From the article:
“It's not that Toyota hasn't tried to help the process. Second only to its export of cars is the export of its philosophies.
In the mid-1980s, former chairman Eiji Toyoda issued a company-wide hoshen kanri — an edict within the corporation — that the car maker would share its methods with the industry. At the time, Toyota was looking to set up in the U.S. market and knew it needed the political goodwill of competitors to make the expansion work.
Toyota also knew that if its suppliers were going to operate efficiently, they needed to know the company's system of lean management, where parts are kept flowing into the plant throughout the day and minimal stock is kept on hand.”
It's much easier to study Toyota than it is to be like them. Ron Harbour says:
“Toyota has probably laughed behind everybody's backs for years,” he says. “Everybody goes in there and looks at [the Cambridge plant] and walks out, but doesn't really understand how to do it. So because of that, I guess they still continue to let them look at it.”
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