1 Reply Latest reply: Mar 19, 2012 5:05 PM by addy mooney RSS

Is Toyota taking Lean to a whole new level?

Duncan Klett Master
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See the article at http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/02/toyota%E2%80%99s-secret-weapon-low-cost-car-factories/

 

To me, there are a few interesting implications:

  • Toyota is getting ready to implement mini car factories at strategic locations around the world.  These would have an output of a few hundred cars per year (interesting if it represents a new strategy for penetrating markets).
  • Following basic Lean principles of eliminating waste, Toyota has recognized that capital cost is muda (waste) to be eliminated.  Eliminating specialized factory construction/layout, eliminating over-automation, eliminating factory rigidity - all remove cost and waste from the factory.
  • I was surprised to note the comment that “60 percent of the cost of the car is the investment into the plant. 20 percent is the parts that go in the car”.  Hence, capital cost reduction could have a huge impact on overall cost and also implies the remaining 20% is labor related.

 

What do you think?  Is capital cost the next Lean target?  What do you think about factory inflexibility as another form of waste?

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