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Toyota Production System - Lean Logistics

Autor:   •  March 3, 2013  •  Case Study  •  999 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,113 Views

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Using a key theorist from Toyota, where lean originated through the Toyota Production System, (TPS), it will then go on to show how Lean Logistics has developed to date. The review will then consider how and why the implementation of Lean is of such importance within the automotive industry, and how it has and can be implemented within this industry. The research will then use a cause and effect pattern structure (Hart 1998) to establish the existence of problems with implementing Lean Logistics. Through this, it will then be possible to ascertain the problems of implementing Lean Logistics within the automotive industry and suggest solutions to overcome these problems.

3.1 Lean Logistics explained

The Toyota Production System (Lean Manufacturing) was developed by Taiichi Ohno in the 1930’s to improve the quality of the products that Toyota manufactures, while simultaneously reducing the cost associated with their manufacture. Based on the writing’s of Henry Ford and the works of W. Edward Deming, Toyota’s methods are developed to be rigid, yet at the same time be flexible to customer demand. Womack’s (1990) book ‘The machine that changed the world’ took a detailed study of the Japanese techniques and compared them to the older techniques of mass production. His research methods were to get academics, previously employed in the automotive industry, to go back into industry and see what exactly what happening. It shows how Toyota became the dominant car manufacturer, and how any other organization can embrace the concepts of lean production and also gain best practice. Many companies such as Ford, GM and Chrysler have all implemented production and logistics systems similar to those of Toyota’s. Some have succeeded, however, others have failed. Through this review concepts shall be identified as to reduce the risk of failure and therefore aid the successful implementation of lean.

Toyota has been very open about its systems, letting executives from rival companies into their factories, to watch their process’s in ultimately how they make their cars. However other companies have struggled to implement the techniques and systems in the correct way and therefore have not met the same success as Toyota. This research will thus aim to enable the identification of the ‘correct way’. Smalley (2005) talks of visitors to Toyota (rival company executives) ‘it’s amazing what people wouldn’t see’ they would then set up their systems to replicate those of Toyota’s, however as Braun (2011) identifies, they are not using the problem solving techniques to solve their problems, they are implementing Toyota’s solutions and they do not have the same problems.

White (2012) identifies that the primary goal of a Lean Manufacturing system is to increase profit by reducing cost and increasing productivity. This goal is achieved by:

Continuously reducing and ultimately


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