Keith Turnbull is executive vice president of the Alcoa Business
System and is in charge of implementing ABS throughout Alcoa. He
discusses the importance of creating a coherent, understandable system
based upon the principles of the Toyota Production System.
Here are some of the questions he answered:
- Have your competitors taken notice of your performance since Alcoa
embraced a pull system?
- How have you gone about adopting lean?
- Given the size of your processes, how difficult was it for your
company to adopt a new production system?
- Is the Alcoa Production System grounded in the broader ideas of
- How do you deal with basic lean principles such as takt time and
- How different is your operation today than it was when you first
started implementing the Toyota Production System?
- With the Toyota Production System, is there a difficult transition
to make between automobiles and aluminum?
- Does it cost much to do this?
- How hard is it to use the same machinery and convert it to
production on a "pull" basis?
- Are you pushing the lean concept into your supply base?
- How specifically do you learn the Toyota Production System?
- Do you pay Toyota for your training?
- From your perspective, are there companies that have done the
Toyota Production System well in the United States?
- How has Alcoa managed to save $1.1 billion using TPS?
- How have you categorized the savings?
- Do you measure inventory turns?
- What are your inventory turns?
- And those are improving?
- How long before you get the Toyota Production System installed at
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