Lean Blog Audio — Covid-19: Don’t Blame Toyota or “Just in Time” for Your Risky Supply Chain Strategy


I normally love the public radio program “Marketplace” and have listened to it (on radio or as a podcast) for 15 years or so.

But, I was very disappointed with this recent piece, which you can read here:

“Just-in-time” manufacturing model challenged by COVID-19

Yes, many factories have been shut down in China, which disrupts global supply chains. However, if you’re a company that decided to move all of your production to China (to then ship out to customers around the world), that wasn’t a “Lean” strategy.

It’s really difficult to support “just in time” delivery over such long distances. If it were a “Lean” approach to move all of your production to China, then Toyota would have done that. But, Toyota didn’t.

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