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Understanding the Toyota Production System

If you have heard about the Toyota Production System or TPS you are not alone. It's quite common to associate it with manufacturing plants but there are many facilities that are using TPS as it aids in the complete elimination of waste. Overburden is something that many manufacturing plants experience as you have machinery that is doing more than it can handle or employees also dealing with more than they can handle. Using TPS you can find ways to enhance the production process so you don't have overburden and many other common issues that lead to wasted time and money.

When you implement TPS you will have a series of small plans that are used to help your employees understand their jobs better but also to have a step by step method of staying on target with the manufacturing goals and customers' needs. Here are the common goals you will focus on when you use TPS:
- Improvements in the production process
- Proper management of company logistics
- Happier and loyal employees
- Elimination of manufacturing overburden
- Elimination of product inconsistencies and improvement in meeting customers standards
- Elimination of wasted time, money, and raw materials

Having the planning process completely taken care of gives your employees the ability predict things. This allows them to get materials and things ready ahead of time so you don't have delays in the production process. It also aids in keeping everyone focused as they are always ready to act and not worried about reacting.

Working on improving the system will include taking time to look at the logistics. What this will involve is looking over the relationships that are within the company and those used to secure your raw goods and other things. You want to really work on employee relationships so the departments can all communicate with each other. You also need to look at the relationships with suppliers in order to have your materials delivered on time and in the right way. Keeping all of the relationships strong and healthy will make for fast productivity and greater success in the eyes of the customers.

How much time is spend in the training process? When you invest money to train new people, it costs nearly $20,000 per person based on the amount of advertising that is done and the training process. When you constantly deal with turnover, it decreases your ability to make money. You must look into methods and ways in which you can keep people loyal to your company. When you work on using TPS you will have employees that are happier and satisfied in their jobs. Let your employees offer suggestions for improvement. It helps them to feel needed by the company, which can increase job satisfaction.

According to TPS there are 7 different types of waste. These are the issues that you will end up addressing and you will be able to eliminate all 7 different types of waste, which will aid in giving you a productive and efficient plant. Keeping your costs down can be done through waste reduction, not the elimination of jobs.

One of the biggest wastes that TPS will deal with is the inventory overload. How many products are manufactured and sitting on shelves waiting to be sold? Inventory is a waste. With TPS you make products to order. This gives the customer a fresh product and it reduces your need to maintain inventory. You will not deal with cash flow concerns as you aren't spending money from your future.

Like any new system TPS does take time to implement and to get used to. If you want to reduce waste and to have a successful plant, consider using TPS today!

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