Lean management and Toyota Production System principles offer excellent and practical process management ideas and tools for anyone who wishes to improve their productivity and operational efficiency. This article presents an inspiring story of a young professional photographer’s lean business transformation and how he has refined his operations through the application of TPS methods to achieve considerable benefits.
Japanese manufacturers have been systemically synchronising the value stream processes for decades to target cost reductions, improve quality and reduce lead times to customers. The team at Shinka Management has had a long and close relationship with the best of Japanese manufacturing. Our strong relationships enables us to see and work with high calibre organisations that use forms of value stream mapping to gain a complete understanding of their operations.
We all know team leaders play an important role within a manufacturing shop floor in shaping the team’s effectiveness. However, specific roles and responsibilities given to a team leader are often different from company to company. So, how does Toyota approach this? What is the role of a team leader within a Toyota final assembly plant? These very questions are answered by Toyota lean management guru Hyodo-sensei.
The Virginia Mason Medical Center is based in Seattle, Washington. Since the Virginia Mason leadership’s first visit to Japan in 2002 to seek insights from Japanese manufacturing, the hospital has evolved into a leader in the application of lean principles to health care. Dr Kaplan and Dr Otero, the two key figures behind the Virginia Mason’s successful lean transformation, provide insights that holds lessons for any of us seeking to lead effective transformation and culture change within our own organizations.
Shigeo Shingo is an icon with the early development of SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Die) and Poke-yoke (mistake-proofing), and a key developer of the Toyota Production System. This book by Shingo provides a detailed explanation of Shingo’s “three critical aspects of quality control” and presents many actual examples that show a wide range of applications. A “Must Read” if you are going to have true success with Lean Manufacturing.
Attempting to improve competitiveness as you become aware of problems will end in haphazard improvements and lack of unity. Improvement must occur across the whole business and close the gaps between the current situation and the business objectives. This book introduces a method for making significant improvement across your entire manufacturing business.
We have again had the pleasure of visiting one of our favourite companies in Japan – and one that clients on our regular Japan study mission continuously rate as a standout experience of their time in Japan. As a lean factory, this company is an excellent example, and the benefits flowing from their lean culture in terms of safety, quality, productivity, shortened lead times and improvement in market share are impressive.
If you only ever read one book on the Toyota Production System or Lean Manufacturing then this book by Taiichi Ohno is the one. There are hundreds of books and articles written about TPS / Lean Manufacturing but none provide the foundations that this book by Taiichi Ohno does. It will help you set your baseline on where to start when considering if the concepts developed for TPS are likely to be suitable for your business.
The big news in the automotive industry last month was the escalation of the ongoing Takata airbag affair. The fault in the airbag inflators was initially brought to the public’s attention with a recall of a limited number of vehicles in 2013. We have since had Takata state that it is does not know which airbags have been supplied for use in which vehicles, with worldwide recalls following involving dozens of models from several car manufacturers.
Lean is a continuous improvement philosophy which is synonymous with Kaizen or the Toyota Production System. The history of lean management or lean manufacturing is traced back to the early years of Toyota and the development of the Toyota Production System after Japan’s defeat in WWII when the company was looking for a means to compete with the US car industry through developing and implementing a range of low-cost improvements within their business.