Thursday, February 6, 2014

Toyota Production System: model to imitate, model to evolve.

I intended to go deeper in some of the pitfalls companies made when attempting to implement the Toyota Production System (TPS).  Nevertheless, the article "Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System" provides useful insights on this way, so just providing more cases and particular examples of unsuccessful TPS implementations or imitations, could be not such an interesting or novel contribution.

Instead, I found some criticism to the TPS, that questions from different perspectives the goodness of the system as a whole. Should it be our best interest to identify any possible risk when implementing TPS, in order to guarantee a perfect fit to its principles and outcomes? or it is the moment to look at the "implementation failures"?  Should be reviewed some undesired outcomes, in order to reevaluate the TPS as "the model to be followed"?

"Implementation Failures" refers to those companies which failed because didn't understand the system at its full extent, copying just its practices and tools.  Nevertheless, some authors like  Torbhorjn H. Netland, PdD in Operations management, suggests that TPS or XPS implies to follow the same principles, with practices and tools specifically intended for the implementing company.  It means, we are not implementing or "adapting" TPS, we are developing a Production System that fits for a particular company in specifics ways.

He compares Toyota production System and its similar, Nissan Production Way:

"The purpose of the Nissan Production Way is to achieve “boundless synchronization with customers and boundless exposure of problems and innovation”. Thus there are two key aspects: Synchronization and Kaizen—known as the “two never-endings”. Ideal synchronization means “produce when consume”. In reality this means supply when consume, with a never-ending quest to make just-in-time supply perfect. The overall objective is to reduce lead-times."

Other criticism is even more acute, relating the TPS with the occurrence of huge and costly mistakes on the industry:
The  Toyota Production System (TPS) used to represent the quality gold standard that other manufacturers benchmarked against. Taiichi Ohno, a Toyota executive, founded this system. He described its essence as “removing the non-value-added wastes.” Toyota has recently recalled over 8 million automobiles, an incredibly humongous “non-value-added waste.”

Last but no least, Darius Mehri sugests (and provide some case evidence) serious impact of these lean production systems on the workers health, as much as unsafe work environments, prone to accidents, as long run illnesses due to repetitive movements and positions, and psychological affectation due to the lack of achievement sense.

Look at the sources, follow the question (I have no answer) Is TPS as "the model to be followed"?

Netland, T.H., (2013). Exploring the phenomenon of company-specific Production Systems: One-best-way or own-best-way? International Journal of Production Research, Vol 51. Iss. 4, pp.  1084-1097.
"Nissan Production Way: A better alternative to TPS?" Netland, T.H. Retrieved Feb.20014

Tim Mojonnier. "What the Halt in Sales of the Lexus GX460 Means"
Retrieved Feb.20014

Darius Mehri "The Darker Side of Lean:
An Insider’s Perspective on the Realities of the Toyota Production System"
Retrieved Feb.20014

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.