Audi, Toyota, JIT, and Lean Production Article Review

Pages: 4 (1284 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Management

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] The idea, however, as the author shows, has more to do with the West not wanting to fall behind the East in terms of productive output and therefore being willing to roll the dice on the operations system that the East was using.

As Womack and Jones (1996) went on to show, the key to lean production was the concept of banishing waste, which is a concept that has been covered in class—so there is overlap here. But Holweg’s (2007) point is that the system did not catch on simply because the idea of banishing waste was deemed logical to all. Rather, it caught on because it was what Toyota was doing and every manager in the West wanted to be like Toyota—so they followed in Toyota’s footsteps rather than risk being left behind. The ethical issue this raises is whether JIT and lean production actually make logistical sense for Western companies or whether it made sense for Japan because of the unique set of circumstances that existed in Japan at the time.

In other words, does lean production actually make sense for all companies, or did companies pile into the methodology because it had a faddish quality about it that sparked interest and fear and hope did the rest as Holweg (2007) says?

My Perspective on the Application of Lean Production and JIT

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What I learned and my perspective on the matter is that Holweg (2007) is probably correct. There does appear to be something irrational about the major application of lean production and JIT across the globe, especially as this is unlikely to be a methodology that works for every type of company in every type of case. For a company like Audi, it works but Audi’s supplier is right next door to the production plant in Germany, so JIT is not a problem at all. The supplier and producer are basically working hand-in-glove.

Article Review on Audi, Toyota, JIT, and Lean Production Assignment

Is this going to be the case for every company? No. So then should JIT and lean production really be thought of as the solution in every situation? Probably not. Holweg (2007) presents a fascinating take on this question and subject and gives good reasons for why managers should be rethinking supply management and production systems based on their circumstances, the organizational setting and what needs to be achieved.

For a company like Audi, it makes sense because Audi produces cars that are made to order and not every car company does that. So Audi needs to be able to order parts as they are needed to keep inventory costs down, otherwise, Audi would run out of space right quickly and costs would be through the roof. Its partnership with its supplier makes it all possible as well and not ever producer will have that level of partnership, interaction, and relationship—so that is another consideration to be made. At the end of the day, Holweg’s (2007) argument makes a lot of sense and the evidence backs it up. Managers do not always act in their own best interests and sometimes they are simply motivated by the appearance of competitions and the fear of losing and the hope of catching up with the leaders.

References
  1. Holweg, M. (2007). The genealogy of lean production. Journal of operations management, 25(2), 420-437.
  2. Womack, J.P., Jones, D.T., Roos, D. (1990). The Machine That Changed the World. Rawson Associates, New York.
  3. Womack, J.P., Jones,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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