Hiroyuki Hirano was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1946. He graduated from Senshu University’s School of Economics in 1970 and then joined a large software company to work in the consulting division. There he laid the conceptual groundwork for Japan’s first full-fledged production management system. Leaving the software company, he established JIT Management Laboratory Company, Ltd. Using his personal interpretation of the just-in-time philosophy (which emphasis ideas and techniques for the complete elimination of waste), Mr. Hirano helped bring the production revolution and JIT sales and distribution concepts to dozens of companies in Japan as well as major firms worldwide, such as a French automobile manufacturer and the Republic of Korea’s largest corporate conglomerate.
Mr. Hirano’s many publications in Japan include Manual for JIT Consultants 100 Questions and Answers about JIT, A Graffiti Guide to the JIT Factory Resolution, Visual Just-in-Time Production, The 55 Comic, Factory Rationalization Handbook, and a nine-part videotape series entitled “JIT Production Revolution: Suges 1,2, and 3.” (These titles are available in Japanese from the publisher Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun-sha.)
Books available in English include Factory Revolution: Pictorial Guide to Factory Design of the Future (Productivity Press, 1987), JIT Implementation Manual: The Complete Guide to just-in-Time Manufacturing (Productivity Press, 1989), and 5 Pillars of the Visual Workplace (Productivity Press, 1995). Japanese journalist Ichiro Majima has examined several of Mr. Hirano’s projects (ie., the Renault factory) in his fascinating book, The Shift to JIT: How People Make the Difference (Productivity Press, 1992).