ABSTRACT

Another key philosophy for business improvement emerged in the West in the early 1980s, developed in Japan by Toyota from the late 1940s as the ‘Toyota Production System’. This philosophy focused on waste elimination and became known initially in the manufacturing sector as ‘Just in Time’ or ‘Kaizen’.1 This approach enabled Japanese companies to establish manufacturing practices that were so superior to Western companies that their competitiveness surged. Japanese companies such as Toyota, Nissan, Kawasaki and Matsushita were able to produce products faster, cheaper and at higher functionality and quality than rival Western companies.