Toyota Learning Principles and the V4L Framework

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Toyota is well known for its approach to problem solving and continuous improvement. Articles by practitioners, researchers, and participants have made the tools and techniques of continuous improvement familiar to every business executive. For example, phrases such as andon, heijunka, and kanban have become part of the day-to-day vocabulary of managers. In an insightful commentary on these tools and techniques, Jeffrey Liker writes that Toyota’s success goes beyond these tools and techniques to what he calls “The Toyota Way.”

Liker presents the Toyota Way as an all-encompassing method for designing and managing processes. Every student of Toyota also knows that the Toyota Way is unique, not only in its approach to problem solving but
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Make action protocols. Actions have to be taken within a set of constraints, and they must conform to certain standards. Doing so will help in the identification of the relation between action and results. It will aid in the codification of the knowledge for future use, with the same language and format used as well as similar content.
Generate system-level awareness. As experience with solving problems is obtained, greater awareness of other areas that might be affected by actions or that might impact one’s own performance needs to be created.
Produce the ability to teach. As system-level awareness and experience accumulate, the capability to teach others about these methods needs to be in place. v4L Principles

The v4L learning principles are combined across all Toyota supply chain management processes to systematically focus on the v4L balance:

Variety is carefully chosen to balance market demands and operational efficiency. Awareness of the impact of variety on the market demand and on manufacturing and supply chain costs enables all the entities across the supply chain to be considered when decisions regarding variety are being made. In one sense, variety represents a crucial supply chain design choice that has an impact across all supply chain participants. A key issue when variety is being chosen is the need to have feedback loops to ensure that the selected variety represents the best response to current market conditions. As we will discuss in each of
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