From 25 November to 2 Dec 2016, six students and two graduates from SIM University's Logistics and Supply Chain Management, and Business programmes participated in the Tokyo Immersion in Logistics and Design Thinking. Led by Associate Professor Tan Yan Weng and Dr Tay Huay Ling from School of Business (SBIZ), the group was joined by fellow SBIZ faculty, Dr Park Byung Joon and Ms Tan Lee Cheng, who also acted as mentors for the core exercises.
The participants attended a full-day design thinking workshop conducted by Associate Professor Chikako Morimoto at Tokyo Institute of Technology to learn how to apply this methodology to come up with innovative and customer-centric solutions. The group also visited three companies with distinct business models and logistics operations: Haneda Chronogate, which is Yamato's state-of-the-art logistics facility; Suntory Tomi no Oka Winery – owned by brewing and distillery giant Beam Suntory; and Warehouse Terrada, which provides unique storage solutions for wine, art, media and other valuable items.
After the visits, the participants had to apply the design thinking approach to identify customers' needs and suggest feasible actions to meet them and extend value. Selecting one of the three companies as their case company, the participants presented their ideas on how to address specific issues to Associate Professor Morimoto. At the end of the core exercises, the participants shared how their learning journey had been an eye-opening and fulfilling experience. One key takeaway was the unique Japanese focus on catering to customers' needs and delivering value-added services through well thought-out supply chain networks and logistic practices.
Wefie at Tokyo Institute of Technology.
The design thinking workshop in progress.
Site visit to Suntory Tomi no Oka Winery in the Yamanashi prefecture, with Mount Fuji in the background.