Ford Recognizes Toyota is the Best

Mulally: Ford needs to become one global company – 11/10/06 – The Detroit News Online:

Isn’t it funny how it takes an outsider to come in to point out the obvious? New Ford CEO Alan Mulally:

“‘The best in the world is Toyota,’ Mulally said. ‘I’m a disciple of the Toyota Production System. The Toyota Production System is the finest production system in the world they’re a magical machine it’s the machine that changed the world.'”

Admitting that is so much better than making excuses. Now the change is the hard part.

Those of you from Ford — how are Ford’s lean efforts coming? I’ve heard hit-or-miss stories over the years of how Ford makes progress, then slips back…. they develop the “Ford Production System” but then it doesn’t really impact the plants…. how are things and where are they headed?

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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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3 Comments

  1. Karen Wilhelm says

    As Bob Emiliani pointed out in an article some months ago, much money is still being wasted in IT and consultants’ fees. But the prospect of buyouts and early retirements is a welcome solution for some employees. For Mulally, it’s going to be like steering the Titanic.

    But lean may just make its way where it needs to go. I talked to a plant manager who had been steeped in the Mazda Production System at the joint venture plant in Flat Rock, Michigan. He’d been transferred to the Twin Cities plant, with apparently the hope that he’d be able to move it in the right direction.

  2. Mark Graban says

    That approach can work. When I was at GM (10 years ago), we had a plant manager brought in to our engine plant who had been trained well at NUMMI. He made great strides at our plant… but it didn’t translate to all of GM becoming lean obviously. It’s a shame that GM hasn’t capitalized better on the NUMMI learning.

  3. joe sheehan says

    Remeber, this guy came from Boeing, and while Aerospace isn’t a lean industry, he IS a disciple of the TPS.

    I work at Boeing (but not Seattle), and I see evidence every day that people are striving to be more Toyota like. It might take people months or years to get the hang of it, but they are trying.

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