E d w a r d H . F r a z e l l e , P h . D . RightChain™ the stories they shared explains more about the Toyota Production System than all the books I have ever read on the topic. The Toyoda (the company name was created from the family name) family was a rice farming family. They became wealthy when they invented mechanical harvesting equipment for rice. At some point they decided that if they could make rice harvesting equipment so well, they could also make cars. Unfortunately the concepts did not translate very well and the auto making venture almost bankrupted the family. The head of the family decided to hire a new engineer from outside the family and to give him one year to develop a new way to make cars. To make a long story short, that young man came up with a way to profitably make cars in an island nation (self-contained), with few natural resources (no waste), limited inhabitable land (no space), and locust-like industrial congestion (perfectly orderly). The Toyota Production Systemwas born out of those unique geographic, business, and cultural conditions. Those are not the same conditions that exist in the United States, western Europe, eastern Europe, China, Brazil, etc. There are many good ideas and concepts in the Toyota Production System and its paradigm children, but they are not all applicable and they are not all best practices. They are for Toyota, but not | 45

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