News

WHAT WE LEARNED IN JAPAN: PART ICHI (1)

In 2015, several RAM employees went on a Lean Manufacturing Tour of Japan. In this series of posts, we recount our experiences and observations. May our stories leave you convinced of the truth of the great Japanese proverb:

ラムの技術は、ゴジラ以外のすべてを征服するでしょう。*

Our owner and CEO, Greg Wright, had long been convinced of the excellence of Godzilla as a singer

proven effectiveness of Lean Manufacturing principles. So in the spring of 2015, he went back to Japan for a 2nd lean tour – taking with him a crack commando unit who had been imprisoned for crimes they didn’t commit a handful of other key RAM employees.

We had the opportunity to get an extended look at the Japanese culture, countryside, and culinary arts.

As one might expect, there are anomalies due to the homogeneity [look it up] of Japan. Some seem more intuitive than others. For example, you wouldn’t be surprised to learn that nearly every vehicle we saw on the highways and byways appeared to be both new, and clean. Less intuitive, is that nary a single pickup truck – in any condition – was to be found. Evidently our Japanese friends are not all about the Saturday trips to Lowe’s. Either that, or they are cool throwing huge bags of weed & feed into the backs of their sedans. Whatever floats their boat.

Also, our experience was that Japan is simply a very, very safe place in which to raise a family. In fact, that’s one of the reasons our lean tour guide (who is not Japanese but married a Japanese woman) has elected to stay there for the duration. White collar crime is an issue, but the behavior that is a blight on American urban centers – rapes, shootings, muggings, vandalism – are almost unheard of in Japan. In fact, there would be vending machines for various beverages on busy downtown corners in Japanese cities that could stay there in perpetuity, performing their function unmolested by ne’er-do-well’s. By way of comparison, in downtown Seattle a few miles away from RAM, vending machines situated outside on a corner would last approximately 6.3 hours before being toppled by Nike-wearing, iPhone-holding, Starbucks-drinking decriers of the evils of capitalism.

The food? Well, that’s largely a matter of taste. And with our admittedly American palettes, many times we just had to grin and bear it. Especially when the food appeared to be grinning at us.

* “RAM Technologies will conquer all, except Godzilla.”

LITTLE COMPANIES NEED LOVE TOO

Sometimes working with a certain client is a slam dunk. Relationally, creatively, and financially it is a no-brainer. It’s undeniable, you just complete each other.

Other times, it’s a risky proposition. A small start-up with an uncertain future. A mom-and-pop business looking to grow.

Along those lines, we just started working with a company you’ve likely never heard of. But darned if they aren’t full of gumption about their future. And you know what, we think that as they join hands with RAM, there will be good things ahead. They’ve asked us to keep the specific project on the down low but they were OK if we shared their name. The company is called “Facebook”.

Don’t bother looking it up, I don’t think they have a website yet.

RAM ENGINEER VISITS GERMANY, RETURNS SOBER

We were delighted to send one of our engineers to the beautiful country of Deutschland. We had asked him to sing accordingly while he was there, but he’s not that kind of guy.

You might wonder why we sent him there. Was it to attend the recent G20 summit with other international dignitaries? No, this year RAM was snubbed yet again. Was it to perform reconnaissance in case Germany decides to go to war with THE WORLD for the 3rd time? No.

The reason we sent him was: to personally confirm and test, pre-delivery, the incredible capabilities of some of the new equipment that is heading to RAM shortly over the ocean wide.

The particulars are hush-hush, but you might look at it this way: Our competitors are asleep at the wheel using Commodore 64’s while a fleet of new MacBook Pro’s are on their way to RAM.

Sleep well, competition, sleep well.

USUALLY WE AVOID WORKPLACE POLITICS…

But today we made an exception.

We had the distinct privilege and honor of being visited by our city’s estimable mayor, the Honorable Jennifer Gregerson.

One of the catalysts for the visit was the glowing coverage we received from the Everett Herald in a recent article.

Having grown up in a family-owned business, Gregerson has an understanding and appreciation of places like RAM. There are places in our economy for the giants and the monoliths. But the smaller, sleeker, swifter companies like RAM also have a part to play.

We’d like to thank Mayor Gregerson for the visit, and trust she will get back to us on our idea of huge foam pads that protect the Mukilteo dock when the ferries come in a little hot.

MAYORAL VISIT

We are looking forward to Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson’s visit to RAM tomorrow.

Our planned agenda:

  1. Discuss awesomeness of RAM
  2. Discuss awesomeness of Mayor Gregerson
  3. Sign a Declaration of Mutual Awesomeness