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Taiichi Ohno

Taiichi Ohno was born in Manchuria, China in 1912 and graduated from Nagoya Institute of Technology. He joined Toyota in 1932 and for about twenty years worked his way up in the firm.

In the 1940’s and early 1950’s, Ohno was the assembly manager for Toyota and developed many improvements that eventually became the Toyota Production System. Toyota was verging on bankruptcy during much of this period and could not afford major investments in new equipment or massive inventories.
The 1950’s also saw the beginning of a long collaboration with Shigeo Shingo and the refinement of their earlier efforts into an integrated Manufacturing Strategy.
Ohno’s career accelerated as a result of his success as Assembly Shop Manager and he became an executive Vice President in 1975.
In the early 1980’s, Ohno retired from Toyota and was president of Toyota Gosei, a Toyota subsidiary and supplier.
The Toyota Production System (TPS) was developed between 1945 and 1970 and it is still evolving today. The 1973 oil crisis hit Japan at least as hard as it hit America and Europe. By 1974, Japan’s economy had collapsed to a state of zero growth. At Toyota Motor Company, although profits suffered, greater earnings were sustained in 1975, 1976 and 1977 than at other Japanese companies. The widening gap between Toyota and other Japanese companies opened the eyes of others in Japan to this thing called the Toyota Production System and it began spreading rapidly in Japan.He identified what are called the seven wastes or seven mudas.

Taiicho Ohno died in Toyota City in 1990.

January 20, 2018

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