toyota-way-fieldbookIn this book the authors will clearly and simply explain some of the most misunderstood aspects of the Toyota Production System (TPS), and will provide for the reader a practical understanding of the fundamentals as well as a deeper knowledge.

The first P- Develop a long-term Philosophy- is the bedrock of Toyota’s culture that is propelling them to the predominant position in the automotive industry. Many companies today are plagued by short-term thinking and strive to achieve results on a quarter-by-quarter basis. Toyota has a vision that will carry them into the next decade, and the next century.

David and Jeff reveal key details of the second P- Process carefully outlining the steps necessary to achieve the tremendous gains possible from implementing Toyota’s manufacturing system. Achieving stable operations is a prerequisite for creating smooth flow of material with the least amount of waste. The stability phase focuses on the reduction of process variation and consistent ability to satisfy customer demand. Elimination of major waste and the correction of significant problems are critical for the establishment of connected flow within a value stream.

In these chapters the authors outline several models depicting the relationship between the elimination of waste, the creation of material flow, and the surfacing of problems within the value stream. A thorough understanding of these relationships helps people understand the sometimes counter-intuitive methods used by Toyota.

Standardization is a key element of the Toyota system. A process that is not standardized is fraught with chaos, variation, and the associated problems of continually “riding the wave.” According to Toyota, standardization is the baseline for continuous improvement, the time when real improvement begins and is measurable. A standardized process is centered on a basic level schedule, and takt time. This standard provides a “core” onto which the requirements for people, material, machinery, and work methods are aligned. Without the core there is nothing to consistently align with and variability will continue to oscillate throughout the value stream creating a “bull whip” effect.

After the baseline standardization is established the process is incrementally leveled. This is a carefully controlled and systematic “squeezing” of key processes within the value stream that will yield improvements throughout the entire value stream, and will force additional shortcomings to surface and the process to become unstable again. It is this continued cycling through the stability, flow, standardization, and incremental leveling stages that make up the heart of Toyota’s manufacturing process. The third P- People and Partners outlines the practices utilized by Toyota to select and develop the people that are the true key to Toyota’s outstanding success. It is the people that put into practice the philosophy and processes that give Toyota its edge. The Toyota philosophy places the importance of people that are capable of logical and creative thinking and problem solving at the highest level, and the development of associates is of primary concern. In addition, Toyota seeks to develop long-term relationships with suppliers that will insure the continued success of both companies. Toyota understands the importance of suppliers that can deliver the highest quality product at the exact time specified, and spends considerable time and effort to help suppliers achieve those objectives.

The fourth and final P–Problem Solving–outlines the methodology used by Toyota as a framework for logical thinking that guides nearly all activities within the company. The ability to identify problems and effectively analyze to find their root causes is an essential skill that is practiced by all leaders within Toyota. The authors provide details of every step of this process and detail various ways that the problem-solving story can be outlined on the “A3” one pager report. This material alone could help any reader achieve tremendous

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david_smallDavid Meier is an internationally recognized authority on Lean Manufacturing and The Toyota Production System (TPS). David is the Co-Author (with Jeffrey Liker) of the best selling books, The Toyota Way Fieldbook, (Mc Graw-Hill, 2005), and Toyota Talent, (McGraw-Hill, 2007).
In these hands-on books David and Jeff detail the language, concepts, and tools that managers need to bring Toyota’s success-proven practices to life in any organization.David had the opportunity to learn the Toyota Production Systemas one of the first group leaders hired at Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky facility in the plastics molding department.  He was trained and mentored in Japan and Kentucky over a ten-year period by TPS experts including full-time coaching by several Japanese coordinators.  In 2001, David founded Lean Associates, Inc.,David has been a trainer and speaker for over eleven years and he has presented training workshops in North and South America, Russia, Europe, and throughout Asia.

He has delivered workshops on Standardized Work, Job Instruction, Problem Solving, Value Stream Mapping, Developing Lean Systems, and Creating a Lean Culture for many groups including: the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the University of Michigan, the Montreal Board of Trade, Made In China, Inc., the Window and door Manufacturers Association, CQIN, The Shingo Prize Conference, and Lean Institute Summits in Brazil and China. 

David has supported many companies in a variety of industries including healthcare, automotive, aerospace, wood and plastic products, chemical processing, metal machining, fabricating, welding, and assembly operations, and leads lean activities in both manufacturing and non-manufacturing work areas.  He specializes in creating TPS experts within organizations so that they become capable of achieving great success

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