When Toyota met e-commerce: Lean at Amazon | Marc Onetto

See on Scoop.itlean manufacturing
“The spirit of lean management was already at Amazon when I arrived in 2007. Since the day he created Amazon, Jeff Bezos has been totally customer-centric. He knew that customers would not pay for waste—and that focus on waste prevention is a fundamental concept of lean. The company’s information technology was always very good at understanding what the customer wanted and passing the right signal down. ”

Michel Baudin‘s comments:

Read this article for a personal account from Amazon’s vice president of worldwide operations and customer service through 2013.

The title is misleading, in that the article is not about any assessment of Amazon by Toyota, and the connection between the Amazon practices Onetto describes and TPS or Lean are tenuous.

For example, a service agent taking a product off the website based on repetitive customer complaints on quality is described as “pulling the Andon cord,” which is a far-fetched metaphor.

An Andon cord, or stop rope, is supposed to be pulled whenever an operator notices anything wrong during the production process. It is not a response to repeated customer complaints and it does not result in pulling the product off the line.

Linking Amazon’s approach to Toyota is unnecessary. Amazon has been doing a great job; it is leading the world in e-commerce, an activity that is outside Toyota’s expertise. It is Amazon’s own approach, and they might as well call it the “Amazon Production System.”

See on www.mckinsey.com