Wednesday, 22 May 2013



Brief Profile of the author: Dr. Shigeyasu Sakamoto is a Management Consultant in Productivity improvement and President of Productivity 

Partner Incorporation. Before his current appointment, Sakamoto 

was Vice President of Maynard MEC AB (Sweden) and Vice 

President of JMAC (Japan). Sakamoto is a Fellow at the World 

Academy of Productivity Science. He received his Doctorate degree of

 Policy science from the Graduate School of Doshisha University in 

 Japan and is certified as a Professional Engineer (P.E.) by the 

Japanese Government. He is also certified as an industrial engineer 

from the European Institute of Industrial Engineering, MTM 

instructor from International MTM Directorate (IMD) (1985), and 

a MOST instructor from Maynard Management Institute. He worked 

for the IMD as the Technical coordinator, responsible for developing

 a new system of MTM. Sakamoto is a senior member of the Institute

 of Industrial Engineers. Hes a Work factor and Mento factor 

instructor for WOFAC Corporation. Sakamoto has published 

many books and papers in English and Japanese regarding 

Productivity,  Industrial engineering and Work measurement. 

Recently, he explored the subject of Company dignity, through

 experiences as a Management Consultant  of Productivity for 

more than 20 years in Europe. He has questioned the Quality 

 of working life in Europe and Japan, distinguishing the habits 

of companies, seeking big market share vs. those who strive 

 for a culture of ethics and  dignity. This study motivated his 

Doctoral degree in research. The  dissertation was published 

as A Study of  Company Dignity (SHAKAKU, Companality).





Q:  Kindly make the readers briefly aware of the role & functions of “Productivity Partner Inc., Japan”. 

       As professional of management issues especially Productivity, the role consists of supporting the companies, who wish to find and reach world class level of Productivity. I have had a lot of unique support, regarding the subjects of Productivity and profitability, for my clients, who have been in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Germany, UK, Italy, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan. The uniqueness is in larger scale of Productivity and profitability improvement, such as 500% productivity, 700% profitability improvement. I have effective technologies and their successful implementing know how as well. One unique approach to support clients is Methods Design Concept (MDC in brief).


Q:  Could you briefly narrate your contribution in the field of Consultancy in Japan & elsewhere?

       I made a presentation at International Conference of Management Consultants, Paris. My words in the presentation are introduced on, “, as “Changing a business requires dynamite and it is a consultant who lights the fuse” (Andy Chestnutt,), These are my favourite words, as a management consultant, while supporting clients.


Q:  What are your specific views about Productivity in the service sector?

       Practices in service sector are so much behind, compared to manufacturing sector. A key reason of this situation is due to those managements, which are not interested in Productivity competition. Their interest is such that Productivity should contribute not only in reducing cost, but also in Customer support. Key points are setting up definition of Productivity in the service sector and designing Measurement system. My way for this matter is introduced in my book as Measurement/monitoring based Management (MBM in brief)   


Q:  How many of your books have been published so far in Japanese and in English languages?

        More than ten books written by me in Japanese language have been published so far. The most recently published Japanese book is “A study of SHAKAKU (Japanese word), a study of Company dignity” having 327 pages, and its 3000 copies have been sold out. The contents of this book are based on my “Doctor” dissertation, sub title is “Searching Corporate Maturity”. One book “Beyond World-Class Productivity-Industrial Engineering Practice and Theory” has been published in English language, in 2010, by Springer.


Q; What is your specific field of writing?

        The subjects are Productivity, Profitability and Industrial Engineering and their importance for improving performance of companies, namely getting more profits.


Q:  What has been the general assessment of the reviewers and readers for your books?

      It has been very good, due to introducing the practical way of thinking, with IE technology and concrete approach, based on my consultancy support experiences.


Q; What is your own general assessment of your books?

       There is no book like my book, which explains the practical way of thinking. This book not only explains practical points of view, but is based on theory and/or basic thinking of real Industrial engineering theory, with my professional support experiences for clients for 50 years.


Q; How did you get the idea to write this book “Beyond World-Class Productivity-Industrial Engineering Practice and Theory”. Kindly enlighten the readers about the purpose and uniqueness of this book.

       There are a lot of fashionable topics in Productivity improvement such as TPS (Toyota production system), KANBAN, TQC, KAIZEN and so on, and there will always be. My question is how much, and how to measure the results of improvement regarding Productivity. I don’t hate such a way of improvement but do they contribute to increase in Productivity directly. According to the study of a Harvard Professor in Japanese company, which is eager to develop TPS, it is only 200% in 5 years. My experiences which are given in my book, show more than 400% within 2 to 3 years. TPS target is not labour productivity first, I believe. In general, the people of Management are misunderstanding the effect of TPS.  There are many books which explain success story of Productivity, but there is a low level of success. I give a simple example about the success at Olympic level games, regional level and domestic level games. The best of success should be at Olympic level, as it is World-Class level Productivity.

Followings are extracts from the Preface of my book:  “You will see plenty of titles defining useful technologies for inventory and lead-time improvement or participatory management practice, but its not easy to find books concentrating on labor productivity that introduce basic tools of industrial engineering that can be applied in various industries. Allow me to draw your attention to a discussion by Consultants and Professors many years ago in the Journal of Industrial Engineering. One of the key points was the introduction of classic IE, or modern IE. The age of Computer technology came to IE in the form of new applications in Work measurement and Line balancing; Mechanization or Automation was set to transform manufacturing. Implementation of Small group activity (SGA) and Lean production entered many companies. As results regarding Productivity and Cost reduction were glorified, not only were terms associated with Motion and Time study virtually eliminated, Industrial engineering itself became lost in translation.

Real gain should be pursuance. For example, reducing the allocated number of workers to reduce paid-hours immediately, but accrue the same or more powerful results. This is an example of real gain. Management, particularly in human resources departments, is interested in these types of gains. Industrial engineering

should be a department that fosters these connections. Industrial engineering tools are effective enough to support management with these goals in mind. There are a lot of fashionable topics in Productivity improvement, and there always will be. However, Management and Industrial engineers together must always look ahead. Basic Industrial engineering technologies are not hackneyed. Effective results come when industrial engineers know how to use the technologies and demonstrate their abilities. This includes going back to the basics. Experts never choose the tools themselves; as demonstrated in the following chapters; they need only apply them correctly.”


Q:  Do you consider that this is your best book so far?

      Why not? I wrote many books, papers and presentations so far, but this book introduces several points of those experiences. It is difficult to find a basic and practical book of Industrial Engineering (IE in brief), like my this book. IE is still very effective and useful way for Productivity enhancing, but some people misunderstand and are out of date about IE. It is a big question for me.


Q:  Which aspects motivate you to write books? Earning money/publicity/helping readers/self-satisfaction/others.

        First of all, reviewing & summing up my experiences as manuscript, motivate me well, then the result helps readers who are interested in my professional field. Many books written by me on Productivity and Industrial engineering in Japanese language have been published in Japan. But their market is limited, not only in respect of number of readers, but also the quality and interest of the readers.


Q: In your opinion, is there adequate scope for name/fame/wealth in the field of writing?

       I believe so.


Q:  If you were not a writer, in what other way, you would have expressed your creativity?

       Presentations in Conferences, Seminars and actual Consulting support.


Q:  How have your family members contributed, if any, in your writing career?

        Main contribution has come in the form of patience of my wife Kiyoko, while my working hard for preparing the manuscripts.


Q:  What is your advice to the budding authors?

        It must not be difficult to write books, for selling many copies of the books, when writers follow opinion of the publishers. Authors should be happy when many copies of their books are sold, but authors should write the contents, considering their beliefs.   








NOTE: A. Details of the book “Beyond World-Class

 Productivity-Industrial Engineering Practice and Theory”. ..

Author: Dr. Shigeyasu Sakamoto, Number Of Pages: 231, Format: Hardcover, Language: English, Publication Date: 2010-09-03,

llustrated: Yes, ISBN 978-1-84996-268-1 e-ISBN 978-1-84996-269-8, Publisher: Springer, Springer’s  home page: 

B. Furnished below are relevant extracts from an e mail dt. 19 Aug 2009, from Candi S. Cross of Content Strategy Inc., Atlanta GA, USA to John Carleo, Industrial Press, Acquisitions Editor, 989 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10018

“A long-time management consultant to distinguished companies in Asia and Europe, Shigeyasu Sakamoto has contributed chapters on productivity and performance excellence to industry references such as Maynard’s Industrial Engineering Handbook. Now armed with a completed manuscript of Beyond World-Class Productivity: Industrial Engineering Practice and Theory, Shigeyasu is primed to share his proven techniques in  process improvement with a widely accessible U.S.-based readership.This is the perfect time for Shigeyasu’s signature framework to be introduced to students and professionals alike.

This “balance” of essential information, theory, case studies and a thorough examination of many timeless applications for productivity and profitability is evidenced in Shigeyasu’s book. It serves as a unique voice in the field of industrial engineering because it is neither an instruction manual nor textbook of theory. Practical examples and commentary come from over 40 years of real-world experience on the shop floors and in the boardrooms. 

Shigeyasu is the exemplary author for an international readership.”

     C. This interview has been conducted in 2013. The profile, photograph and the actual contents of the interview reflect the status as at present i.e. thirty years after the earlier interview conducted in 1983 and posted on this web site recently. There are changes in the profile and the photograph of the author, as compared to 1983.








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