People Innovation Excellence

The Toyota Way

Written by: Selly Novela, ST, MM

“The business environment is the single greatest influence in shaping a corporate culture”(Deal and Kennedy, 2000:13). The national cultural setting also has an influence on how companies manage their business. The cultural assumptions with regard to the relations between employees and their organization, the hierarchical system in place, the company’s mission and aims, all these elements have an influence on the preference for a particular organizational culture (Browaeys and Price, 2011:163).

One of good example for corporate culture is The Toyota Way, found by Sakichi Toyoda (1867 – 1930).  Toyota as the big manufacturing company in Japan has been implemented the characters of Japan’s culture into their operational principles. Those principles then will be adopted by many other Japanese companies.

Basically, The Toyota Way is the management philosophy of Toyota.  That is the tool or method to produce with high efficiency level in their Toyota Production System.  There are two main pillars in Toyota Production System, Kaizen and Human Resource. Kaizen is derived from Kai (continue) and zen (improvement). Kaizen means continues improvement.

The Continues Improvement itself is following two important systems in production process. The first system is “Just in time” using Kanban(card). It is the no inventory system. Using this system, there will be efficiency in stock process because it no need inventory. The second is Jidoka using Andon (light). It is the alert system to detect the abnormality of production process). Continues improvement + competency of Human Resources are the basic philosophy in the process of making goods. In Japanese they call Monozukuri.

The Toyota Way has contributed significantly in shaping the Japanese industry in the world. Even now, many other companies outside Japanese companies that is implementing the Toyota Way in their manufacturing process.



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