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The truth about Toyota and TPS Paperback – September 11, 2009
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About the Author
After graduate studies in France and the US, Eichi Kobayashi works as a consultant in the field of operational performance. He is also a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars around the world. He can be contacted at: E.Kobayashi@graffiti.net
Top customer reviews
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On the positive, the cover sold me on the purchase.
Rampant spelling and grammar mistakes throughout the book show poor editing and occasionally extremely confused thought. Most of the analogies made to other industries demonstrates the limited nature of the authors experience in productive industry. Very few of the significant claims are backed by any data or even a suggestion that any real research was done.
The analogy to CPU design at Intel takes a single quote from a non-technical manager, misinterprets it, and then draws conclusions that are so obviously wrong that it completely derails his argument.
There are many examples of "original research" without the "research" bit. About the "5 Whys" system, he claims "most operators end up falling back to deduction without truly searching for the root causes". Really? "most"? As they say on wikipedia, "Citation Needed". After a completely unsupported paragraph about how the "5 Whys" system fails to examine root causes or solve anything, including such gems as "[the system results] in a total confusion about the problem root cause" (no citation, why would there need to be?), the concluding sentence is "Toyota accumulated and built this operators' knowledge of root causes into its equipment, processes and procedures which allowed it to gain a competitive advantage over other carmakers."
The claim that "most western companies that have adopted TPS have not been succesful"(paraphrased), is also completly unsupported, and left me wondering how you would define "adopted TPS", given the complexity of converting an entire system, even if you were attempting to prove the point.
For an explanation of why TPS isn't a silver bullet, NPRs radio show on the NUMMI plant was far more informative, particularly as they talked about the attempts to replicate its success at other GM facilities. For a sophomoric rant against a company, this book is a fine substitute for the Che T-shirt wearing undergrad at your local Starbucks.