News Item - Associated Press: Toyota Motor Corp. on Monday reported its 25th straight month of growth in worldwide production as it closed in on General Motors' position as the world's biggest vehicle maker.(...) Last week, Toyota executives in Japan laid out a production target of 9.42 million vehicles for next year, a 4 percent increase over the 9.04 million vehicles it expects to produce this year and more than the 9.2 million that Detroit-based General Motors Corp. is estimated to have produced this year. GM has not given targets for next year, but has been forced to scale back production after seeing its market share eroded by Toyota and other Asian automakers, which have a reputation for better fuel efficiency.
I can remember so far back that I can remember when a joke circulated that Toyota was going to merge with Chevrolet and make the "Toileta"... How the mighty are humbled, yadda, yadda. The irony is that the success of Japanese manufacturing owes a lot to the man in the picture, W. Edwards Deming, the father of "Japanese quality". When you read his "14 Points" and "Seven Deadly Diseases" it all resonates with the plain, solid, good sense that you would expect from someone born in the deepest, über-American, Sioux City, Iowa. But strangely enough, nothing could be more "foreign" to the contemporary, American, business culture than the pragmatic humanism Deming advocated. Here is a Deming Zen koan to meditate upon, "Everyone must understand the damage and loss to the whole organization from a team that seeks to become a selfish, independent, profit centre." The decline of the United States and its possible recovery are all in the story, thought and works of W. Edwards Deming. DS"Innovation comes from people who take joy in their work."
W. Edwards Deming
Deming's 14 Points
1. Create constancy of purpose for improvement of products and service.
2. Adopt a new philosophy: we are in a new economic age.
3. Cease dependence upon inspection as a way to achieve quality.
4. End the practice of awarding business based on price tag.
5. Constantly improve the process of planning, production, and service- this system includes people.
6. Institute training on the job.
7. Institute improved supervision (leadership)
8. Drive out fear.
9. Break down barriers between departments.
10. Eliminate slogans/targets asking for increased productivity without providing methods
11. Eliminate numerical quotas.
12. Remove barriers that stand between workers and their pride of workmanship.
13. Institute programs for education and retraining.
14. Put all emphasis in the company to work to accomplish the transformation.
Seven Deadly Diseases
1. Lack of constancy of purpose to plan a marketable product and service to keep the company in business and provide jobs.
2. Emphasis on short-term profits.
3. Personal evaluation appraisal, by whatever name, for people in management, the effects of which are devastating.
4. Mobility of management; job hopping.
5. Use of visible figures for management, with little or no consideration of figures that are unknown or unknowable.
6. Excessive medical costs.
7. Excessive costs of warranty, fueled by lawyers that work on contingency fees.