Floor Tape Store

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lean Roundup - Toyota Recall

I have learned a great deal from Toyota and their highly documented production system.  While I like to think of TPS as the "Thinking People System" it still proves to be a successful business system.  In light of Toyota's recent quality issues there is a new lesson to learn, "you can never be too big to fail."  It is not a question of success or failure but really a question on how you react to the situation.  I would like to think that Toyota will come out of this stronger since they will learn from this failure and work hard to eliminate it. 

There are a number of great posts about this Toyota recall that can serve as a learning experience for us all so I have chosen to highlight several of these in the special Lean Roundup.

Learning From Toyota's Stumble – Steven Spear says you can learn from Toyota that competitive success is fluid.

Toyota Stops Lines -Lots of Lines – John Hunter talks about Toyota stopping sales and production lines during this recall.

Toyota pulls The Big Andon Cord, Finally – Kevin Meyer highlights the historic action by Toyota to stop and put emphasis on problem solving.

A New Critical Japanese Lean Term Oushikuso – Bill Waddell reminds us that excellent manufacturing in complicated and can't be copied from Toyota.

Just How Low has Toyota Sunk – Bill Waddell talks about the failure of Toyota to pull the Andon cord earlier.

Former Toyota Quality Manager's Thoughts on Historic Recall – Jon Miller talks with former Toyota inside about quality and Toyota's action during recall.

We Learn Nothing From History – Jon Miller talks about VW aim to surpass Toyota and is that a good goal.

The Impact of Toyota's Quality Problems on Lean Healthcare – Mark Graban talks about how Toyota's quality issue affects the public perception and how this impacts our efforts to spread the Toyota Production System and "Lean" to healthcare.

What Are Your Thoughts About Toyota's Situation? – Ron Pereira shares his thoughts on Toyota recall from a followers questioning.

Don't Let The Door Hit You in the Ass – Ron Pereira talks about why he is not jumping off the Lean bandwagon.

What Can We Learn From The Toyota Recall? – Paul Cary shares some lessons to learn from the Toyota mishap.

The Biggest, Most Public Line Stop Ever – Joe Ely writes about the reasoning for line stops and what is probably occurring at Toyota because of this.

The Pig Pile on Toyota – TWI talks about gaining up on Toyota and Lean as reasoning for such a quality issue and sets the record straight.

Spear Discusses Toyota's Ability to Recover from Recalls: Video - Steven J. Spear, of MIT, speaking about Toyota's quality problems and recovery on Bloomberg radio.

Wall Street Journal Comments on How Lean Can Back Fire – Tom Southworth states that Toyota failed not Lean because the stopped being Lean.

The Toyota Recall, Satisfaction and Value – Six Sigma IQ talks about the impact of Toyota's recall on customer satisfaction and furthermore on customer value.

It's Not the Crisis; It's How You Respond To It – John Shook shares his thoughts on the Toyota Recall.

What is to be learned from Toyota now? – Tom Ehrenfeld raises the question about learning from this mishap at Toyota

Toyota Recall and the Lean Movement – Jeff Liker shares his thoughts on companies needed to continue Lean despite Toyota's recent misfortune.

A heroic "line stop" or has Toyota lost its way? – Michael Balle talks about what he has learned from Toyota and this historic countermeasure to protect customers.

Still Lots to Learn from Toyota – Art Smalley answers the question about what can be learned from Toyota and this quality issue.

Learning Beyond Toyota – Daniel Jones shares thoughts on ways lean thinking goes beyond modern management.

What Did Toyota Lose Sight Of? – Mike Rother says the Toyota lost site of Kata, routine day-to-day management.

Toyota Bashing – Gregg Stocker talks about Lean, CEO visibility, and politics in the wake of Toyota's recall.

Womack Says Toyota Needs to Engage Public Over Recall: Video – Jim Womack, chairman of the Lean Enterprise Institute, talks with Bloomberg's Lori Rothman and Matt Miller about Toyota Motor Corp's handling of its vehicle recalls.

What is Going On With Toyota? - Hall Macomber answers the question of what Toyota is doing and what improvements they will likely make from this recent recall issue.

Toyota Recall - Paul Cary talks about standardization, the recall, and how Toyota will be better for this problem.

Learn from the Right Mistakes - Bill Waddell writes about Toyoda's plan for resolving Toyota's quality problem and questions if they will learn the right lesson.


  1. Thanks for the nice summary of posts. Much appreciated. It's surprising to me that people are throwing the manufacturing system under the bus for something that's a product development, service, and management problem.

  2. Great service, Tim! Thanks. I agree with Mark.

  3. Thanks for the summary Tim. That's quite a list.

    I have been resisting writing about the Toyota case because so little is actually know about the defect itself, and cause and effect isn't clear. But I have been getting enough questions about it. I don't think this changes anything about Toyota's success. They still have dramatically fewer recalls than others. And of course no one that knows lean would say they were anything close to perfect.

    I did write up some of my thoughts and lessons in observing the story on my blog here: http://jamieflinchbaugh.com/2010/02/the-fall-of-the-mighty-toyota/