Kaikaku - 6th commandment
From: Norman Bodek
The 6th Commandment of Kaikaku from
Hirano is: "Don't spend money on Kaikaku."
I had been to Toyota many times bringing study groups to Japan. On one
trip I went over to Taiichi Ohno and said, "I do appreciate the opportunity to visit
Toyota with my groups but every time we come here we always see an old plant with old
equipment. Could it be possible to visit one of your newer plants?" Ohno sort of
scolded, looked strangely at me and said, "Bodek-san you do not understand the Toyota
Production System, the newness of the factory machines has nothing to do with it." I
learn the hard way.
Toyota is in Nagoya noted for being the "Scotland," of Japan. They do not spend
money foolishly - unwisely. In fact, Toyota would make probably 90% of their own
equipment. If necessary, they would buy rubber bands and even hairdryers from the
supermarket to put on the production line.
I brought Dr. Shingo to many different American plants and on each visit
instead of just learning from this great master the senior managers wanted to show Dr.
Shingo how good they were. At McDonald Douglas and Dresser Industries managers there both
insisted that Dr. Shingo look at their new machine centers showing off their million
dollar equipment that was able to do quick change-overs. Dr. Shingo would just laugh and
tell them how foolish they were to have spent so much money when for only a few dollars
and a new understanding they could have accomplished that and much more.
In fact, at Dresser he helped them reduce a set-up on a punch press from
two hours to 12 minutes. This came after his instructions and about two hours in time in
the machine shop. They did it without spending any extra money.
As I would walk through Toyota and Toyota subcontractor plants I was always amazed at the
lack of sophisticated equipment. While visiting American plants I would see the opposite:
new NC Machines, and new machine centers with all kinds of bells and whistles. It might
look good, cost a lot of money, but it wouldn't get you any closer to Just-In-Time.
Dr. Shingo and Ohno both wanted to see the engineers on the factory floor helping workers
make improvements instead of sitting in the offices looking through catalogues for new
equipment to buy.
So as Hirano challenges us. "Don't spend money on Kaikaku." First use your
ingenuity and harness the talents of all of the workers who we know are filled with
unlimited ideas for improvement - rarely ever tapped.