The philosophy of lean aimed at preserving value with less work done. This philosophy has been driving the Toyota Company for decades. Lean manufacturing emphasizes on efficiency by optimizing the flow of work, ensuring that there is minimum waste and use of intuition to make decisions rather than accepting the idea that existed before (Jeffery, 2004).
Historically, there were changes that took place in Japan which forced the Toyota Company to restructure its operation and management systems in order to meet the needs of its customers. Towards the end of 1949, a collapse in sales made Toyota to layoff part of its workforce. Toyota engineers came to a conclusion that Taylor’s scientific management theory of mass production was not effective and efficient. From this conclusion, they came up with Toyota production system that emphasized on quality control and aggressively sought to eliminate waste and other causes of production defects. Japan had just lost the world war two, so Toyota president aimed at competing at the same level with America in terms of production and quality within three years.
The principle of just in time was applied so that there was continuous flow process; the right parts needed in assembling hall reach the destination at the right time and only in amount needed. The other principle is automation which meant that there was dramatic improvement in productivity in that whenever a defect product was detected, the machine stopped automatically to shield the operation from producing more defects. Also, in the Toyotas assembly, assembly lines pulled liens were introduced which allowed operators to detect a problem whenever it occurred thus making everyone in the assembly hall aware of the problem (Jeffery, 2004).
The success of Toyota Company in the market has been attributed to lean production system. The basic concepts that