012011DahlonToyota - Toyotas Relentless Drive for...

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Toyota’s Relentless Drive for Perfection I have followed Toyota’s pursuit of perfection with great interest. Perfection was pursued through process improvement, and the belief was that if a process could be improved so that the error rate was six sigma (3.4 defects per million), perfection would have been achieved. In my world, process is only one of six separate dimensions of mastery. Mastery starts with identifying your context (Are you a monopolist or small supplier?), content (Do you have all the materials, technologies, talent and capital that are needed?), process (Do you use the content in the best possible way?), output (Have you chosen the right product?), outcome (Does it perform as promised?) and benefit (Was it worth the purchase?). Even if Toyota had mastered process better than any other car manufacturer, there could have been problems in any of the five other dimensions. For example, we now know that there are problems with output — so far, more than 11 million Toyota cars have been recalled for a variety of reasons. Faulty outputs produce poor outcomes, and poor outcomes reduce benefits. Industry sales increased by 17% in
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This note was uploaded on 02/07/2011 for the course IE 131 taught by Professor Groover during the Spring '08 term at Lehigh University .

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012011DahlonToyota - Toyotas Relentless Drive for...

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