“A story of remarkable quality improvement inside the world’s best quality manufacturer” – John Shook
In Japanese, “dantotsu” means “extreme,” “radical,” or “unparalleled.” In this book, Toyota veteran Sadao Nomura shares his decades of experience leading and supporting Toyota operations and tells the story of the dramatic improvement he and his team achieved at Toyota Logistics & Forklift (TL&F).
Although TL&F seemed to be performing well, insiders knew that, as the founding company of the Toyota group, it needed to do better, especially in the quality performance of its global subsidiary operations. But improvement would not be easy in a company that already prided itself in its history as an exemplar in providing highest quality products and services. In 2006, TL&F requested assistance from Sadao Nomura. The initial request was for Mr. Nomura to support quality improvement in three global operations that had become part of TL&F through acquisition: US, Sweden, and France. Improvement was expected at these affiliates, but the radical nature of the improvement was not. In fact, the improvement activities were so powerful that they were also adopted at the parent operations in Japan. Over a period of almost ten years, the company with the name most associated with product quality experienced quality improvement unparalleled in its history.
According to John Shook and Toshiko Narusawa, who wrote the Introduction to the book, TL&F represents the “ground zero for the most important advances in quality improvement since the Deming-inspired quality improvements of the post-WWII Japanese economic miracle”. With the aid of powerful visuals, this book offers a detailed account of what Nomura-san did there – an approach that is entirely replicable by any manufacturer. Follow the steps laid out in it and you, too, will be able to bring radical improvement to your organization. After all, if the best can get (extremely) better, so can we!