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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

A TPM Toolset for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

A TPM Toolset for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
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Author(s): Axel C. Schwickert (University of Giessen, Germany) and Bernhard Ostheimer (University of Giessen, Germany)
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 4
Source title: Emerging Trends and Challenges in Information Technology Management
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-019-6.ch061
ISBN13: 9781616921286
EISBN13: 9781466665361


In 1937, the Toyoda family founded the “Toyota Motor Company” in Japan and chiefly constructed lorries for the military government. In 1949 a long strike led to a considerable slump in sales – urgent measures were required in order to save the company from going under. The Toyota employee, Taiichi Ohno, studied the production style at Ford in North America and came to the conclusion that this kind of mass production with a strict division of labor was not viable for Japan. Another way would have to be found in order to make the Japanese automotive industry competitive worldwide. Back in Japan, Ohno experimented with partly autonomous production streams, where employees were personally responsible for tasks ranging from cleaning, maintaining and carrying out minor repairs on machines through to the improvement of work processes, alongside their production tasks. So that each employee could contribute towards improving his working environment, Ohno planned times, activities and coordination mechanisms accompanying the production processes especially for this purpose. In this way, numerous small defects could also be identified as they arose and immediately eliminated. Contrary to the Taylor production system at Ford, where quality control was carried out on the products at the end of the production process, Toyota emphasized the importance of an ongoing quality control of the production processes. The fundamental idea was that a production process with no defects would result in high quality products and satisfied customers. Moreover, the company’s economic success would also be boosted in the process, due to the fact that any waste (Jap. Muda) could be eliminated from the production processes e.g. overproduction, bottlenecks, unnecessary transport and poorly adapted work processes.

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