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Toyota Story

Our theoretical framework: The Toyota Way

„Trust is the key.“ (Kiichiro Toyoda)

The Toyota Production System (TPS) is based on two founding pillars, Just-in-Time and Jidoka. Toyoda Sakichi (1867 - 1930), the founder of the Toyoda Power Loom Company, invented an automated loom in 1924, capable of stopping automatically as soon as the chain halted or the string broke on the spindle. This breakthrough device prevented the production of defective parts (Jidoka).
The concept of just-in-time was developed by Kiichiro Toyoda, the founder (and second president) of the Toyota Motor Corporation, and Taiichi Ohno (1912 – 1990), the focal point of which was the complete elimination of waste.

Ohno was the first to recognize that the concept of mass produced goods enjoying a lower unit cost was understandable but incorrect.

Following this realization, an idea inspired by the American supermarket phenomena enabled Ohno to eliminate the greatest form of waste - overproduction.

As a result of the Second World War, Toyota found itself in grave financial difficulty by June 1950. Kiichiro voiced his concerns and it became apparent that a reduction of the workforce would be unavoidable. This situation culminated in the voluntary resignation of 1,600 employees. Kiichiro Toyoda resigned from his position as president as a sign of respect for those who lost their jobs. To ensure that this event would not be repeated, Toyota dedicated itself to constant growth and redirected its focus at its people.

MIT researchers defined the term “Lean Production” in 1990 in their TPS research. They consider Lean Production to be a method of thought and action which encompasses the entire Value Stream. In other words, the methodology is a holistic, inter-departmental approach to corporate strategy. European companies often misused this methodology to implement “right-sizing” projects. In reality the aim should be to drastically increase the value of people in the organization rather than move towards full automation.

By current estimates only 10% of companies have implemented all of the core principles of TPS.

Following in the footsteps of Kiichiro Toyoda and the researchers at MIT, the Lean Alliance aims to secure jobs by implementing continuous improvement.
We have often observed how work has been transferred to low labor cost nations in order to reduce costs. However, in many cases, the fact that the processes were neither lean nor Jidoka-compliant resulted in extra costs which exceeded the anticipated savings. These costs are incurred because of process instability and the related fire-fighting activities, for example having engineers fly from one location to another.

We are of the opinion that productivity increases are only possible in an environment where people are the center of attention. Just like Toyota did before us, we want to help your employees to reveal their true potential by using creativity and imagination to eliminate waste.

Contact:      Europe +49 (8152) 794494      |     USA +1 (248) 885-3624     |     Asia +65 (6500) 7800     |     Southamerica +55 12 9 9625 2539