Superstorm Sandy relief, lean, and Toyota

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 07-07-13

This video is great in many ways. First, it’s a great demonstration of how simple lean can be. While it doesn’t capture all of the essence or the experience behind some of the simple improvements, it does show how simple the improvements can be.

Second, it demonstrates that when lean is combined with a compelling vision (in this case, feeding people after Superstorm Sandy), it can create a fantastic result. They really helped a lot of people through this.

Third, and this is more personal, but one of the Toyota guys featured is friend and former Chrysler colleague Jamie Bonini, who I only seem to run into at airports lately. Toyota shows just another way at how it engages the community with resources such as Jamie.



  • The video clearly shows how little things can make a big difference, and that put a bunch of small improvements add up to a big benefit.

    It also shows Toyota cares more than most people realize, just how many big companies have paid staff running around helping charities?

    Robert Drescher July 8, 2013 at 11:36 am
  • He he 🙂 The community seems to get more and more important to those in it. But maybe the clients should be put more in focus?

    I am not saying that you are not putting your clients forward, but in my opinion it is important to not run the whole Lean gig as a theoretical excercise among experts – it must be feeded out to the companies needing it.

    Aside from these thought, I really do like the video and your posting 😉

    Jørgen Winther July 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm
  • This is a very cool solution in an arena where innovative heads seldom enter. Kudos to the food bank and to Jamie and the Toyota people for not only improving a benificent service but for teaching some methods that can carry the providers further in the future.

    Jim Flinchbaugh July 8, 2013 at 8:35 pm
  • Jorgen,

    I agree that the lean community, like any community, can sometimes focus more on theory than application. But the community as a whole, in my experience, is about focusing on application. That’s certainly where my focus is day in and day out. I also thought that was the intent of this video – to show application. I’m not sure if your comment was related to my post, or just a general announcement to the lean community.

    Jamie Flinchbaugh July 8, 2013 at 9:13 pm
  • Robert,

    It does show how Toyota does reach out to help the communities they work and live and sell in. They aren’t the only company that does this. Many do, they just don’t get to advertise it quite so well.

    Jamie Flinchbaugh July 8, 2013 at 9:15 pm
  • Wonderful story. TSSC also has done great work feeding more people at soup kitchens, again, by using simple improvements with the involvement of people doing the work. Thanks for posting.

    Chet Marchwinski July 8, 2013 at 10:10 pm
  • The New York Times does more coverage of how Toyota helps the communities it sells in:

    Jamie Flinchbaugh July 31, 2013 at 11:56 am