Calif. to get dose of auto anguish | Detroit Free Press | Freep.com
Here's a recent story about the demise of NUMMI, in which, the reporter wrote:
“On the manufacturing side, GM did sustain much of what it learned from Toyota in its Global Manufacturing System, a standardized set of practices that literally choreograph workers' jobs to maximize efficiency, minimize physical movement and focus on using inventory only as needed.”
That sounds like the old complaint of “turning workers into robots.” That doesn't sound like Lean to me. Did the reporter get it wrong or did GM tell the reporter a skewed view of Lean?
The Toyota Production System is all about standardized work but (probably more importantly) it's also focused on engaging every worker in continuously improving their own work. Did GM not learn that from Toyota at NUMMI?
The article sort of implies that geniuses like GM's Mark Hogan were able to figure it all out for those dumb workers, who needed to be choreographed. My old GM plant manager who learned at NUMMI didn't expect to come up with all of the answers. His job was to teach and to ask the right questions.
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