Toyota History Article in the Las Vegas Paper

2 – Drive – Toyota empire was built on thread, not tread

It's surprising to see an article like this in the Las Vegas paper. This piece covers some of the early loom making history of the Toyoda family before they ever got involved in making cars and changed the company name to Toyota with another T.

The article also covers some of the history of the just-in-time system, kanban, and the inspiration in an American grocery store (hence the “supermarket” materials system).

Good reading if you're new to this Toyota history or new to Lean.

In other news — the Gemba Academy has officially launched. You can still check out three videos for free at

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

  1. Kathleen Fasanella says

    How shocking this writer didn't mention his source material! Boy, yet another instance of degrading journalistic standards.

    The material in this article comes from the book [url=]Against All Odds: The Story of the Toyota Motor Corporation and the Family That Created It[/url]. This is the first book I ever read on Lean Manufacturing and it remains my favorite. It's a good read, I've read it several times, it's very inspirational. It explains how resource constraints (money, equipment, knowledge, market share, qualified workers) created their culture. I think this is an excellent book for entrepreneurs because they have all of the same problems so they need to read how Toyota overcame them. I would encourage everyone to read it.

  2. Mark Graban says

    You should post that comment on the Las Vegas Journal-Review website… they allow comments on the article there. It’s too bad they have an apparent plagarism problem…

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