Quality Down the Tubes

October 3rd, 2009 by admin

If you are wondering why I am writing about cars the Toyota organization has been know for starting the main process for having quality while being lean financially. They have obviously changed in one area to save money that has endangered the life of the driver’s. How far is your organization willing to go to cut costs? Do you learn from your mistakes or do you ignore the mistakes? The public expects quality and cost efficiency that will be passed on to your clients or the public in general. See Toyota’s mistakes below and do not follow in their footsteps.
Toyota’s Inexcusable Failure

Posted: 29 Sep 2009 02:34 PM PDT

by BILL WADDELL, Evolving Excellence

Many of us in the lean community – all of us long admirers of Toyota and ardent proponents of the business and manufacturing model they spawned – have had to make excuses for Toyota and rationalize some of their failings recently. The latest one, however, demonstrates just how far they have slipped from the principles that propelled them to greatness.

3.8 million cars recalled due to floor mats, of all things, getting caught up in the accelerator. What makes it so inexcusable is that it is not the first time. “Toyota recalled 55,000 Camry and Lexus ES 350 models in 2007 because of complaints of unintended acceleration caused by the mats sticking under the accelerator pedal. The NHTSA said consumers continued to report instances of uncontrolled acceleration in Toyota models after that recall.”

So much for quality, and so much for continuous improvement and learning.

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How Does Your Company Deal With Instability

July 8th, 2009 by admin

Companies like Toyota, Southwest airlines, and Wal-Mart chose a different path. They do not keep pushing problems as big as a boulder uphill. These companies find ways to sidestep the problem. They “flatten the hill” (no pushing uphill). Basically they do not have to push a boulder at all. Do you fight your companies financial battles by fighting the boulder uphill? Do you find a way to not push a boulder at all by having strengths in your company to work through any issues.

See the book Going Lean by Stephen Ruffa for more ideas.

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What Does it Mean to be LEAN?

June 17th, 2009 by admin

Lean is about having a drive for simplicity and the power of knowledge.

One of the biggest areas that is forgotten in Lean is respect for people. If a company has properly trained individuals they can in many cases help your facility make a profit. Laying people off and eliminating jobs is not lean. The company may not have as much in salaries, yet they are losing the knowledge their employees have which could make a difference in their success. Lean is about thinking for the long-term, not the short-term.

People are not a liability that accounting professionals tries to impose on a business. Employees that are  properly trained, supported, and acknowledged for their value in the company are an asset.  Knowledge,  and experience cannot be measured on a accounting balance sheet.  Employees are worth far more than what we pay for a simple pair of hands.

With this downturn in the economy all businesses should look at Toyota. They have not downsized any one in their fleet of employees. They are making a profit. When we do not use the talents of the staff we have, companies are bound to not be at their top best.

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