How to grow your practice like the Japanese Automotive Industry

Do you remember a few decades ago, maybe less, when there was a prevailing belief that Japanese cars were much more reliable than American automobiles?

Actually, it was not as much of a belief as it was a fact, and Japanese vehicles continually shown to get more miles in their lifetime, with less needs for repair.

This was an interesting turn of events, especially since it was American automakers that spurred the industrial revolution.

Fortunately, not only has U.S. car makers turned things around, it seems the auto-industry at large has. It’s an interesting story on how it got this way…and something that can do great things for your practice.

And to be honest, I have been a loyal Nissan driver since switching from VW in the early ‘90’s.

Have you heard the story of how Japan become a world leader in manufacturing, and gained such a reputation for quality? It’s quite interesting.

In 1950, General MacArthur was frustrated with the war-ravaged Japanese industrial base, as he couldn’t even count on being able to complete a phone call. So what he did was enlist the renowned quality control expert, Dr. W. Edwards Deming to train the Japanese on quality control principles.

Where he taught them fourteen principles, there was one core belief which became the foundation of virtually all decisions made in all successful, multi-national Japanese corporations to this day.

The core belief: a constant, never-ending commitments to consistently increase the quality of their business every single day, would give them the power to dominate the markets of the world.

Deming taught that quality was not just a matter of meeting a certain standard, but was a living, breathing process of never ending improvement.

He told the Japanese that if they lived by the principles and this core belief, within 5 years they would flood the world with products and within 10 to 20 years would become one of the world’s dominant economic powers.

…And guess what…it happened.

But the story does not end there.

In 1983, when Ford Motor company who was losing billions of dollars per year, they hired Deming for his services to conduct some management seminars.

Deming saved Ford, by changing a cultural belief that Ford, and to this day, many other corporations still cling on to, out of fear more than anything; To increase volume and cut costs.

Deming challenged this thought and behavior, and re-instilled one that had saved the company, turned it into a powerhouse, and even became part of their advertising slogan; Quality is Job 1.

He taught them to focus on increasing the quality of what they were doing, and do it in such a way that quality would not cost more in the long term- this became their focus- this became their goal.

Deming taught, and proved to the members of Ford that quality always costs less, which is directly opposite of what most businesses, big and small practice even today.

So, how can you use this in your practice to begin making changes now? You know, little steps of improvement so you can dominate your market.

Think about the different areas of your practice; formulation, customer service, counseling, education….

Maybe you will want to commit to getting done 3 things every day that are work/business related. And they don’t have to be big.

But remember the lesson here…quality is the focus…being the best at customer service, knowledge, education, marketing, and as Deming taught- QUALITY ALWAYS COSTS LESS.

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