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The Toyota Production System (TPS) provided the basis for what is now known aslean thinking, as popularised by Womack and Jones (1996). The development of thisapproach to manufacturing began shortly after the Second World War, pioneered byTaiichi Ohno and associates, while employed by the Toyota motor company.
Forced byshortages in both capital and resources, Eiji Toyoda instructed his workers toeliminate all waste. Waste was defined as “anything other than the minimum amountof equipment, materials, parts, space and time which are absolutely essential to addvalue to the product” (Russell and Taylor, 2000, p. 737).
Working to this brief through a process of trial and error, Ohno would go on toachieve a new manufacturing paradigm – the Toyota Production System (TPS) (Whiteand Prybutok, 2001). The TPS became the dominant production model to emerge froma number of concepts around at the time (Katayama and Bennett, 1996; Bartezzaghi,1999). As a result of the International Motor Vehicle Program (IMVP) benchmarkingstudy, and the work of Womack et al. (1990), US and European companies beganadapting the TPS under the title of just-in-time (JIT) to remain competitive withJapanese industry....