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Implementing lean manufacturing programs to improve performance is the first step to enhancing productivity, but lean goals can only be met when companies  use capable, predictable processes built through effective quality management

Toyoda made this astonishing discovery while touring a number of U.S. automobile manufacturing plants in the 1950s. Years later, he recounted what he saw to Time Magazine.

“When I first came to Detroit in 1950, we were producing 40 cars a day,” said Toyoda. “Ford was making 8,000 units, a 200-times difference. The gap was enormous.”

This enormous gap, however, would not prove to be insurmountable. The visit to the United States would open Toyoda’s eyes to the potential of large-volume production and even export to the United States. To compete, Toyota Motor Company would need to not just mimic U.S. production techniques, but also go a step ahead and improve upon them.

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