The Toyota Production System

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The Toyota Production System

Introduction
Today, automobile manufacturing is still the world 's largest manufacturing activity. Forty years ago, Peter Drucker dubbed it "the industries of industries." After First World War, Henry Ford and General Motors ' Alfred Sloan moved world manufacture from centuries of craft production (led by European firms into the age of mass production.) His production innovation was the moving assembling line, which brought together many mass-produced parts to create automobiles. Ford 's moving assembly line gave the world the fullest expression yet of the Second Industrial Revolution and his production triumphs in the second decade of the 20th century signaled the crest of the new industrial age. Largely as a result, the United States soon dominated the world economy.

Production methods
The craft producer uses highly skilled workers and a simple but flexible tool to make exactly what the customer asks for. Few cars provide current day examples. The problem with this kind of production is the cost, which is usually too high for most of the consumers to afford. Then, mass production was developed at the beginning of the twentieth century as an alternative. The mass-producer uses narrowly skilled professionals to design products made by unskilled or semiskilled workers tending expensive, single-purpose machines. These churn out standardized products in very high volume. Because the high cost of the machinery and that it is so intolerant of disruption, the mass-producer keeps standard designs in production for as long as possible. The result: The customer gets lower costs but at the expense of variety and by means of work methods that most employees find boring and dispiriting.
The Toyota motor corporation, by contrast, combines the advantages of craft and mass production, while avoiding the high cost of the former and the rigidity of the latter. Toward this end, they employ teams of multi-skilled workers at all levels of the



Bibliography: 1. http://www.dig.bris.ac.uk/teaching/m_o_i/studen10.htm 2. Harvard Business Review, Sep/Oct99, Vol.77 Issue 5, p96, 11p, 2 charts, 1c. 3. Behavior Organizations, Jerald Greenberg, Robert A. Baron; eight edition.

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