All entries for Saturday 14 March 2009

March 14, 2009

Lean and Toyota–Initial

I have completed the Lean part of my Pma..and some important learning outcomes have been generated..

First of all it is obvious that once again the Japanese have outbeaten the west, primarily in terms of forward thinking...

I was impressed i found out -according to my readings- that Toyota had been practising lean without even knowing it for nearly 80 years...I mean obviously they knew the system they were applying but for them it wasn't some groundbreaking/magical discovery..It was simply a management approach covering nearly all operations from manufacturing, to assembly and employees which was developed especially for them.

In particular, I was reading that the Japanese engineers who in a way "invented" lean had actually visited Ford plants in the USA were they observed activities such as waste and life cycle cost management...Even though they "appreciated" the western mass production ways, they realised that they wouldn't fit the Japanese reality, therefore they had to introduse a unique concept suitable for Toyota in specific...

Lesson learnt: Simply adopting what other people are doing wont really add value...it is necessary to understand the specific needs of each situation and treat it accordingly...perhaps ADGUSTING external solutions to your reality might be helpful but simply copying wont add any value....

For this reason it makes total sense why lean as it was later called, has become so famous and desired..The concept of reducing waste, increasing wealth from within, driving continual improvement and most importantly considering customer requirements during all this...is an approach which can easily distinguish world class companies from the rest...And there is no doubt that Toyota has come to become a world class company..


March 2009

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