The Queue

A message written in what I call Jinglish arrived on the 22nd of November 1994, “Winter of Poland will be cold you don’t like I also but they want to do general review and seminar as early as possible. I need your help as same as Astilleros Españoles.”

The chain of events leading to the summons started in 1991 when I phoned Tokyo from Madrid and said, “I introduced the logic and principles of modern shipbuilding methods to the managers of Astilleros Españoles S.A. Now it’s time for Japanese experts to advise their application to a specific shipbuilding contract.”

My request was relayed to a retiree who had a role in the development of the world’s most effective shipbuilding system during his thirty-five years with Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (IHI) of Japan.

Hisayuki Kurose and his wife were then assisting their son in starting up Tokyo’s LaJolla Restaurant. She was helping as a waitress and he as the dishwasher. In one stupendous promotion Kurose-san went from dishwasher to President of Maritech Engineering Japan, Inc., a corporation of IHI retirees that he organized and set to work in Spain.


Thus I spent some of December 1994 buying earmuffs and thermal underwear and preparing presentation material to be translated into Polish. I was about to learn that when I would say, “A high inventory level submerges problems,” the overhead projector would show that I would be saying: “Wysoki sredni poziom zapasow ukrywa problemy.”

On 16 January 1995 while entering Gdynia Shipyard, I asked Kurose-san if anyone in Astilleros Españoles knew that we were in Poland. He didn’t know and expressed concern because shipyards in Poland compete with Spanish shipyards.

Minutes later upon seeing me, Gdynia Shipyard’s Chairman and Managing Director, Henryk Ogryczak, raised both hands and said, “Welcome Mr. Chirillo, we have waited on queue for you for a long time. At last you are here!”

I replied, “Thank you. How do you know of me? Did you read any of my papers?”

Henryk responded, “No. Mr. Albornoz told me about you.”

At that time Señor Carlos M. de Albornoz was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Astilleros Españoles.


How my friend and colleague Hisayuki Kurose of Maritech Engineering Japan, Inc. (MEJ) and I were retained to lecture in Poland:

According to its web site The Japan Productivity Center for Socio-Economic Development (JPC-SED) is a non-profit non-governmental organization established in 1955 in order to promote productivity in Japan and throughout the world.

As part of its Project for Productivity Improvement Assistance in the Former Soviet Union and East European Countries, JPS-SED targeted the Polish shipbuilding industry.

JPS-SED then asked Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) to identify the shipbuilding firm in Japan that had the most effective management system. MITI named Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (IHI). Since IHI did not have anyone available to lecture in Poland, IHI recommended Hisayuki Kurose of MEJ. As noted in the foregoing story Kurose-san asked me to assist.


Copyright © 2006 (text only) by Louis D. Chirillo