Toyota and the “Thinking Production System”

Comments from Toyota’s managing director of global purchasing

Many interesting comments here from someone who worked directly for/with Taiichi Ohno. He comments on developing workers who can think — TPS being the “Thinking Production System.”

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 1.01.03 PM

He also makes more detailed comments about global purchasing. The goal, he says, actually is to increase the level of local procurement. I assume this is done to minimize total supply chain costs (low inventory and fast response), rather than sourcing from the cheapest piece price country. Finding a global benchmark price is motivation for figuringt out how to produce it cheaper locally. I would assume that, through lean, you can still be cheaper even with higher labor costs. That certainly is the challenge for all of us here in the U.S. and other high wage countries.

Please check out my main blog page at

Post continues after ad...
Post continues after ad...

The RSS feed content you are reading is copyrighted by the author, Mark Graban.

, , , on the author’s copyright.

Please post a comment and join the discussion. Subscribe to get notified about posts daily or weekly.

Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an book titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

You might also like More from author


  1. Thinking is For Factories, Too | Lean Blog

    […] lend itself to “obedience.” Toyota wants its people to think — hence the “Thinking Production System” (I know, sounds like a slogan, but it’s a good […]

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.