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What is happening in lean manufacturing in the world
Curated by Michel Baudin
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The Legacy of Eiji Toyoda | Businessweek

The Legacy of Eiji Toyoda | Businessweek | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it
Washington Post
The Legacy of Eiji Toyoda
Businessweek
He transformed Toyota into a global powerhouse with management and manufacturing processes that transcended the auto industry.
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Enterprise Ireland and Lean | Irish Times

Enterprise Ireland and Lean | Irish Times | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it

"The Japanese are renowned worldwide for their car production where the concept of the management philosophy Lean derives from. It all began at Toyota when the car manufacturers discovered a new, more efficient method of producing cars valued by customers all over the world. The principles learned at Toyota became known as Lean which is claimed can be applied to almost any business. The core principle is creating value by reducing waste and unnecessary risk."

Michel Baudin's insight:

While informing us that the Irish government has an agency promoting Lean, this article reflects common misperceptions. 

 

No, it's not a "Japanese management philosophy." it is an approach developed by individuals who happened to be Japanese, which is not the same. Most Japanese today do not know or practice it, and quite a few non-Japanese do. 

 

And this emphasis on "creating value" is an American talking point, not the Toyota Production System. 

 

According to the article "Toyota benchmark themselves constantly," which is news to me. While it is clear that Toyota is on the lookout for new ideas, I had not heard of Toyota doing benchmarking surveys of competitors. My understanding is that Toyota's management considers such surveys to be a waste of time. 

 

The article equates Lean with Continuous Improvement, giving the impression that it's all there is to it. 

 

And finally, the article repeats the Business Week claim that the Shingo Prize is "the Nobel Prize for operational excellence."

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dumontis's curator insight, June 9, 2013 5:53 AM

Agree with many of your comments Michel

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'Lean' Manufacturing Takes Root in U.S. | Fox News

'Lean' Manufacturing Takes Root in U.S. | Fox News | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it
It’s called “lean” manufacturing, and analysts say it enables managers to reduce redundancy, increase output and save capital that can be used to hire more workers.
Michel Baudin's insight:

This article in from April 29, 2011, but I just found it today. The facts are approximate, as you would expect from Fox News, but the video includes a good segment on a raku-raku seat in action and an interview of Jeffrey Liker. 

 

The article presents the Toyota Production System are being strictly make-to-order, which makes you wonder where the new Toyotas for sale at your local dealership come from. 

 

Toyota's system is also presented as centered on collocating designers, suppliers, sales and marketing by project, which says nothing about production... Incidentally, no one who has actually researched Toyota's approach to product development describes it as collocating everybody. 

 

Even the Liker quote about Toyota's not having laid off anybody during the financial crisis, while formally accurate, does not take into account what happened with temporary workers. These workers do not have the tenured status of permanent employees, but some work for the company continuously for years.

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Why Toyota is Lean...and You're Not

Why Toyota is Lean...and You're Not | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it

Jeffrey Liker on what Lean really is. An interesting article, with which I have a few quibbles:

1.The Shingo Prize rewards companies for looking Lean, not being Lean, as evidenced by the prize's inability to predict competitive performance (See http://bit.ly/Lp23DY).

2. The Machine that Changed the World and Lean Thinking introduced the word Lean, not the concept. It existed before, for a good 10 years, under a succession of names that didn't catch on as well as Lean did, including TPS, WCM, and others.

3. His conclusion is overly optimistic: "At the end of the day U.S. manufacturers that invest in developing skilled, motivated leaders whose passion is to develop people who can improve processes in the long-term will beat the competition every time." I don't think it's true, because they will be competing against manufacturers elsewhere doing the same.

I also do not see this statement as an accurate summary of Lean. Under Alfred P. Sloan's leadership in the 1920s, GM did everything the statement says. When Peter Drucker wrote Concept of the Corporation in 1946, GM was arguably the best run company in the world, particularly in leadership development, but, even looking back, you wouldn't call it Lean.

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