How Toyota Became the World’s Best Manufacturer

Jan 25th, 2009

In the 1950s, Ohno returned to the place he understood best, the shop floor, and went to work to change the rules of the game. He did not have a big consulting firm, Post-it® notes, or PowerPoint to reinvent his business processes. He could not install an ERP system or use the Internet to make […]

Jan 24th, 2009

When Eiji Toyoda and his managers took their 12-week study tour of U.S plants in 1950, they were expecting to be dazzled by their manufacturing progress. Instead they were surprised that the development of mass production techniques hadn’t changed much since the 1930s. In fact, the production system had many inherent flaws. What they saw […]

Jan 23rd, 2009

Toyota Motor Corporation struggled through the 1930s, primarily making simple trucks. In the early years, the company produced poor-quality vehicles with primitive technology (e.g., hammering body panels over logs) and had little success. In the 1930s, Toyota’s leaders visited Ford and GM to study their assembly lines and carefully read Henry Ford’s articles, Today and […]

Jan 22nd, 2009

His “mistake-proof” loom became Toyoda’s most popular model, and in 1929 he sent his son, Kiichiro, to England to negotiate the sale of the patent rights to Platt Brothers, the premier maker of spinning and weaving equipment. His son negotiated a price of 100,000 English pounds, and in 1930 he used that capital to start […]

Jan 21st, 2009

The story begins with Sakichi Toyoda, a tinkerer and inventor, not unlike Henry Ford, who grew up in the late 1800s in a remote farming community outside of Nagoya. At that time, weaving was a major industry and the Japanese government, wishing to promote the development of small businesses, encouraged the creation of cottage industries […]