Toyota Management System

Toyota’s Company Business Philosophy and Direction

To understand Toyota’s improvement kata and coaching kata we need to consider two aspects of the context within which they operate: the business philosophy, or purpose, of the company; and its overall sense of direction. The Company’s Business Philosophy The […]

How Are We Approaching Process Improvement?

Improvement and adaptation are critical success factors and tend to take place at the process level. How, then, are we currently trying to improve our processes? Based on observations in many factories, I currently find these main approaches: workshops, value-stream […]

What Defines a Company That Thrives Long Term?

The applause dies down as the next conference speaker approaches the podium. The presentation is going to be about Toyota, and in his first slide the speaker presents some impressive statistics that demonstrate Toyota’s superior performance. The audience is nodding […]

How Toyota Works with its Suppliers

Interview on August 21, 2008, with Gene Tabor, General Manager, Purchasing-Supplier Relations, Supplier Diversity, and Risk Management The purpose of the interview was to discuss how Toyota works with its suppliers and to better understand Toyota’s working relationship with suppliers. […]

The Beer Game and the Toyota Supply Chain

The beer game was introduced as an exercise in industrial dynamics in 1960. And what has beer to do with automobiles? The beer game is used as a fun way to illustrate some of the pitfalls of operating a supply […]

How to Apply Toyota Way Principles to Nonautomotive Supply Chains

The underlying principles associated with managing variety, velocity, and variability across the supply chain—the focus of Toyota’s supply chain leadership and management process—are found in many different industrial contexts. We provide several examples from service industries such as health care, […]

Coordination and Lean

Going back 20 years, the national bestseller The Machine that Changed the World: The Story of Lean Productionby Womack, Jones, and Roos devotes three chapters to supply chain coordination, dealing with customers, and managing the lean enterprise. The main ideas […]

The Practice of Learning

Learning requires optimism and the spirit to take up challenges. The Toyota Way document states that: “We accept the challenges with a creative spirit and the courage to realize our own dreams without losing drive or energy. We approach our […]

Learning Rate Implications

A classic problem studied by researchers from many fields is how firms allocate resources to the exploration of new possibilities versus the exploitation of known certainties. The returns of exploration are more long term, uncertain, and therefore risky. As March22 […]

Continuously Solving the Root Causes

How does continuous improvement take place in a supply chain? In our view, continuous improvement is learning and implementing the lessons learned; thus, much of what has been written about continuous improvement can be subsumed into the broader context of […]

Developing Your People and Partners

At a very broad level, Toyota believes that continuous improvement and respect for people are at the core of its philosophy. Careful reading of the Toyota Way guidelines reveals what is meant by respect: respect for customers, respect for society, […]