Abstracting the blogosphere

Abpost .n. Abstract of a post

Toyota manufacturing success

Posted by suntzu on November 20, 2006

Highlights of the original post:

Much of Toyota’s success, as well as that of numerous other Japanese manufacturers, is based on what Fujimoto Takahiro, a professor of economics at the University of Tokyo, calls suriawase, which literally means “grinding” but is better translated here as “integration.” Fujimoto asserts that there are two main approaches to manufacturing in this day and age: assembly and suriawase.

Suriawase involves integrating a vast number of individual parts and components to make a fine-tuned whole product. Rather than simply putting the different parts together, it entails ensuring that each of the parts complements the others and contributes to maximizing the performance of the product in question. This is achieved by maintaining close contact among all the different divisions involved in the production process, such as research and development, design, production technology, purchasing, and sales.

The key to Japan’s success in global markets lies not in simply assembling products but in nurturing companies with the cutting-edge technology that will enable them to take advantage of the suriawase approach.

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