Monday, July 23, 2007

Just in time

Just-in-time aka lean manufacturing is quite tough apparently, when a disaster strike. Toyota reported that it has to slash 55,000 units of production due to the earthquake in Niigata. The disaster disrupts one of Toyota's part supplier. Due to the lean manufacturing process of using Pull system, inventory is at a very low level, meaning that no extra stocks will be available when material supply is disrupted.

Nevertheless, the system has allowed Toyota to gain far much competitive advantage compared to its competitor. Such disruption should have not been viewed as loss. I guess, true to the Toyota Way, Toyota will overcome and come out with some contingency plan for the future occurrence of such disruption of
parts supply. I read that Toyota, Honda, and Nissan sent 650 lean engineers to help the part supplier restart its production!! Amazing!

I think this is just a small feat achievable only by lean manufacturing.

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