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Passing on Techniques and Expertise to Future Generations

Quality management, and design and production technology form the cornerstone of superior product manufacture. Using our unique toy-related techniques and expertise to replicate advanced technologies and prevalent items in the adult world at reasonable prices is what we toymakers do best. Now we want to capture this precious cornerstone, amassed over 90 years of toy-making history, in a more concrete form and convey it to future generations. For us, this consistent, steady pursuit is extremely important both in terms of promoting healthy child growth and ensuring consistently safe, confident and high-quality toy manufacture.

Consolidating this stance, we would like to introduce our three fellows* appointed in fiscal 2017 to help pass on our wealth of amassed experience to future generations.

*Employees who have specific expertise required by the TOMY Group

How to convey expertise and knowledge to future generationsHow to convey expertise and knowledge to future generations

△ Fellows boast diverse, international experience

To date, the TOMY Group has worked hard to train incoming generations through “training schools” that provide learning opportunities such as lectures delivered by experienced engineers and factory visits. However, passing down techniques and knowledge gained through experience takes a good deal of time. In order to firmly convey the lessons learned from these past experiences, successes and mistakes to subsequent TOMY employees and, in turn, encourage sustainable business development, it is important to give that knowledge systematic form and manage it in a way that is easy for employees to absorb and incorporate. TOMY is currently working to archive that technology and experience by appointing new fellows with specialist expertise in improving safety, quality and techniques. As new forms of play emerge and technology advances, we may come across unforeseen safety, quality, technical or manufacturing issues. Armed with their broad and deep pool of knowledge and experiences, the fellows should be able to act as a contact point where young engineers can go to get advice when they face difficult challenges at work.

問題を解決するため、こだわりを実現するための道筋をつくる問題を解決するため、こだわりを実現するための道筋をつくる

The fellows are experienced employees with a vast array of expertise in design, production, product quality, after-service, business management and international production management. They offer advice to young employees in technology, safety and quality, and production on a variety of issues. But they do not just give advice. They also work with the business divisions to thrash out issues with new products right from the design stage, and conduct regular design and technical reviews of existing products. In addition, they review inspection items and systems at international factories and offer technical guidance to prevent any shipment of defective goods.

△ Design and technical reviews held twice or three times a month
△ 月に2〜3回程度、既存商品の設計や技術の見直しを実施。

They visited production facilities in Vietnam and other countries in January through March 2018 to explore further improvements in safety, quality and technical standards.

Toy manufacturing plant visit (China) Teaching session at metallic mold factory (China)

The fellows are also devising ways to capture the Group’s technological expertise and knowledge in formats that can be readily handed down to future employees and shared internally, such as compiling a glossary of terms, translating checklists into multiple languages, and creating the TOMY Toy Technology Think Tank brochure for group-wide use that includes past experience relating to setting up a new production facility.

タカラトミー玩具技術マニュアルの写真
△ TOMY Toy Technology Think Tank brochure

Member messages

  • Fellow: Susumu Sugawara “I have been involved in various roles from materials procurement through production, design, technology, product quality and safety, customer services, production management in international factories, and business management. I am keen to convey what I learned and perceived in those positions to younger employees and help train them to be able to control production from a broader perspective.”
  • Fellow: Toru Yoshimura “I joined TOMY in the 1970s when it was producing toys in Japan. Since then, I have worked in design, international factories, Group company management, production strategy, and procurement and distribution. Up until now, experienced engineers have passed down their technical knowledge and other expertise to younger engineers through “training schools” but now we are seeking to compile that expertise into a more concrete form that can be clearly and firmly passed on to future generations. With that aim in mind, I am working hard to complete the TOMY Toy Technology Think Tank brochure.”
  • Fellow: Hiroshi Ito “I have worked primarily in toy-related roles overseeing product quality, global production management and cost management. Passing down product quality expertise and knowledge is vital to the pursuit of “true quality.” As pioneers in different fields, it is our job to serve as a bridge between the business, product safety and quality, and technology divisions, and candidly share our knowledge, successes and failures with future generations.”
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