The Toyota Production System (TPS) is a technical system that was formulated by Toyota that consists of the management philosophy as well as structures. The TPS does put into account not only logistic but also manufacturing for the leading vehicle manufacturer. The term was previously called lean manufacturing as a description of the huge success that the Japanese automobile company was having globally. Either way, the main goal is to get rid of waste from processes to minimize lead time.
The system has three main desired outcomes. For once, there is the provision of customers with high quality vehicles in a very timely manner. On the other hand, there is the provision of members with satisfaction at work, job security as well as treatment that is fair. There is also the flexibility of the company to respond to the market while achieving profits through reduction of costs.
The heart of Toyota Production System is what is called Kaizen. It requires that all tasks, mechanical as well as human are precisely defined and standardized to ensure utmost quality. Members have the responsibility to both work in line with the set standards and strive for continual improvement. The daily improvements that members and leaders of the different teams make to their practices work and equipment are called kaizen.
Another approach that has gained an almost universal acceptance is the just-in-time approach. The term was coined by an engineer at the company. The principle allows the entire structure of production to be regulated by the laws of demand and supply. As such, the ultimate arbiter ends up being the customers, as they are the ones that technically control the whole scheme.
Jidoka is Japanese word for automation. At Toyota, it is used to mean automation with a human touch. The first automation loom in the world was invented in 1902 by Sakichi Toyoda. The TPS did inherit the scheme formulated by Henry Ford of breaking down work into steps that are simple. These steps are subsequently distributed amongst employees on the line. However, the employees take charge of their own jobs, and run their work sites through their teams.
Quality at the source is emphasized. This ensures elimination of defects prior to sale. Workers are the ones assigned this responsibility since they are best placed to discover any shortcomings. This eventually brings about surety in terms of expectations of customers. Employees are also empowered by being given responsibilities and encouraged to form teams.
There is the relation between suppliers and the TPS. These two work best when they are a common basis for synchronization of activities in the course of production. The structure is encouraged mainly because it is egalitarian in nature. Suppliers who participate in the TPS reap from the same benefits as does Toyota from the system. Any defects are eliminated.
The outcome of the Toyota Production System is the reduction of lead time while enhancing quality at the same time. What is more, the company has become among the top ten largest companies around the globe. In addition, other companies have coined such systems to improve their production too.