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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Day 2 Blog Manager, Ruslan Ilyushenko reports on our activities and aspecial trip to Tokyo's famous Tsukiji fish market

Day 2 -- Lean Sensei Japan tour. Today we visited the Toyoda Logistics and Forklift facility to get a first glimpse of the Toyota Production System. Immediately we were immersed in the culture of flowing value to the customer and eliminating waste out of the value stream. There seemed to be a harmonious combination of high-tech and low-tech "common sense" tools to flow product and information through the system and to the customer. Visual boards and mistake proofing tools were everywhere. 
Among many "aha!" moments, a few stood out for me:
1. Waste comes from old habits and fixed ideas. Do not be afraid to challenge the status quo.
2. "UFO" at Toyota means something different. It loosely translates as "if you rush and cut corners, you will make a fool of yourself and make waste"
3. If you start dancing in the middle of the street, more people will eventually join you in the fun. :)

I am writing this at 4:00 am in the morning of day 3 while waiting in line to see the famous Tuna Auction. Lean thinking is present here too. We wear color coded vests, that tell who is in group one and who is in group two for the auction tour. When they run out of vests, it means the group is full. We got the Poka-Yoke down, now if only we could eliminate the 90 minute wait.
Day 3 activities start in 5 hours. Bring it on!...

Best regards,


Waiting to get into the fish market. Colour coding ensures effective visual management.

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