Process Improvement: Using Toyota's A3 Reports

Quality Management Journal vol. 16 issue 4 - October 2009

Abstract: [This abstract is based on the author’s abstract.] Toyota created A3 reports as a means of identifying and solving problems. These reports, printed on a single sheet of paper, are an effective tool because in addition to text, they contain pictures, diagrams, and charts to improve communication. However, no study has as yet been published explaining how to implement A3 reports in manufacturing. This study examines how A3 reports were implemented in a successful process improvement project in aircraft maintenance and repair operations. The duration of the improvement effort is approximately four weeks and is divided into four distinct phases. Additional research is suggested to demonstrate the effectiveness of A3 reports in reducing waste and creating value.

Keywords: Lean manufacturing; Process improvement; Six Sigma; Goldratt's Theory of Constraints (TOC); Toyota Production System (TPS)

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