1st Edition

The Toyota Template The Plan for Just-In-Time and Culture Change Beyond Lean Tools

By Phillip Ledbetter Copyright 2018
    114 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    114 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    Much has been written about Toyota over the last 30 years focusing on both its products (superior vehicles), and its operational excellence based on its Toyota Production System (TPS). The Toyota Template details the critical concepts and methods that Taiichi Ohno implemented in developing the Toyota Production System. This book is different, however, regarding the parallels it draws between Toyota’s pre-TPS condition and companies today who are attempting to become more efficient and Lean.

    In view of efficiency, excellence, culture, and general "Leanness," many organizations are in the same position as Toyota prior to implementing what was once called the "Ohno System." The building of TPS, with the goal to eliminate waste, evolved as problems were encountered and solutions put in place. A wonderful byproduct of these years of work was the growth of a problem-solving culture throughout Toyota that is unique in the business world.

    Currently, the Toyota Production System is well established. Though constantly improving, the historical picture is visible. The question many have tried to answer for their own companies is "how can they achieve world class efficiency?" The Toyota Template answers this question. This book:

    • Explains the critically important elements of the Toyota Production System.
    • Analyzes the sequence of implementation as the system developed.
    • Places these elements in a logical order of implementation based on the history and current knowledge. In addition, it addresses the effect of each element on the culture.

    The author was prompted to write this book because of his personal observations of the failure of most attempts to develop Lean systems. What makes Toyota stand out is not any of the individual elements – It is crucially important to have all the elements together as a system. Most attempts have been focused on bits and pieces of the elements, or the tools.

    The Toyota Template is about the relevance of the Toyota Production System to "any type of business" today. It is not an all-inclusive explanation of every aspect of TPS. Rather, this book succinctly identifies the key elements, places them in a logical, sequential order of implementation, and explains how each contributed to the formation of the Toyota culture.

    Chapter 1 The Problem: Distance from Toyota

    Chapter 2 The Predicament: Perplexing Failure

    Chapter 3 The Position: Plant First

    Chapter 4 The Purpose: Will and Skill

    Chapter 5 The Plan: Hoshin Kanri

    Chapter 6 The Property: Waste Elimination

    Chapter 7 The Practice: Standard Work

    Chapter 8 The Patois: 8-Step Problem-Solving

    Chapter 9 The Pattern: Flow, Pull, and Heijunka

    Chapter 10 The Program: Jidoka, Quality at the Source

    Chapter 11 The Path: The Toyota Template

    Chapter 12 The Proof: TPS Results

    Chapter 13 The Perceptions: Mental Images

    Chapter 14 The Post Script: Personal Matters


    Phil Ledbetter is a passionate advocate of the Toyota Production System and the many benefits it can provide for business. He worked as a leader in management with Toyota Motor Manufacturing – KY for 16 years. As Group Leader, he learned, practiced, and taught the many elements of the TPS. He was certified as a kaizen leader where he taught other members of the management team problem solving. In his time at Toyota he was immersed in all aspects of TPS.

    Phil is an accomplished teacher and conference speaker having developed classes for and taught hundreds of employees on all aspects of the Toyota Production System. Since leaving Toyota, Phil has been instrumental in the implementation of various Toyota methods in the cabinet, decorative glass, and crane fields including successful implementation of pull systems, quality systems, andon systems and 5S programs among other accomplishments. He’s also been a franchised small business owner.

    He has:

    • First hand, hands-on knowledge of the Toyota Production System (16 years in management at Toyota).
    • The ability to adapt TPS knowledge to the particular context.
    • Excellent problem solving skills. Passionate about true lean/TPS. .

    Demonstrated expertise in the Toyota Production System, *Certified Kaizen Train-the-Trainer, *Quality Circle Advisor, *7-Step Problem Solving (A3), *Hoshin Kanri, *Heijunka, *Jidoka, *5S, *Continuous One-Piece Flow, *Visual Controls, *Standardized Work, *SMED, *Pull Systems, *Poke Yoke, *Andon, *TWI, *TPM, *Budgeting/Forecasting, *Inventory Management, *Interviewing

    My Japanese trainers at Toyota could masterfully take a complex subject and explain it and teach it so wonderfully simple. It didn’t make it any easier, but it made it possible for me to now do. Ledbetter has done just that with The Toyota Template. He lays out the entire, and complex, Toyota Production System in a basic and understandable manner that will make it possible for you to do also. His perspective and focus on "Just in Time" material availability and "Flow-Pull and Leveling" are missing components in many failed Lean attempts. And his connection and integration to the "Respect for People" Culture side of the Toyota Way makes this a "must read" for any "continuous learner" of Lean.

    • Mike Hoseus, Former Toyota Executive and co-author of Shingo Award Winning book, Toyota Culture.

    Through his personal experiences, Phil clearly and succinctly explains how to implement a Lean strategy based on TPS principles and practices. It is essential for every company embarking on their Lean journey to understand that Lean is based on The Toyota Template and is not just a collection of tools. This is a must-read book for all lean practitioners and executives of Lean companies.

    • Nick Katko, BMA, Inc., Author The Lean CFO

    Drawing on his extensive experience, Phil Ledbetter shares his insights into the foundational principles of the Toyota Production System. This book will give you a deeper understanding of what has made Toyota successful and a practical application that you can use to develop your own transformation.

    • Jim Garrick, manager, Global Operational Excellence & Process Improvement, Southeast Regional Director – AME, Shingo Prize Examiner

    In The Toyota Template, Phil Ledbetter details his first-hand experiences and shares the knowledge of the creators of the Toyota Production System. From these, he forges a template that will work in any enterprise, any system, any process. The Toyota Template is Just-In-Time for the company starting, struggling, or seeking to achieve the results of the vaunted Toyota Production System.

    • Michael Lewis, Director of Operations, ThyssenKrupp Elevator; TMMK Team Member 1989 - 2001