Thursday, March 22, 2007

Book Club: "The Toyota Way" Chapter 14

Summary: Chapter 14 of The Toyota Way discusses principle #8: use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and processes. Toyota views technology as a tool to support their people. Before acquiring any sort of technology, careful consideration is given to the effect that it will have on their processes. If a machine does not support flow, in-station quality, safety, or any of the other ideals of Lean, then it is not purchased.

1) Before adopting new technology, Toyota will go to what lengths to analyze the impact it may have on existing processes (pg. 160)?

2) Is Toyota totally independent of modern technology (pg. 161)?

3) Describe Mikio Kitano's viewpoint on information technology's place in a manufacturing environment (pg. 162).

4) Recount Toyota's problems with technology at the Chicago Parts Distribution Center (pg. 163).

5) Discuss Toyota's use of technology in their product development system (pg. 165). Specifically, how did they utilize jidoka and standardization wthin this system (pg. 165)?

6) Recount Toyota's technological breakthrough called the "blue sky system" (pg. 166-167). How did this system improve flow (pg. 167)?

7) How much time per day does the VP of Manufacturing spend on the shop floor (pg. 167)? What benefits are there from spending so much time on the shop floor (pg. 167)?

8) How much cost analysis did Toyota do before implementing the "blue sky system" (pg. 168)?

Please feel free to add any additional topics for discussion.

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