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Conclusion

For many people, the most striking thing about the stories of NUMMI and TMMK is that the plants had so many problems. TMMK holds daily public tram tours, and even in its worst period, people were struck by how neat and orderly everything appeared to be. This was true. By most measures, even on its worst day, it was an exceptional North American manufacturing plant, but that is not enough for Toyota. On any day at a Toyota plant, there is an almost frantic tension below the surface: andon cords being pulled, people rushing to fix things, Production Control constantly adjusting the schedule, and people waiting in the afternoon to see how much overtime they will have to work to make up for lost cars. Isn’t this the kind of firefighting any company does? Isn’t the famous Toyota Production System supposed to eliminate all these problems?


  

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