Monday, 20 May 2013



Brief profile of the author: Shigeyasu Sakamoto, P.E., an Electrical Engineering graduate from Osaka Institute of Technology, Japan, Senior Consultant & Davison Vice-President of Industrial Engineering, in Japan Management Association Consultants, Tokyo, Japan, has published seven books in Japanese and one in U.K., in Industrial Engineering field. He has developed Managing Office Productivity (MOP in brief). He has specialised in Work measurement, Methods improvement, Cost reduction & control, Production planning & control and Inventory control etc. Several of the leading firms have retained him as a Consultant, some of which are Mitsubishi Motor, Kubota Iron works, Toyota Body, Sumitomo Chemicals, Nippon Aluminium, Nippon sheet glass, Nippon sea foods and Meiki etc. Further he has presented papers at International Productivity Congress at Sydney in 1977, Singapore in 1982 and Bombay in Jan 1983.

Q; In your opinion, should Consultancy services be rendered through Government run organizations or privately run Organizations?
            Consultancy services in Management field should be rendered through private sector; however Certification of adequate qualifications for Consultants should be done by the Government.
Q: Kindly give an outline of the nature and the mode of training, which an individual should get to enable him to become a professional Consultant.
             One aspect is class room training in wide range of management techniques, including on-the-job training. Another aspect is about application of techniques or experiences, such as how to change Organization climate, how to motivate for Productivity improvement and so on. Success or otherwise of professional Consultants depends more than 60 % on their nature, techniques and application ability for the particular organization. Techniques themselves are of little value, for growing up professional Consultants.
Q: If you maintain a full scale organization of Consultants, you would like to have a continuing load of assignments. How can this be achieved?
           Yes, I would like to have a continuing load of assignments. At first I have to make good services available to the clients and obtain good results for top management. Second is endeavour for refreshing ability and range of experience in particular fields of management.
Q: Do small Organizations also hire Consultancy services?
           Small size Organizations may not hire Consultancy services, because of services fee.
Q: If failure is observed in the work completed by Consultants, what do you think should be done to the Consultants and by the Consultants?
             A failure in meeting original target of improvement or original suggestion of Consultant will cause very delicate problem. The result of consultancy services depends not only on the advice of the Consultant, but also on the Company attitude. It is very difficult to differentiate, if failure is caused. This is why we never charge Consultancy fee, as related to the results.
Q  Sometimes it is observed that a Consultant is at a disadvantage, since the outsider is considered to be an intruder and the people resent his views being thrust on the Organization. What are your views?
               I do not agree with this. Consultancy services are good, not only in view of Return on Investment (ROI), but also neutral position. Revolutionary change is not made by management techniques. However, if Consultants advise same management techniques and company members follow the proposal, it causes neutral position of Consultants.
Q What is your opinion about free-lance Consultants and their working?
              I do not recommend free-lance Consultants. They usually work in wide range of any kinds of management fields, but their services are not by their originality. These Consultants spend a lot of their time for services, but they spend little time for study, for developing new useful services.
Q : Could you give a brief idea about the philosophy behind Quality Circles?
              The philosophy is making their role a leading part of company activities. Through Quality Circle activities, employees experience their important role in companies. When I organize or advise companies about Quality Circle activities, these are for motivating employees that means I never expect remarkable ratio of Productivity improvement. If employees feel their role as a leading part of company activities, it is a success.
NOTE: Following books have been published by him till 1983, out of which first seven books are in Japanese language:  Managing Office Productivity in 1983, Practice of Industrial Engineering in 1981, Work Measurement in 1979, Practice of Cost reduction, Industrial Engineering view points in 1980, Practice of work Measurement in 1972, Work Measurement for Foreman in 1969, Japanese firm doubles Productivity in 1977 in U.K.
          This interview was conducted in 1983. The profile, photograph and the actual contents of the interview reflect the status as in 1983, i.e. thirty years ago, but the contents are relevant today also, though there are changes in the profile and the photograph, which are being reflected in the next interview in 2013.

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