Open Letter to a Manufacturing CEO

Manufacturing Chief Executive Officer

Dear Manufacturing CEO:

Manufacturing Excellence

Firstly, let me paint a picture of your future organization after implementing the expertise of the 6+ Sigma Toyota Production System. The advantages of a maniacal focus on process and system improvement.

  • Everyone in the Manufacturing System is directed toward success,
  • The Manufacturing Organization focuses on the value they produce,
Remove Defects
  • Everyone on the assembly line becomes a quality inspector through the use of andon:
    1. Above all, andon is the stoppage of a manufacturing process when a defect is detected,
    2. Use it to continuously remove defects,
    3. Toyota still receives about 800 andon stops per year per manufacturing plant,
    4. Toyota has a strategy to minimize the impact of andon stoppages.
  • Suppliers work to create a just-in-time system where they can decrease your costs,
Manufacturing Perfection
  • Seek Manufacturing Perfection
    1. Moreover, improve at a rate of 11 ideas per employee per year,
    2. Management defines the idea direction,
    3. Toyota will not expand to a new plant unless they have a critical mass of employees that know this procedure,
    4. This is how come no competitor will ever catch Toyota, and
    5. Your culture changes to one of winning.
  • In addition, increase process speed and minimize inventory waste by using the Pull method,
  • Above all, stress the manufacturing system,
Lean Six Sigma
  • Consequently, implementing Lean Six Sigma to:
    1. Above all, increase process velocity,
    2. Decrease process costs, and
    3. Subsequently, increase process quality.
  • All smaller but often purchased items can be put into a double bin system to decrease inventory costs and increase availability,
  • Report success metrics to management, and
  • Your organization no longer worries about the competition but welcomes them. Your System will get stronger year after year.
In Summary

The Toyota Production System is a 6+ Sigma System and there’s no reason how come your Manufacturing Organization cannot strive for that level of performance. Think about making progress towards a Malcolm Baldrige Award (indicating the realization of Operational Excellence, a competitive advantage). The above list is but a short summary of how your future Manufacturing Organization will function. The time to start is today.


Jim FitzGerald

Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt


Apply the Tools of The Six Sigma Toyota Production System to Manufacturers.

Build Your 6+ Sigma Manufacturing System.