March 4, 2019
The Small and Medium Enterprise Agency (SMEA) conducted a survey to ascertain the actual conditions of Japan's business practices during peak periods and for responding to orders for quick delivery that force employees to work long hours. SMEA hereby release the results of the survey.
1. Background and purpose of the survey
Previous surveys of the SMEA discovered that business practices during peak periods and for responding to quick delivery requests tend to force employees to work long hours. To ascertain the background conditions of such practices, the SMEA conducted this web survey.
2. Outline of the survey
- Coverage: 7,642 SMEs (selected from among monitor companies of a private research firm)
- Period: December 3 to December 13, 2018
- Responses from 2,537 SMEs (response rate: 33.2%)
3. Outline of the results
(1) Occurrences of orders during peak periods and orders for quick delivery
- Peak periods are experienced by approximately 70% of the companies. In particular, over 80% of the companies experience peak periods in the construction industry, food manufacturing industry, paper and paper products industry, printing industry, trucking industry and the warehousing industry.
- Orders for quick delivery are received by 60% of the companies (in the last year). In particular, over 80% of the companies received orders for quick delivery in the paper and paper products industry, printing industry, semiconductor and semiconductor manufacturing equipment industry, and the electrical and information communication equipment industry.
- Regarding major clients for peak periods and orders for quick delivery, the most common answer was companies in the same industry for most business types. On the other hand, the food manufacturing industry, paper and paper products industry, machine parts and tooling industry, technical services industry, and the wholesale industry cited companies in other industries as major clients.
(2) Factors that cause peak periods and orders for quick delivery
- Approximately 50% of the companies cited seasonal factors as the reason for the occurrence of peak periods, and approximately 80% cited requests from clients as the reason for orders for quick delivery.
- Problems in business practices that cause peak periods and orders for quick delivery lie in means of placing and receiving orders, such as the concentration of orders at the year-end or fiscal year end, excessive burden due to strict observance of delivery time, as well as just-in-time delivery and delivery on the day, and stock to ensure such delivery, and the fact that such problematic means of placing and receiving orders is prevalent.
(3) Influence on overtime hours
- 80% and 60% of the companies answered that the average overtime hours of their workers increase for the purpose of responding to peak periods and due to orders for quick delivery, respectively.