The Fourth Revolution explores the evolution of and science behind lean production practices with guest Stephen Dardaris, director of continuous improvement for Hillrom. From post-war factory production to modern-day automation, manufacturing has evolved and continues to change. Dardaris explained how Toyota’s Production System fits into production history while still influencing global manufacturing efficiency with revolutionary ideas and practices.
Applicable for more than just cars, the Toyota Production System can apply to a variety of production environments, particularly high-mix, low volume production. Dardaris moved through the holistic picture of a company, from supply to assembly, transport and even accounting. By trimming away the fat and honing in on real, lean numbers, the Toyota Production System returns tangible profits.
Lean production may seem like a no-brainer for better, more profitable production, but Dardaris said doing “lean” things is a lagging measure that produces results over time, not necessarily immediately upon implementation.
For this reason, some lean practices require a leap of faith and trust in what may seem like radical change. Most companies, Dardaris said, are caught in the middle, afraid of risk and trusting the process. The Toyota Production System is not a “cost-out process,” a simple money-saving initiative.
On the contrary, Dardaris said, TPS is a growth strategy, a business initiative designed to be more than just save a money-saver and a streamlining concept with an eye for big growth.