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Why Is It so Hard to Implement a Tps-Like Production System Even If Toyota Has Unveiled All the Details?

In: Business and Management

Submitted By tarasvoloshyn
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It is so hard for outsiders to implement a TPS-like Production System because of confusion between the tools and practices they may see on the plant, and the system itself. There is a paradox that all the activities, links and production flows in a Toyota factory are rigidly regulated, and at the same time the system is very flexible and adaptable, which is difficult to unravel for the outsiders. They do not often understand that it is this rigidly regulated system itself that makes all the operational flexibility and improvement possible, and stimulates the creation of the community of scientists (factory workers) who actually use scientific methods to make the workflow to be more efficient and straightforward. That means the activities and processes are constantly being challenged in order to improve the performance and increase the efficiency.
Another problem for successful imitation is that this system and its methods are not actually written anywhere, neither were they officially imposed or consciously chosen. That’s why Toyota workers can hardly explain it in a systematic way, and the outsiders have difficulty grasping it, especially considering that the organizational changes are often made at a very low level. The system developed gradually over the company’s more than 6 decades in operation, and Toyota has become a learning organization that stimulates experimenting, which very much distinguishes it from other companies.
According to the article, there are 4 rules that create the DNA of Toyota Production System, and specifically these rules (but not the tools and practices one can see during the Toyota factory visits) are vital to understanding and successful replication of this system on other factories.

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