The Toyota Phenomenon [the broken link was removed] by Ernst Glauser:
Walk into a Toyota factory in Japan or America, Derby in Britain or Valenciennes in France and you will see the same visual displays telling you everything that is going on. You will also hear the samejingles at the various work stations telling you a model is being changed, an operation has been completed or a brief halt called.
Everything is minutely synchronized; the work goes at the same steady cadence of one car a minute rolling off the final assembly line. Each operation along the way takes that time.