Andrew Koenig’s thirst for knowledge is palpable. While still in college, the CEO of the thriving and ubiquitous City Furniture, which is based in Fort Lauderdale and operates nearly two dozen Florida showrooms, traveled more than halfway across the world to learn about excellence in production from the best: Toyota. Just as hungry companies (such as Toyota’s Lexus division, not incidentally) seek to emulate Ritz-Carlton, a company renowned for its service, savvy businesses like City Furniture, in this case represented by a precocious Koenig, flew to Toyota City, Japan, to see what could be absorbed about so-called lean production. “I read a book called ‘The Machine That Changed the World,’ and it highlights the differences between Toyota and the other automobile manufacturers,” Andrew recalls. “This was about 20 years ago, and I kept reading more and more about Toyota and researching what a phenomenal organization they were, so during a spring break when I was in college, I asked my father if he could get me a tour of Toyota City.” His father is Keith Koenig, the chairman of City Furniture who cofounded the business with his late brother, Kevin, and has a strong network of connections, to say the least. The elder Koenig knew Jim Moran, who was considered the most important American to make Toyota so surpassingly successful in America, starting the late 1960s. To Andrew, the Toyota City experience was nothing short of revelatory: “I got to see that everything I’d read was real,” he says. “It changed my life.”