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' 7- Minutes Miracle by Cleaning Crew'

July 2020

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JR East Techno Heart TESSEI Co. Ltd. is a Tokyo based Japanese company. It was founded in 1952 and was established with a name as Railroad Maintenance Co. Ltd. Later in 2012 the name was changed to JR East Techno Heart TESSEI Co. Ltd. Company carries out the cleaning work of the bullet trains, when they arrive at Tokyo station, the final stop along the route.

Employees and Workload

As per the company portal (, Company has 901 employees (as of April 2020), among them 591 are men and 310 women.

They clean approximately 179 trains and 171000 seats everyday (excluding temporary trains). Cleaning staff's responsibilities include collecting trash, wiping each of the individual tables, opening the curtains, rotating the seats 180 degrees to make them face the front of the train etc.

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Cleaning job is considered as a low end job in many countries including Japan. Therefore there was no pride and motivation to work as cleaning staff. People had defined the job profile as 3Ks Means Kitsui , Kitanai and Kiken (Dirty, Difficult and Dangerous/ unsafe). Similar situation was there in the TESSEi too.

Around, fourteen years ago, a new CEO - Teruo Yabe joined the company and redefined the cleaning services as something to be proud of. He stated the cleaning services as 3Ks Means Kansha, Kangeki and Kando (gratitude, drama and strong impression). By this definition, he changed the culture and mentality of the TESSEI's employees.

Work Allocation

The staff at TESSEI is divided into 11 teams. Each team comprises of 22 people and carry out cleaning of around 20 trains every day. The train stops at Tokyo station approximately for 12 minutes only. Cleaning staff has to carry out cleaning work within 7 minutes as 2 minutes are allocated to the passengers to disembark and 3 minutes for the new passengers to board.

As per the HBS - the operating model of TESSEI is as follows:

The cleaning staff stands in a queue as train arrives at the station. They bow and thank the passengers who come out of the train. After that the cleaning work starts.

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Culture Change

- TESSEI brought changes by redefining the work definition that is 'Cleaning' activity as 'Service' along with a sense of pride.

- They also focus on team work, as each and every person of the team including supervisor has to carry out their activity with a sense of responsibility.

- Every day they hold meetings and address the issues (if any). Each one respects others views and opinions.

- Team members and supervisors are reshuffled within a few days time so that each one can learn and gets the chance to work.

Achievements and Honour

TESSEI received many special awards and appreciation in their own country and around the World. Their highly efficient service operation is incredible and live example for all of us as the cleaning is translated into services with a purpose of pride and engagement. Today TESSEI has become a specialized company for Shinkansen (bullet train) vehicle cleaning.

Based on the recognition that "all corporate value comes from the front lines of the workplace," Company sets "Creation of a refreshing, safe, warm" space in the "CS Code of Conduct," and each employee offer services to the Shinkansen with pride. As a professional, Company's employees continue to think about what to do for customers and are ready to take challenges.

As per the company's ethical standards and ambition, the behavioural guidelines are as follows:

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Watch the link to experience the 7-minutes Miracle:



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