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Toyota not using Six Sigma or LSS, why?

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Viewing 21 posts - 1 through 21 (of 21 total)
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  • #46533

    Tierradentro
    Participant

    Hi, I’m a BB (from my former company) trying to “sell” the idea of implementing Lean Six Sigma in my current company (from a manager’s standpoint) to our board of directors, but I’m having trouble doing this due to a resistance from them.
    I’m in the automotive industry and our COO rejects 6S and LSS because the leader, and benchmark in process change (Toyota) is not using it per se. I know they use Lean processes and Value Stream Mapping (included in LSS), but I’d appreciate a suggestion to respond to this rejection. Is there any literature you suggest to backup a response?
    regards,

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    #153984

    Heebeegeebee BB
    Participant

    TPS (Toyota Production System) is Lean.   It uses many of the concepts embraced in 6S/TQM.
    They share common ancestry:
    Juran
    Deming Imai
    on and on….

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    #154047

    Ron
    Member

    Toyota uses TQM and Deming quality tools which are the roots for Six Sigma.  They just don’t talk about it and promote it like most companies.
    The tools are there just not explicit. 

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    #154048

    sri reddi
    Member

    Why do you HAVE to use 6S or LSS.  Lean works just as well or even better.  It is faster and cheaper to do Lean.  Even LSS companies use Lean to sustain their continuous improvement efforts.
    Hope that helps.

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    #154049

    Sigmafied
    Member

    The situation warrants the better of the two tools.Six Sigma made a lot of headway when big change was needed in rapidly declining companies(GE, Motorla). The major turnarounds that resulted in these companies occurred in well less than a decade using Six Sigma as a primary driver.Toyota, on the other hand, responded to market demand for products from everything from small cars to earth movers in postwar Japan where capital was scarce. Since they couldn’t get the money to emulate the capital used in American manufacturing, they had no choice but to be able to use the same machines to build parts for both these tiny cars and giant earthmovers. They didn’t have the money to put into carrying huge inventories. Thus the flexibility, quick changeover, and ability to meet quickly changing market expectations was born. They call it the Toyota Production System, we call it Lean. Remember, “Lean” didn’t happen at Toyota overnight, but has been going on for 60 years.So to summarize, if your company is “rapidly declining,” Six Sigma works well to turn it around quickly. If your company is new to the improvement initiative game or not threatened competitively but facing huge obstacles getting what the market wants to them, you may be better off with Lean.

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    #154052

    Mikel
    Member

    GE was a rapidly declining company?You don’t have a clue what you are talking about.

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    #154054

    Sigmafied
    Member

    Granted, it was a poor choice of words. GE was stagnant at best and losing market share in many key areas at worst. Rapid decline, probably not, but they were definitely on the verge without major change, unable to innovate at the pace of smaller competitors and unable to manage the bureaucracy they had created as a large company.I’m not here for a history lesson. The moral of the story is true. If it’s not, tell us, oh great nitpicker, exactly how it went down.Anyone interested can read from GE’s annual reports how they turned things around. 1997’s is particularly in-depth:
    http://www.ge.com/annual97/share/index.htm

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    #154056

    Mikel
    Member

    Looks like they had great results in 95 (pre six sigma), 96 (1st year of
    six sigma), and 97 (your reference).Does not sound like a turnaround to me.Not nit-picking; just too many already telling the story to suite their
    biases. We don’t need one more.

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    #154225

    GrayR
    Participant

    Has your COO gone very far with implementing any ‘lean’ (or TPS) actions?  What most people understand ‘lean’ can be really very different than what Toyota is doing.  Most companies are more successful in implementing Six Sigma, or even more basic Lean methods (involving VSM, process flow improvements, etc.), but very few of them will ever get close to what Toyota is doing. Some good references on this are the Steven Spear articles (Decoding  . . . & Learning to Lead . . .) available at http://www.hbr.org.  I have found these papers are better at describing TPS better than many of the other literature out there.  I think you need to get an idea from your COO on how far, and how committed he/she is to emulating Toyota.

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    #154228

    Hylton
    Participant

    Accordint to the TPS book, 3.5 ppm is too high a defect level.

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    #154241

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Sigmafied,
    It was more than a poor choice of words it was incorrect. Your revised statement was incorrect as well. Stan presented his side which is substantiated in stock price and annual statements and you have chosen to label that as “nitpicking” which it is not it is dealing with data. Instead of throwing out you glittering generalities and emotionally charged statements present it with the data that drove your conclusion.
    Just my opinion.

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    #154246

    Hollywood
    Participant

    Funny how the regulars on this forum are the only contributors that have a clue; everyone is declared clueless.  Sounds like the extremists here are trying to use the time proven policy of “influence by intimidation”

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    #154248

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Hollywood,
    Stan did take a look at the data and it didn’t say what Sigmafied claimedand was therefore told he did not have a clue. That isn’t intimidation that is data. Sigmafied can return with data to substantiate his position which was my request.
    So you want to be a victim because you are intimidated? How can you be intimidated in an open forum particularly when you are not even using your real name. Intimidation is a choice you have made and it has nothing to do with the regulars or the irregulars or the one size fits all.
    Good luck

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    #154247

    Bohdan
    Participant

    Hi,
     
    I worked for a Japanese company in Canada and “sold” the concept for PLM System to Management by capturing the manual processing time used from engineers for Engineering Change Approval Process.
     
    The Japanese head office was using the Canadian sites as test sites before they take the initiative to implement new software or processes. I found Japanese very slow and unable to manage multisite project  roll out. Every decision they take with group consensus , however remember that part of the group may not even have a capacity to make informed decisions.
     
    The Japanese reality is completely different then North American , so you should not be trying to benchmark and implement the “Toyota Way” blindly. For example Japanese will not accept women in management positions. So any woman in your management team may be one of your major “drivers” in order to get over the limitations of Toyota Management Style. (think even to talk to the HR Manager about that ) . Japanese rarely change jobs, so managers get trained and promoted within the company. They look at you as a traitor if you change company. This is NOT the American Way!  Education in North America and Professional Licences are very much valued, as well professional are regulated by law.
     
    I had the following experience in implementing change in the same Japanese company. I developed a Lotus Notes Lessons Learned Database, an entire roll out procedure and Knowledge Management Concept. I implemented the system at our Canadian Site, trained everybody. My major project sponsor was Ford Supplier Quality manager. Why? Because the company had accumulated vast knowledge but not reusing it for new projects, so teams had been doing same mistakes over and over because of lack of communication and collaboration in the product development stage.
     
    One of the manager presented my System during a conference in Japan. Corporate decided to roll it out for all the sites.

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    #154249

    Jeff
    Participant

    Toyota, it’s competitors and it’s entire supply chain are driven by a unique animal – The JD Power Survey.
    The goal now becomes not to necessarily build the best or most efficient vehicle or process.  It is to design and build the best JD Power score car.  Six Sigma, Lean, Shanin, or whatever quality program a given company subcrsibes to will actually assign it’s projects based on JD Power opportunities and not necessarily those with the most impact to their bottom line.
    The TPS system is not immune to this phenomenon.  To it’s credit Toyota has separated it’s JD Power unit projects from it’s overall program – Others (GM, Chrsyler) have not yet taken this step.
    If your goal is to implement a 6 Sigma program you’ll need to demonstrate it’s capabilities with a real time example.  Take on a project for a known long-term quality concern within your company.  Use the DMAIC tools and write the project up.  After the savings / improvements are realized present the project to your management team and be sure to include figures that demonstrate how much your campnay could potentially save / improve with a full sigma program.  With a successful example now behind you you can take the first step (an overall review course for management – or green belt training for a specific department) and get the preverbial ball rolling on an overall program.
    I have been in this situation with companies and in my experience it has been the most effective way of gaining the necessary support for the type of culture change you are looking to implement.
     
    Good Luck
     

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    #154254

    Hollywood
    Participant

    Mr. Mike Carnell.
    A. Should I point out the many posts where you provide opinions unsupported by data? 
    B. What is Stan’s real name?
    No need to reply because so many on this forum already know the answer to both questions.

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    #154262

    Mikel
    Member

    How did you know my real name is Fred?

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    #154263

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    When it is an opinion I state that it is an opinion.

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    #154264

    SPC
    Member

    Best advice I have read yet. My only two cents are, six sigma is all about the data and not all of the “I think” as is so prevalent in many industries today.
    SPC

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    #154267

    BTDT
    Participant

    … and I thought it was LaxmanCheers, BTDT

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    #154273

    Mikel
    Member

    Okay you caught me, it’s really Reigle. I do this to argue with myself.

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