Build a Culture of Stopping to Fix Problems

May 5th, 2009

Anyone who has participated in creating a learning organization knows that it is a major undertaking. It has taken Toyota well over a decade to build an organization in North America that bears even a resemblance to the learning enterprise it built over several decades in Japan. Moving people from firefighting and short-term fixes to […]

Mar 11th, 2009

A story I heard from a plant manager at Reiter Automotive (supplier of sound-dampening materials) helped put into perspective what it takes to build in quality. He ran a plant that makes sound-dampening materials in Chicago and supplied them to Toyota. He had a Toyota mentor who was teaching him TPS. The Toyota mentor had […]

Mar 10th, 2009

You can extend Toyota Way Principle 4: Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time to the office environment. Of course you are not going to hang andon lights over everyone’s desk so they can signal in case there is a problem. Clearly the tool of andon as […]

Mar 9th, 2009

If American and European companies got anything from the invasion of Japanese products to the U.S. market in the 1980s, it was quality fever. The level of quality consciousness in Japanese companies made our heads spin. They were crafting fine art and we were slapping parts together. But we woke up and worked hard to […]

Mar 8th, 2009

This point has been made earlier in the article, but it bears repeating: the closer you are to one-piece flow, the quicker quality problems will surface to be addressed. This hit home for me personally in a unique opportunity I had in the summer of 1999. General Motors had a program through its joint venture […]

Mar 7th, 2009

Jidoka, the second pillar of TPS, traces back to Sakichi Toyoda and his long string of inventions that revolutionized the automatic loom. Among his inventions was a device that detected when a thread broke and, when it did, it would immediately stop the loom. You could then reset the loom and, most importantly, solve the […]