Toyota has had its fair share of problems recently – and has certainly been knocked off the plinth it has been on for some time… held up as a beacon of efficiency and productivity,

So, what does this do for the reputation of the Toyota production system – must we now all try to forget those few Japanese words we learned – like kata, kaizen, gemba and so on.

No, it does not!  Conditions may not currently be favourable for Toyota  but the principles that underly the Toyota Production System are still valid – as are the tools and techniques. There are still countless firms benefitting from the lessons learned – and continuing to thrive in unstable, highly competitive markets.

The future will one day teach us why Toyota has had its ‘blips’ – whether this is due to them forgetting their own principles and practices, or whether there is some other unknown factor.

I suspect that before too long, they will be back on their plinth. In the meantime, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater … keep the faith, aim for ‘lean’, maintain your focus.