The day started with a trip to Yamaha's motorcycle plant based in the city of Iwata. Then the team made its way to the Toyota Museum of Industry and Technology.
At Yamaha the team took a plant tour and was lead by a high energy tour guide. One of the items that we were introduced to was that "quality is built into the process". We saw many examples of visual management that included SOPs, a training matrix and a daily plan that could be viewed by everyone. I was very impressed with the passion of all The Yamaha staff and how diversified their product lines are.
Then it was off to the Toyota Museum to look at the history of the company. We saw many examples of an unbelievable vision of true pioneers. We went through an extensive exhibit of Toyota's textile looms and how The Toyoda family started in business.
The museum tour takes you through the journey of the Toyota up to current day. One of the highlights for me was visiting the "lean area"where exhibits explained lean tools and how they apply it to their business. To see the visual impact of their journey really solidified the idea for me that in North America we can be better with lean concepts.
When we left we did another flash mob and had locals join in!