A session in which we trace the growth of interest in Lean Operations from its roots in the Toyota production system and explore the issues relevant to its implementation within an operations strategy.
In the 1980s the conventional view of manufacturing management, based on the scientific management of F W Taylor, was challenged when visiting academics and managers observed the management of successful Japanese firms, in particular Toyota. This alternative view of operations, based on even flows of work, continuous improvement and employee involvement is now seen as a new model for operations: Lean Operations.
Over twenty years ago managers from Western car companies visited Toyota in Japan and saw kanban systems, heijunka and jidoka in use.
What does each term mean?
Why was each of these techniques so interesting to these visitors?
Suggest why implementations of them in Western factories were less than overwhelmingly successful?
Senior Lecturer in Operations Management at the University of Edinburgh Business School, Edinburgh, Scotland. This blog supports his teaching in operations management, innovation and quality management and provides background on his research in the sociology of standards and the management of operational risk.