In this episode we discuss a blog post from The Deming Institute on why the Toyota production system is more effective than others. To fully understand this, you have to understand ‘part’ vs. ‘part of’. Darci had to have Kyle’s help understanding this one, but once she caught on, it was as simple as it sounds.
The blog starts with a story of a Ford Motor Company assembly plant manager buying competitor’s cars to disassemble them and learn how they were assembled by reassembling them. In America, car manufacturers use a rubber mallet when things don’t fit-this was discussed in a previous episode when we did our Start With Why series. If a car could be put together without the mallet, it was called ‘snap-fit.’ Well, Frank Pipp, the manager came across one, it was a Toyota. He called in someone from corporate who watched on as the assembled the truck in snap fit fashion. Corporate’s response? “The customer will never notice.” And so was born the ‘part’ mentality.
‘Part’ mentality means that I am at this position of the assembly, this is the part I make, and I do it well within my tolerances. ‘Part of’ mentality means that I am in this same position of the assembly, this is the part I make with the understanding it fits with other parts to create a system. Understanding that your part is part of a system creates a better product for the end user.
True, the customer will never notice, but it will effect the overall performance. As stated in the blogpost, “Such a view leads to the conclusion that any deviation from a target dimension results in some degree of loss being imparted downstream by the part after its shipment to the customer.”