Toyota Australia is on the way out but the Toyota manufacturing and managerial ethos could well be on the way in. The Toyota Production System – also known as lean manufacturing, lean production, just-in-time production and the Toyota Way – is as famous as it gets in the world of manufacturing and managerial theory and there’s still demand among local companies to know how it works.
WA businesses as diverse as Monadelphous and Jason Windows are tapping the management know-how that has moulded Japan’s industrial powerhouses. So-called “lean” management encapsulates various philosophies and practices but is best associated with Toyota’s production system.
Lean manufacturing is one of Japan’s most valuable competitive advantages in a global market place. I travelled to Japan last year to learn more about what it is, how it operates in practice, and — most importantly — bring home knowledge to support Western Australian businesses.