In this book, author Sadao Nomura taps into his decades of experience leading and advising Toyota operations in a wide variety of operations to tell the story of radical improvement at Toyota Logistics & Forklift (TL&F).
This book tells in great detail what the author did with TL&F, how they did it, and the dramatic results that ensued. TL&F has long been a global leader in its industry. TL&F is part of Toyota Industries Corporation, which was founded by Toyota Group founder Sakichi Toyoda almost 100 years ago. Sakichi Toyoda is legendary in the Lean community as the originator of the all-important "JIDOKA" pillar of TPS, which ensures 1) built-in quality and 2) respect for people through ensuring that technology works for people rather than the other way around. Although TL&F seemed to be performing well, insiders knew that, as the founding company of the Toyota group, it needed to do better, especially in the quality performance of its global subsidiary operations. But improvement would not be easy in a company that already prided itself in its history as an exemplar in providing highest quality products and services.
In 2006, TL&F requested assistance from Sadao Nomura. The initial request was for Mr. Nomura to support quality improvement in three global operations that had become part of TL&F through acquisition: US, Sweden, and France. Improvement was expected at these affiliates, but the dramatic nature of the improvement was not. Further, the improvement activities were so powerful that they were also instituted at the parent operations in Japan. Over a period of almost ten years, the company with the name most associated with product quality experienced quality improvement unparalleled in its history. "Dantotsu" means "extreme," "radical," or "unparalleled."