Use Only Reliable

Mar 27th, 2009

In industry today, the watchword is flexibility. Everyone wants to be as flexible as possible and Toyota is no exception. Originally, what allowed Toyota to compete with global players was its flexibility. To Toyota, flexibility does not mean pushing the latest and greatest technology onto operations and struggling to make it work. Toyota follows Toyota […]

Mar 26th, 2009

In the early 1980s, the trend among automakers was to develop their own internal computer-aided design (CAD) system for designing parts on a computer rather than on paper blueprints. Toyota did this like everyone else, but in a way that preserved and embodied the Toyota problem-solving philosophy. The designers of the new CAD system asked, […]

Mar 25th, 2009

I accompanied the University of Michigan’s Dean of Engineering on a trip to Japan some years ago and one of our hosts was Mikio Kitano, who at that time was overseeing the Motomachi complex—Toyota’s largest industrial complex. My Dean was asking a lot of questions about the use of information technology at Toyota. Kitano seemed […]

Mar 24th, 2009

When I teach about Toyota’s system, I start with the basics including kanban, which is mainly a manual visual process. If there is an information technology specialist in the house, he or she inevitably asks the question, “Isn’t there any place for information technology in the Toyota Production System?” I reassure them that they are […]

Mar 23rd, 2009

At Toyota, new technology is introduced only after it is proven out through direct experimentation with the involvement of a broad cross-section of people. This does not exclude new or cutting-edge technology. It means the technology has been thoroughly evaluated and tested to ensure it provides added value. Before adopting new technology, Toyota will go […]