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If you have never been associated with anything Japanese in your life, the word ‘DOJO’ might not a ring a bell in your ear! Japanese concepts and way of doing things have never ceased to amaze the rest of the world, simplicity being one. One more such example is that of a DOJO center by Maruti Suzuki. What does the word DOJO literally mean? DOJO means "a place of the way" in Japanese. Vernacularly speaking, DOJO is a place to train in martial arts such as Kendo, Judo, Aikido and so on. In manufacturing parlance, a DOJO centre is a place for skilling, acclimatizing and thoroughly preparing the team members, specially the fresh ones, before they take on their responsibility on the manufacturing shopfloors.

In pursuit of giving uncompromising quality to its customers, Maruti Suzuki helped set up one of the first DOJO centers in the factory of its supplier partner Uno Minda in 2016. Since then, this DOJO center at Uno Minda has played host to several Tier 2 suppliers for replication of the DOJO concept. In a DOJO centre, a worker is trained again and again systematically in a particular task using replica models or mock-ups till he or she perfects the task. A safety culture is inculcated since the beginning. Experienced trainers, help the new operators gain confidence and correct them each time. An effort to replicate exact working conditions as inside a shopfloor is also made, so that the learner feels at ease when he joins work after his training. Ideally a fresh worker is trained for 9-10 days before he joins the shopfloor. An assessment test conducted at the end of the training helps measuring the impact of training. Re-skilling of existing workforce helps in refreshing the manufacturing concepts and also in educating about new technological advancements. The DOJO center also provides theory lessons in basic concepts of manufacturing apart from a brief overview of the company and its culture. Knowledge about the company helps the worker stay connected. The main thrust of the DOJO training remains on on job training sessions.

Maruti Suzuki’s internal research says that maximum number of component defects are caused due to errors committed by untrained hands. DOJO centers effectively address this problem at the root cause. The DOJO centers have helped to dramatically reduce the number of quality issues over time. DOJO centers are quickly finding place at all Maruti Suzuki vendors.

It is a beautiful example of going back to school to score full marks!

At Maruti Suzuki it is always innovation meets commitment to achieve 100% quality.

DOJO is one of many such innovations that shape the Maruti Suzuki culture.

DEC 2019
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