Here is an interesting excerpt from Taiichi Ohno's memoirs:
"There must be hundreds of people around the world who can improve productivity and efficiency by increasing production quantity. We, too, have such foremen at Toyota. But few people in the world can raise productivity when production quantities decrease. With even one such person, the character of a business operation will be that much stronger."
".......I think it is more worthwhile in a company to work in the area where there are problems due to dwindling sales than in the area where sales are rising. The need for improvement is more urgent even though it may not seem that way."
I don't expect to launch a big dialogue with this thread but I thought it was worth thinking about if only because of how influential this man was to one of the world's greatest manufacturing companies. It certainly contradicts what many of us think about manly manufacturing.
From contributor Ga
Indeed, one of my first business mentors was a retired exec turned gentleman woodworker...He used to tell me "nothing happens until you sell something".
I've seen/heard of too many people putting the cart before the horse; getting loans to buy a bunch of equipment before they started getting any real sales....."Keep it small, keep it all!"
I've read alot on the theory of contraints, and Eli Goldratt mentions that in most manufacturing companies, the real constraint is sales. (Read "It's not Luck", great on problem solving in the marketing department.)
From contributor Le
Taiichi Ohno isn't known for his name but rather for his manufacturing philosophy and how he applied it. He must have though and done something real good, hasn't he?