practices and games.
He says, "Practice after work can be exhausting, but I don't suffer, because it's what I love to do. Lately my wife and daughter have been coming to the games, and I want to look fabulous for my daughter!"
"My baseball experience complements my work. The captain's job is to bring the team tightly together under the direction of the manager. The job of the line leader is very similar. Under the team leader, who directs the team, I work to build an environment where the work gets done efficiently, keeping everyone happy in close communication with each other."
Asked what he thinks is most important at work, Ikeda says, "Having fun is it. The Customized Product Assembly Team is a group of people of all ages with a high level of professionalism. We've overcome many difficult situations by helping each other, sometimes in fun ways. As we build experience, we hone our skills and build confidence too. Most anything can be accomplished if every team member does his or her best. I believe having fun leads to positive results."