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Economics / Business

The Evolution of a Manufacturing System at Toyota

(Oxford University Press 1999)

Takahiro Fujimoto

Toyota’s place in Japan’s manufacturing economy is assured.
In particular, since the 1980s its production efficiency has attracted those wondering just how the firm has managed to achieve such a startling competitive advantage.
In this volume the author writes that Toyota was able to develop and sustain competitive advance by combining an orderly organization with a willingness to change.
And by avoiding temptations to grow obese, but rather to stay fit and lean.
Accordingly, his book is divided into two parts.
In the first the author presents an evolutionary framework using Toyota as an example.
In the second he examines what he calls the three key elements in the manufacturing procedure.
It has been said that Toyota has never been too interested in theory, only practice.
It views manufacturing as product flow.
It knew Henry Ford’s saying that the longer anything is in the factory or on the shelf, the more it costs.
Though it is commonly thought that the Toyota method was the result of some kind of spontaneous generation, this volume shows that the Toyota system is the result of much thought and many experiences, and that it continues to evolve to this day.

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