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Panasonic today introduced a major new B2B solutions initiative called Gemba Process Innovation to help its European business customers in the manufacturing, logistics and retail sectors innovate to improve productivity and customer satisfaction. Gemba Process Innovation draws on all of Panasonic’s vast business, technology and solutions know-how to help customers improve the way they operate in the face of seismic social and technological change.


The Japanese word “gemba” literally translates to "the actual place”; for businesses, it is the site where value is generated and problems must be confronted. Gemba Process Innovation follows in the footsteps of successful business transformation philosophies like Kaizen. It helps companies optimise the flow of information from technology and people at their operational fronts, such as the factory floor, the warehouse or points-of-sale.


“Businesses in the manufacturing, logistics and retail industries are facing huge challenges triggered by a whole range of emerging social trends and disruptive technologies,” said Tetsuya Fujiwara, Managing Director at Panasonic’s System Communication Company in Europe. “Panasonic had already begun shifting its focus from selling hardware and things to providing integrated solutions to our enterprise clients to address these challenges. Gemba Process Innovation takes this consulting and solutions focus to another level.”


Gemba expertise

The Panasonic Gemba Process Innovation teams work by understanding the business customer’s challenges and working with them to re-evaluate each gemba; every area where core operations are undertaken. New processes and the latest technology solutions are then designed to improve effectiveness and efficiencies. Pilot projects, with key performance indicators, are run and optimised before full business roll-out.


“We have restructured Panasonic’s B2B operations in every area across Europe to bring together gemba-focused teams. Bringing together the best of our business consultants, analysts, engineers and designers to focus on delivering business transforming solutions to our customers in the manufacturing, logistics and retail industries,’ explained Fujiwara.


Gemba Process Innovation

Gemba Process Innovation is a major initiative around B2B solutions that leverages Panasonic's manufacturing know-how and core technologies to innovate customers’ processes in manufacturing, logistics, and retail. 


Gemba Process Innovation operates within the context of three main areas: 


Manufacturing — where things are made. 

Transportation Logistics — how things get from A to B and this includes the entire logistics supply chain from raw materials getting to factories to finished goods being packaged, labeled, sorted, transported, and distributed.


Retail Point of Sale or Point of Interaction — where a consumer or an end user interacts with that product in some way.

In each area, Panasonic helps clients to connect the “physical gemba” layer with the “digital” layer — integrating people and technology to continuously improve processes and outputs.