A Note on the Toyota Production System

by: Eric Svaan, Ravi Anupindi

Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Length: 8 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-245

Core Disciplines: Operations Management/Supply Chain, Strategy & Management

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Teaching Note

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What is the Toyota Production System (TPS), and why do so many organizations study and put into practice the principles of the system?This note introduces business students to the TPS by briefly covering its historical origins, assumptions, principles, key ideas, and rules. The note provides a Japanese-English glossary of some common words used with the TPS, and is a go-to reference for students studying the TPS. Students interested in further reading are directed to the references listed at the end of the note.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Gain a shared understanding of the ideal production system.
  • Identify the main characteristic that is a deviation from the ideal production system.
  • Describe where muda or waste can occur in a production system, and why it is so important to eliminate it.
  • Internalize the basic assumptions, principles, and rules in use of the TPS.