Toyota Canada CIO on Genchi Genbutsu and Kaizen
Posted on April 24, 2008 3 Comments
the innovation wasn’t in the technology, but in the way the various partners were brought together to agree upon processes, which were then consistently executed. CustomerOne is only project of its kind in the Toyota empire.
A computer system links activities across multiple customer touch points, and analyzes data from the more than 13,000 daily service visits to Toyota dealers across the country. The system flags major repeat problems and Toyota Motor Corp. head office in Japan is informed so engineers can be assigned to make repairs to designs or manufacturing, if necessary.
“For instance if a call comes into us at Toyota Canada, the dealer knows about it. So if they go back to the dealer for services, everyone offers the same resolution of the problem.” In the four years since its launch CustomerOne was has been a runaway success. Tien cites some of the more tangible benefits this initiative has brought about. They include:
* Cutting down the customer problem resolution from weeks to an average of three days through this initiative alone;
* Early detection of customer dissatisfaction in services
* Reducing detection of product defects (from months to days).
The Toyota Canada CIO talks about the tremendous business benefits from this seamless freeflow of information. “When a defect is detected at the dealership, the next day it would up to our engineering department.” The speed at which information traverses is of immense value – especially when new vehicles are launched. Tien cited an example.
“We recently launched a new Toyota Corolla [model]. If there were a problem with a door knob of the vehicle, the plant would know about it and a fix would be put in place.”
An article well worth reading. Related: Toyota IT Overview – Lessons from Toyota’s IT Strategy – Good Customer Service Example at Toyota – Software Supporting Processes Not the Other Way Around
Kaizen – Yahoo Mail Style
Posted on September 19, 2007 1 Comment
To me Yahoo is really continually improving the service, not innovating. Still an interesting exploration of visible improvement.
How to Avoid Kaizen
Posted on June 13, 2007 No Comments
“After I won my award, I met Tony Blair. He said he would send someone from the Department of Health and that happened only after six months. They came but nothing happened.
Giving awards can serve to highlight the behavior leadership want to encourage (especially when trying to encourage new behavior the leader often has to make it visible what they value). Taking 6 months for someone to show up and then nothing happening really sends a message on what is valued. Shows of support only are valuable if backed up with actual support. When someone would ask Dr. Deming, I tried to get my organization to do what they should but I did x and y and z… but I can’t make any progress what should I do. He often said: quit. Go work for an organization that will do the right thing. This Doctor adopted that strategy. By the way if you actually go the the article you will see the Doctor says:
Hmm, well I don’t agree with that at all. Oh well, that is the challenge of looking at management ideas in practice, I often see good points mixed in with things I don’t agree with. Via: Doctor who cut waiting times to zero quits – NHS shocker
Posted on May 21, 2007 No Comments
Great post – Do Kaizen Like Toyota:
Posted on February 15, 2007 1 Comment
The most successful online businesses are built on kaizen, though few of those who carry out the testing would recognize the term, since many of those who created these online businesses were in grade school in the 1980s.
Old media just do not understand online kaizen. Their perceptions are tied to the print world, where design changes are costly. The Wall Street Journal spent years planning its recent redesign of the print edition and millions of dollars rolling it out. Yet it will be months before it becomes clear how successful these changes were.
Via: Kaizen for Web Pages
Related: Be Thankful for Lean Thinking – Management Consulting web sites (like the old media he mentions) – Our Policy is to Stick Our Heads in the Sand – Patent Review Innovation – Planet Kaizen – kaizen definition
10 Kaizen Tips
Posted on August 12, 2006 No Comments
There are plenty of lean tools to choose for kaizen activities so your MUST determine the right tool and use it well. In our case, the spaghetti diagram was the best tool. It was simple to use although extremely time consuming for the large amount of travel in our process. The spaghetti diagram quickly showed the team the best areas for opportunity and was a great visual for comparison of layout options.
Lean Concepts and Tools:
The Birth of the Kaizen Blitz
Posted on July 19, 2006 No Comments
Kaizen the Toyota Way
Posted on July 17, 2006 No Comments
Excellent post: Kaizen Secrets of the Toyota Mind by Jon Miller:
The Toyota mind builds brilliant processes that enable average people to be high performers, rather than flawed processes that enable even brilliant people to be only average performers.
Jon Miller has also been posting several items on the Words of Taiichi Ohno Sensei that have excellent material, including:
Forever and ever, neither tiring nor ceasing.
Toyota IT for Kaizen
Posted on June 22, 2006 3 Comments
How Toyota Uses Information Technology (IT) for Kaizen by Jon Miller. He quotes Toyota’s CIO from the Japanese article:
Of course, it requires more than me making suggestions for Toyota to make good use of IT. The departments who are the users of information technology must be motivated for IT use to spread. Fortunately, the departments who are users of information technology frequently contact me to ask “Can we use IT for this?”
Working in Information Technology myself I see many great uses for IT. I also see all sorts of poor attempts to try creating IT tool for quality (including lean) tools that work much better in there original state. Read more
Posted on June 14, 2006 1 Comment
Kaizen Event Research Project
Posted on June 5, 2006 2 Comments
The research team has visited numerous organizations utilizing Kaizen events across
multiple areas. Leaders in some organizations acknowledge that some areas will quickly (within 6 months to one year) revert back to the pre-Kaizen performance levels. Yet other organizations appear successful in sustaining results, even improving them further over time. Thus, this research will seek to identify the most important factors influencing sustainability of outcomes.
There is an opportunity to have your organization studied – see the article for contact details. Companies involved in textile manufacturing, food processing, or other continuous manufacturing process industries are of special interest.
The NSF Innovation and Organizational Change (IOC) program supports scientific research directed at advancing understanding of how individuals, groups and/or institutional arrangements contribute to functioning, effectiveness and innovation in organizations.
Posted on March 16, 2006 No Comments
Kaizen Priorities by Mike Wroblewski:
Another excellent post from Got Boondoggle.
Executives Participating in Kaizen Events
Posted on March 1, 2006 No Comments
The Masco Mapmakers by Bill Waddell
Getting executives to participate is a great way to have them learn a new way of thinking.
Posted on December 18, 2005 1 Comment
Toyota has a section on their web site called Planet Kaizen: “what happens when you dig a little deeper and peel back the sheet metal to discover what makes a Toyota a Toyota.”
It requires flash to view Planet Kaizen. I think it has amazingly bad visual controls (as do many flash applications). I can’t figure out why it would be done in flash – other than some marketing person, or IT person, thought it would be cool. I certainly don’t see how kaizen practices could have produced such an application. It seems to me one of the examples of how far Toyota still has to go.
Project Kaizen Co-Blogging Week
Posted on December 6, 2005 No Comments
There’s an enormous amount of waste that’s created because the company doesn’t use available technology (web-based or otherwise) to create a true TEAM of lean consultants. The consultants should be posting case studies, helping each other with problems, and coaching each other, all in the name of continuous improvement and kaizen.
I completely agree.
Toyota Understands Robots are Best Used to Enhance the Value Employees Provide
Posted on April 8, 2014 No Comments
Toyota has always seen robotics as a way to enhance what staff can do. Many USA executives think of robotics as a way to reduce personnel. Toyota wants to use the brainpower of employees to continually improve the organization. Toyota wants to free people for monotonous or dangerous work to let them use their minds.
Humans are taking the place of machines in plants across Japan so workers can develop new skills and figure out ways to improve production lines and the car-building process.
“We cannot simply depend on the machines that only repeat the same task over and over again,” Kawai said. “To be the master of the machine, you have to have the knowledge and the skills to teach the machine.”
Kawai, 65, started with Toyota during the era of Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System envied by the auto industry for decades with its combination of efficiency and quality. That means Kawai has been living most of his life adhering to principles of kaizen, or continuous improvement, and monozukuri, which translates to the art of making things.
“Fully automated machines don’t evolve on their own,” said Takahiro Fujimoto, a professor at the University of Tokyo’s Manufacturing Management Research Center. “Mechanization itself doesn’t harm, but sticking to a specific mechanization may lead to omission of kaizen and improvement.”
We need more companies to learn from the executives at Toyota. They show real respect for people. They are not focused on how much they can extract from the corporate treasury to build themselves castles at the expense of other employees, customers and stockholders as far too many USA executives are.
Toyota has been extremely innovative in investing in robotics as human assistants (partially this is due to the extreme demographic problems Japan faces): Toyota Develops Thought-controlled Wheelchair – Toyota’s Partner Robot – Toyota Winglet – Personal Transportation Assistance.
Management Improvement Carnival #201
Posted on November 1, 2013 1 Comment
The Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival has been published since 2006. The carnival, has been published twice a month – but will now be published once or twice a month depending on how things work out. I hope you find the post included in this edition interesting and find some new blogs to add to your blog/RSS reader. Follow John Hunter online: Twitter and elsewhere.
- Where do “Value Stream Maps” come from? by Michel Baudin – “Toyota alumni confirmed that you rarely see a Materials and Information Flow diagram (VSM) within Toyota, and explained that the tool was developed at Toyota’s Operations Management Consulting Division, for selective use with suppliers”
- Management is a role. Leadership is an act. by Jamie Flinchbaugh – “The point is, stop worrying about whether you’re a ‘leader’ or a ‘manager’ and just focus on doing whatever you do better.”
- How You Measure = How You Manage by Christian Buckley – “Each method of calculation has implications and limits, as does the source of the data. To be relevant, the measures have to be understood by those using them.”
- Improvement is a Learning Process by John Hunter – Dr. Deming: “Improvement of Quality and Productivity, to be successful in any company, must be a learning process, year by year, top management leading the whole company.”
Management Improvement Carnival #200
Posted on October 1, 2013 2 Comments
The Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival has been published since 2006 and this is the 200th edition. The posts selected for the carnival focus on the areas of management improvement I have focused on in the Curious Cat Management Improvement Guide since 1996 (17 years now, which I find pretty amazing): Deming, lean thinking, leadership, innovation, respect for people, customer focus, etc..
- Eiji Toyoda – the Master Innovator by Bill Waddell – “He was a master innovator in the days when innovation wasn’t cool, and his focus was not so much on the product as it was on the processes – on management.”
- The Man Who Saved Kaizen by Jon Miller – “Eiji Toyoda led from the front. His message to leaders within Toyota: ‘I want you to use your own heads. And I want you actively to train your people on how to think for themselves.'”
- The consumer is the most important point on the production-line by John Hunter – “The continued view of the organization as a hierarchical pyramid of authority and responsibility hides the connection of the customer/user to the processes in our organizations.”
- Lean IT at Toyota by Pierre Masai – “educate yourself on the subject, since so many stories of dramatic or step-by-step improvements do exist out there. Then, soon after, experiment yourself. This is the basis of TPS. Make sure you also get enthusiastic people on board, and take the support of experienced external coaches if you need this to get started. Create a culture within your company where the principles of lean become embedded in everything you do.”
Management Improvement Carnival #198
Posted on August 2, 2013 1 Comment
The Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival has been published since 2006. The carnival, has been published twice a month – but will now be published once or twice a month depending on how things work out. I hope you find the post included in this edition interesting and find some new blogs to add to your blog/RSS reader. Follow John Hunter online: Google+, Twitter and elsewhere.
- Observations From A Tipless Restaurant by Jay Porter – “Our ability to make sure team members in all parts of the house were taken care of, and to remove tip-related squabbling from our business, gave us a huge competitive advantage in the marketplace; this in turn allowed us to serve a much higher quality of food and take lower margins on it.”
- An open letter to Jeff Bezos: A contract worker’s take on Amazon.com by Steve Barker – “As experienced temps left and new ones rolled in, the breakdown began. Temps who had not paid attention in training were now training new temps. Different temps were teaching different techniques and it wasn’t long before the quality of work suffered. As witness to the poor quality, I made a few attempts to express my concerns, but none of my suggestions were implemented. When one of the higher-ups checked our work and realized that mistakes were being overlooked, performance scorecards were implemented.”
- Change has to Start from the Top – webcast, included here, with David Langford: “You are the top of your system. Change your thinking, change your process – you change your system. As soon as you start to modify your system you are going to have an effect on the larger system: the way you organize, the way you manage what you do everyday, how you process the work that you are doing [will impact the larger system].”
- No filter: the meanest thing Paul Graham said to a startup – “the vast majority of teams have the opposite problem: people filter their thoughts too much. The psychological and social incentives to do so are quite strong: we don’t want to go against the team, or we’re worried about giving offense, or we don’t want to be ‘the bad guy’… And that has a corrosive effect on culture.” [I agree - "I wish more people objected to bad ideas instead of just letting them go because they were afraid of being seen as negative." - John]
Management Improvement Carnival #197
Posted on July 15, 2013 No Comments
Mark Graban is hosting the 197th edition of the Management Improvement Carnival on his Lean Blog, highlights include:
- Michel Baudin’s Blog – “The Toyota Way 2001: the Necronomicon of Lean“: Michel wrote a great post about reflections on the internal “Toyota Way” document that was created in 2001. He says, “A document of this type about the way a company does business gives employees a framework to understand management decisions and business processes. The challenge in publishing it — even if only for employees — is to actually say something without binding management to courses of action that may become inadequate as business conditions evolve.”
- ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value (Helen Zak) – “America’s Most Dangerous Industry“: The Center’s COO asks, “Did you know healthcare is one of the most dangerous industries in the United States?” She continues with some data and more excellent questions: ”Is worker safety the problem or is it a symptom? While all organizations say, “people are our greatest asset, ” few really have a culture that demonstrates that. How can you tell? One way to tell is the worker injury rate.”
- Lifehacker – “Turn a Shampoo Bottle into an Over-the-Sink Sponge Holder“: A fun example of a small “hack” to make something better in your home. It reminds me of Kaizen, using creativity over capital. I like little things like this. In the post comments, a reader suggests punching holes in the holder to avoid a stinky sponge or mold. In Kaizen, it’s great to build upon and continue improving the improvement ideas of others.
Vist the Lean blog to see the rest of the great management blog posts shared in this edition of the management blog carnival.