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(Productivity Press: New York) --Toyota Kaizen Methods: Six Steps to Improvement focuses on the skills and techniques practiced inside Toyota Motor Corp. during the past decades. This workbook focuses on the actual training course concepts and methods used by Toyota to develop employee skill level, a core element of Toyota’s success. It is not a book about holding Western-style five-day kaizen events, which were in reality quite rare during the development of Toyota’s production system and are virtually nonexistent today inside Toyota. Written by two of Toyota’s most revered and experienced trainers—Art Smalley and Isao Kato—this workbook:
• Traces the origins of kaizen since the inception of Toyota Motor Corp.
• Articulates the basic six-step kaizen improvement skills pattern taught inside
• Helps practitioners of kaizen improve their own skill level and confidence by simplifying concepts and removing any mystery in the process
• Provides homework assignments and a wealth of forms for analyzing work processes
If you take the time to study the concepts detailed here, you will be reviewing the same methods and techniques that were harnessed by generations of Toyota supervisors, managers, and engineers. These techniques are not the secret ingredient of lean manufacturing; however, mastery of these timeless techniques will improve your ability to conduct improvement in almost any setting and generate improvement results for your organization.
“What I personally learned from people like Isao Kato and Art Smalley during my Toyota years was that a company’s success largely can be attributed to total employee involvement in daily kaizen,” says Russ Scaffede, former vice president of manufacturing at Toyota Motor Manufacturing and retired vice president of manufacturing, Toyoda Boshoku America. “This difference is critical when compared to traditional Western manufacturing companies. Team members in Toyota working with improvement tools, involvement opportunities, and a structured process constantly delivered amazing results that surpassed my expectations. This book represents a model for understanding kaizen inside Toyota and the skills required to analyze basic processes and drive improvement.”
Art Smalley worked for Toyota in Japan, before becoming the director of lean for a large U.S. company and a consulting lean expert for McKinsey & Co.
Isao Kato spent 35 years with Toyota in a variety of management positions in manufacturing, human resources, training and development, and supplier development.