Cell production systems, which are popular in the Japanese manufacturing industries in recent years, have been actively introduced to electrical and electronic industries as well as precision equipment industries, where many plants had introduced line production system, or where the flow of the production process had been relatively simple. The prototype plant of T Corporation was a large-scale factory with 600 machines and 500 operators. It used to have a production process of a complex job shop type, producing various kinds of parts, sometimes only one piece per order. In the plant, by introducing a cell production system and by restructuring the organization accordingly, over the course of six years, autonomy of operators has progressed, and as a result, productivity was significantly improved and the employee turnover was drastically reduced. The cell production system of the plant was called "my parts production system", which means that operators work autonomously with a mental attitude just like that of business owners of each cell. For the manufacturing industries in recent Japan, with growing roles as mother plants and R & D bases globally, this case, showing high adaptability in uncertain business environments, gives us beneficial suggestions. The author has so far studied cell production systems from the two view points, that is, integration and autonomy. This paper, based on the real case of the prototype plant in T Corporation, examined the autonomy of operators through the introduction of cell production system. By advancing the autonomy, the employee satisfaction of operators was increased, as seen in reduced employee turnover. At the same time, improved productivity has also been observed. How it was possible to achieve both improved productivity and employee satisfaction through autonomy, is examined as follows: Firstly, the cell production system of the plant, had been built on the lean production basis. As the first goal given to the cells was to observe of delivery time for purchasers, and the operators could not refuse any order by excuse of "capacity shortages", the operators had no other way than to improve their productivity. In addition, the production system of T Corporation, based on "just-in-time" and "jidoka" in order to eliminate waste, worked as solid base for productivity of the cell production systems of the plant. Secondly, management control of the cell production system had a good fit to the autonomous level of operators. However, it seems necessary to study further the relationship between the production system and its adequate autonomous level. In addition, it is necessary to consider the production system that matches the characteristics of the regions and countries as well as individuals. It may be said that the team-working systems at Volvo's Uddevalla plant were built because they existed in a welfare state where people respect solidarity. In areas such as Japan that require high customer satisfaction in mature markets, the cell production system developed in this case may be suited because of its market adaptability through employee autonomy. Thirdly, the trust relationship between individuals and the organization was heavily involved. Top management gave operators much delegation of authority. If operators feared that they might be fired or reduced in salaries when they make failures, it might have been difficult for them to accept challenges for the cell production systems. If they had to take a big risk like that, they would waste their time in collecting and checking information too much, and the trust relationship between the organization and individuals would have been damaged. In this case, it was declared that the responsibility of any failure is to make recovery actions as much as possible, so the trust relationship between individuals and the organization was maintained, and the operators made challenges willingly.
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