Go and See for Yourself

Apr 23rd, 2009

It is easy to point to dramatic examples of genchi genbutsu, like driving all over North America to develop the Sienna minivan or standing in a circle all day in the factory, but what is most important is how it becomes incorporated into the collective psyche of all employees. It is really part of the […]

Apr 22nd, 2009

As president of Toyota, Cho had to learn to rely more on trust than he did in the days of running a few manufacturing plants. He doesn’t have the time to go and see everything for himself. Instead, he surrounds himself with people he trusts and, by default, goes and sees secondhand through them. But […]

Apr 21st, 2009

Kiichiro Toyoda learned from his father the importance of getting your hands dirty and learning by doing. He insisted on this from all of his engineers. A famous story about Toyoda has become part of Toyota’s cultural heritage : One day Kiichiro Toyoda was walking through the vast plant when he came upon a worker […]

Apr 20th, 2009

The 2004 Sienna is what Toyota considers a major redesign—a new and improved version of its highly ranked minivan. Toyota engineered it to be bigger, faster, smoother, quieter, and about $1,000 cheaper. Toyota also designed in many small but important enhancements that make life easier for the North American driver. Many of these enhancements were […]

Apr 19th, 2009

David Baxter is a vice president at the Toyota Technical Center. At one point he was responsible for evaluating supplier parts. When Toyota launched a version of the Camry in 1997, they had a wire harness problem. Yazaki Corporation, a parts supplier to Toyota in Japan, supplied the problem wire harness. What happened next is […]

Apr 18th, 2009

There are many stories about the famous Ohno circle. I was fortunate to speak in person with Teruyuki Minoura, who at the time was president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, North America. He had learned TPS directly from the master and part of his early education at Toyota was standing in a circle: Minoura: Mr. Ohno […]

Apr 17th, 2009

Literally translated, Genchi means the actual location and genbutsu means the actual materials or products. But genchi genbutsu is interpreted within Toyota to mean going to the place to see the actual situation for understanding. Gemba is a term that has become more popular. It refers to “the actual place” and means about the same […]