Boondoggle indeed, Mike! I am really looking forward to reading more of Mike's posts from Japan. He is traveling with a Gemba Research “Kaikaku” Tour of Japanese lean factories. Notice, you have to specify “Japanese” and “lean” separately, because not all Japanese factories are lean. Gemba Research also does the “Gemba Pantarei” blog that I often link to.
The first link above was from his Toyota visit. This is a link to his second visit to a non-Toyota factory.
It's really very thrilling that Mike is sharing his experiences with us.
I would love to take one of their tours someday. I do have to challenge one thing though — do we really have to go all the way to Japan to see great lean factories anymore? Is there still a mystique that lean is “Japanese?” Has anyone put together an American lean tour, including the Toyota Georgetown plant, Johnson Controls, Danaher, other good lean companies? What other companies would you include in that “American lean” tour?
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