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.”

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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.

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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.

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