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Toyota, Toyota … Part 1

In a short span of ten minutes, I came across three different articles on Toyota, one more than 5 years old (How Toyota turns workers into problem solvers) and the other two quite recent. The first article is from WSJ (Wall Street Journal) As rivals catch up, Toyota CEO spurs big efficiency drive (Only preview is available except to subscribers).
The central points of the article are summarized below:

  • Katsuaki Watanabe, Toyota’s CEO, thinks Toyota is losing its competitive edge as it expands around the world.
  • He frets that quality, the foundation of its U.S. success, is slipping.
  • He grouses that Toyota’s factories and engineering practices aren’t efficient enough.
  • Within the company, he has even questioned a core tenet of Toyota’s corporate culture — kaizen, the relentless focus on incremental improvement.
  • Mr. Watanabe wants kakushin, or revolutionary change in how Toyota designs cars and factories.
  • He is pushing Toyota to reduce the number of components it uses in a typical vehicle by half — a radical idea that would usher in a new chapter in car design.
  • He also wants to create new fast and flexible plants to assemble these simplified cars.


Read the rest of this entry »

Podcast: Jim Womack, China – Part 2

Mark Graban of Lean Blog has put up podcasts with James P. Womack of the Lean Enterprise Institute.

Check it out here.

Part 1 of the podcast with Jim Womack can be accessed here.

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About me

I am Chris Jacob Abraham and I live, work and blog from Newburgh, New York. I work for IBM as a Senior consultant in the Fab PowerOps group that works around the issue of detailed Fab (semiconductor fab) level scheduling on a continual basis. My erstwhile company ILOG was recently acquired by IBM and I've joined the Industry Solutions Group there.

@ SCM Clustrmap

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