By September 6, 2006 0 Comments Read More →

What’s Driving Toyota?

What’s Driving Toyota? Baseline Magazine:

Here is a fairly broad overview of Toyota, written for a tech magazine audience. There are good details about the Kentucky plant and TPS (including some quotes from Jeff Liker), so it’s a good read even if you’re not interested in tech or software.

From the article, an interesting point:

“Technology does not drive business processes at Toyota. The Toyota Production System does. However, technology plays a critical role by supporting, enabling and bringing to life on a mass scale the processes derived by adhering to TPS.

‘What strikes me about Toyota is, if you were to ask them if they have a technology strategy, they would probably say no, we have a business strategy,’ says Philip Evans, a senior vice president at the Boston Consulting Group who has studied Toyota. ‘They have a very clear understanding of the role technology plays in supporting the business.'”

Another comment from the article:

“Little musical jingles are heard everywhere—they all seem to sound the same to visitors, but assembly line workers can tell just by the jingle if there’s a problem at their workstation and what might be the cause.”

This is something that Dr. Liker talked about in the Podcast, how there are constantly chimes and songs playing — that means there are constant problems. The difference with TPS is that Toyota doesn’t hide its problems — it identifies them and FIXES them at a root cause level. How many of workplaces try to hide problems so nobody gets into trouble?

“No problem is problem.” — Toyota Proverb

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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 eBook 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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