World Class Manufacturing – November Mission

    “We are all aware that daily life in many places around the world has been suspended for weeks now in order to slow down the spread of the COVID-19. Several countries are slowly planning to ease restrictions on social life, transport and cross-border travel imposed since mid-March. At this stage, we don’t know yet how long this “unlocking process” will last but the Centre is committed to continue promoting the WCM mission until 2 July. The Centre also considers the possibility to organise a virtual mission in case of persisting travel restrictions and borders shutdown in November 2020.”

    • Discover Japan approach to World-Class Manufacturing
    • Learn how Japanese firms achieve superior production standards
    • Focus on the latest trends by visiting the top manufacturing plants in Japan
    • Visit the real “GEMBA” (i.e. production site in Japan)
    • Meet senior Japanese industry leaders

    Since the first edition in 1992, more than 700 participants from across all EU Member states have participated in this practical training course.

    The 5-day World Class Manufacturing training mission provides an in-depth analysis of Japanese manufacturing methodology and is aimed exclusively at EU managers with knowledge of WCM and an engineering background. It assists the participants to acquire a better understanding of TQC (Total Quality Control), TQM (Total Quality Management), TPM (Total Productive Maintenance), JIT (Just In Time), TIE (Total Industrial Engineering) practices and the current KAIZEN manufacturing methods (continuous improvement).

    The training course consists of lectures, workshops and visits to some of the world’s most advanced Japanese factories in order to understand the real “Gemba” (production site), talk directly with their production managers and observe the effective implementation of manufacturing methods.

    This course will give its participants a detailed understanding of current Japanese approaches that they can adapt to help their companies lean journeys.


    Ideal participants have an important strategic role in shaping the company’s best practice strategy or can influence the company’s management of quality control / best practice / production systems but as a full-time worker (e.g. Director, Manager, Operation & Logistics, Plant Manager, Quality Manager or Managing Director etc).

    The sector of activity is unimportant however applicants from consulting sector will have a lower priority in the selection.


    The candidate must:

    • be a citizen of an EU Member State or of a COSME partnering country;
    • work for a company that is > 50% EU or COSME partnering country owned;
    • work for a company that is an EU or COSME partnering country juridical person;
    • be supported by their employer;
    • be able to participate in the entire programme;
    • have a good command of English;
    • be an employee/team leader involved in engineering methods or production/service strategy or production control or with experience in operations management
    • have knowledge and practice of production methods of excellence.


    The main criteria for selection are:

    the professional & educational background of the candidate;
    the strategy of the participant’s company regarding WCM implementation.
    In order to ensure a high degree of personal attention, the number of participants in each programme is limited.


    Study block I: lectures, seminars & panel discussions, presented by experts from Japanese industry covering subjects such as:

    – Lead-Time Reduction through Streamlined Flows of Information and Products
    – Policy Deployment, HR Management and Best Practice for Staff Motivation
    – Continuous Improvement of Customer Service Supported by WCM
    – Lean Thinking and WCM Approach in Japan
    – TQC, TQM, TPM, JIT and TIE
    – Attractive Quality Creation
    – Levelled Production System
    – Variable-Product Variable
    -Quantity Production to meet Demand Fluctuation
    – Synchronized Production System (from order to delivery)
    – Flexible Manufacturing Implemented by QCD
    – Improvement of Overall Manufacturing Capability.

    Study block II: visits to companies – preparation for company visits and post-visit reviews.

    The sectors of activity of the companies to be visited include, among others:
    – Chemical products and plastics
    – Machinery
    – Steel products
    – Automobile industry

    The EU-Japan Centre’s lean advisor is Prof. Richard Keegan, adjunct professor at Trinity Business School, Trinity College, Dublin. Richard is a specialist in the fields of World Class Business and Benchmarking and has focused on adapting these concepts for SMEs, working closely with a large number of SMEs helping them to implement improvement actions. An author of several books on the topics and previously Manager of the Competitiveness Department of Enterprise Ireland, he led the DG Enterprise & Industry Benchmarking Initiative and the European Benchmarking Forum and Network for the European Commission.


    The EU-Japan Centre covers all costs directly related to the mission (i.e. lectures and seminars, group study trips, including (i.e. lectures and seminars, group study trips, including visits to companies).

    The participants’ companies must cover travel costs to/from Japan, accommodation and any other costs not covered directly by the EU-Japan Centre (living expenses).


    Participation is free. On top, SMEs benefit from a €600 but absences during the course may lead to deductions amounting to 120 EUR/day.

    SMEs must pay a 100% refundable deposit of €1,000 to guarantee the place on the course. Failure to do so by the deadline set by the Centre may result in the offer of the place being withdrawn.

    The deposit will be refunded within 8 weeks after the course, minus any unpaid bills, provided that the participant attends the entire course and submits any and all reports the Centre asks him/her to make.

    If, for whatever reason, a participant cannot take up his / her confirmed place, the deposit may NOT be refunded.


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