History of Toyota Production System – Circa 1995

I was doing some 5S in my storage locker and I found a folder of notes given to me during a “study tour” to the USA in 1995. This was a week long Kaizen Breakthrough event hosted by the Donnelly Corporation in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

We were all new to Kaizen, and had recently set up our own KPO (Kaizen Promotion Office) at Unipart (UK) so we were keen to learn news skills and absorb as much as we could. Dan Jones, who was advising Unipart at this time suggested we work with TBM a US based consultancy, and they’d organised “Kaizen Breakthrough” training and a study tour in July 1995. Our trainers for the week long event were none other than Shin-jujitsu the much vaunted, ex Toyota team who had worked under the direction of Taichii Ohno.

Although most of this history is common knowledge, or part of urban myth, this was still an interesting find and I thought I’d share this with the world. I found a few other gems including some hand drawn cartoons and accompanying notes/guidelines for elements of TPS implementation. More on those on another occasion.

This year I’m celebrating 25 years of my Kaizen journey, there’s never a day goes by without learning something new. In this case of this old document, which was read and forgotten, sometimes new is old, re-learnt.

Happy reading.

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