Toyotism was a production system originally applied by the Japanese company Toyota. It is based on the "just in time" principle, which means producing only what is necessary and at the time required.

Toyotism proposes to start production once the order is received. In this way, it is avoided to accumulate a stock of merchandise to be sold, which implies storage costs.

Starting in the 1970s, the trend started by the Toyota engineer Taiichi Ohno began to displace Fordism, which was betting on automated mass production. In contrast, toyotism focuses on producing only when the sale is already assured.

To be more precise, Toyotism began to gain ground after the 1973 oil crisis when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided not to continue exporting crude to nations that had supported Israel in the Yom Kippur War. . This retaliatory measure led to an increase in oil prices and, consequently, a sharp rise in inflation. Other effects of this crisis were increased unemployment and low economic growth.

In this context, Toyotism became the system with which Japan raised its industry, reaching the country of the rising sun a great development in a few decades.

Characteristics of toyotism

Among the characteristics of toyotism we can highlight:

  • Only the goods that have been requested are manufactured, avoiding overproduction.
  • Encourage teamwork instead of isolated work.
  • High employee turnover so that they learn to perform various tasks. This means that the worker will become multifunctional, being able to handle different machines, for example. This, unlike Fordism where it was sought to specialize the workforce in small specific processes (specialization of work).
  • The reduction in warehouse costs could allow this loss to be passed on to the consumer with a lower price.
  • Managers and employees make joint decisions and are flexible to the different requirements of each order.
  • The production phases are not divided into isolated tasks for each worker or area. The idea is that all employees have knowledge of the production process from start to finish. Thus, greater flexibility is achieved so that quick responses can be given in the start-up of the manufacture of the product.

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