Toyota: Operations Management Essay

Toyota: Operations Management Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 2114

  • Pages: 8

Toyota: Operations Management

The overlying mission of The Toyota Motor Corporation is to “develop and provide innovative, safe and outstanding high quality products and services that meet a wide variety of customers’ demands to enrich the lives of people around the world” (TMC, 2006). In order to ensure that each and every segment of TMC excels in this mission, a number of principles and philosophies have been outlined in order to meet the corporation objectives in the most beneficial manner, demonstrating enhanced efficacy.

Problem Statement Safety standards, quality assurance, dedication to customer loyalty, and total quality management need to improve within Toyota. Toyota has forgone is best and most noted supply chain principles in order to compete globally, which has affected the overall performance of the company in general and the customer services department most specifically. Background The company implemented the mass production system in 2002 and that is where the problem began (even though there may not have been any physical signs of damage.

By improving the existing management system, they can radically change the reputation and current integrity issues the public has toward Toyota. Total transformation could happen, but there is not guarantee that will fix their current list of issues. It makes the most since to better inform, equip, and train the existing management team. People don’t learn from their mistakes merely by one casting them away, but rather by having the opportunity to rectify any problems and developing a better solution system to handle existing concerns. Continuous Improvement means that one never perceives current success as one’s final achievement.

The company must not ever be satisfied with where they are, but always improve upon the improvements of the business. Every effort must be made to ensure the best ideas and efforts. Toyota must keenly create better alternatives, question their accomplishments and investigate future definitions of success. Greed and monetary lust blinded members of the management team and that always leads to disaster, which is what Toyota experienced when their problems finally hit the surface in 2006 and all the complaints which they chose to ignore from 2000 to 2005 out-shouted Toyota’s voice.

Implications The scope (or implications) of the process improvement objective include dealing with Toyota’s level of focus on efficient supply chain network and the use of competitive edge over other competition. The company’s supply chain management principles have suffered due to greed and a reduction in standard quality for the sake of preserving cost. If Toyota were to continue down it’s the road to the demise of the company, it would not be long before they would cease to exist and only be significantly named as the world’s once largest and leading automobile manufacturer.

Recalls would continue, and the company would lose so much money that it could not maintain its positioning. Toyota would also loose the faith and trust of its customers, employees and investors. Over the past decade we have heard the rash of complaints and issues surrounding the Toyota recalls and response to such. Handling the issue with seats and/or the lack or defect of them and the issue thought to have been related to the TPS system; and publically doing so, would definitely appease Toyota’s audience and customers. Addressing and resolving the CTS brake pedal module would be one thing to tackle promptly.

Toyota should have better monitored the design process and outcome of the CTS brake pedal module issue. The sticky pedal, even though they boasted was one very specialized isolated design issue, was most questionable. Toyota needed to explain the failure of the Toyota production system (based on the number of recalls), but they made no such claims. One key point is that Toyota did not stress its production system beyond its capabilities, but rather it was a failure of management, letting its 15% global market share target overshadow its traditional priorities. Desired Outcome

The desired outcome of the Toyota crisis is that not only does Toyota manage to regain the trust, loyalty, respect and reputation of the masses, but that they exceed their own, their customers and their investors expectation. The dream would be that Toyota out perform all other automobile makers. Ultimately the goals or desire would be that Toyota experiences the fewest recalls of any of the leading automobile manufacturers and offer a product that is safe and effective. The company will need to spearhead reforms to further instill the company’s operations throughout the world with a customer perspective.

Newly appointed quality officers will represent concerns of customers; while representatives from the TMC’s business operations will be present for global committee member meetings. Having a TMC representative present at the global committee member meeting and the regional quality committee member meetings will spearhead comprehensive improvements to the company’s operations; thereby promoting the strengthening of global quality improvement activities. Safety executives will need to participate in recalls and other safety decision making on a global basis.

The goal is to form an optimal and prompt recall decision making process in the US and globally. While the TPS system allowed Toyota a competitive edge, Toyota will need to strengthen its information gathering capacity as it relates to gathering suspected quality problems. Toyota will create more technology offices from one in North America to seven in Europe, six in China, and other offices in other regions. In order to support analysis of the causes of accidents, Toyota, in the US and other regions, will expand the use of event data recorders (EDR’s) which record data pertaining to vehicle condition and driver operation.

In an average year more than 700,000 improvement suggestions were submitted by Toyota’s employees. That is an average of over 10 improvement suggestions per employee per year. What is perhaps most impressive is that over 99% of suggestions were implemented! (hubpages. com) In order to recant from the recent financial payouts and cost of trials, reproduction, employee pay and training, loan repayments (from the government), and process improvement initiatives, Toyota raised the price on most models, such as the Venza and Tundra, in an effort to recoup the cost of some $5 billion plus dollars’ worth of lost.

In September 2011, Toyota resumed full output in North America, ending the period in which production was slowed by a shortage of parts related to the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. Around the same time the company said it would transfer production of the new Camry from Japan to the United States because of the high value of the yen. (factsanddetails. com). The company promises to produce “even better cars that will exceed customers’ expectations”. The Superior fuel efficiency and a touch of class is sure to be the noticeable characteristics of its new cars, industry watchers say.

As consumers, we will just have to wait and anticipate Toyota’s re-progression. Part I: Operations Management Analysis The purpose of this paper is to discuss the flowchart created in the last assignment and how this assignment may improve upon the already existing chart. If there is any additional analysis needed in this process analysis, it will be illustrated within this paper after careful research in order to verify new data. There is information from the fishbone diagram that seems to point to a certain cause or particular step in the flowchart.

That is Quality Control management. The fishbone diagram does conflict with my original flowchart in step, content and focus. The fishbone diagram itself, illustrates how all the inner working of an organization stem from some basic problems stated through a series of steps, but all coming from one main idea. My original diagram was not a fishbone diagram in itself since it lacked the structure and layout as well as content base of the problem analysis scheme.

My corrected fishbone diagram does allude to new processes that were not previously documented because my original diagram lacked more structure and information along with details along the entire process. I probably do not necessarily need to do further research on any causes identified in the fishbone diagram, but rather I will delve deeper into the information I have drawn together to reveal the levels of problem resolution I hope to uncover. The sources I have gathered has in fact changed (or rather enhanced and fine-tuned) my information.

I have been able to better peel back the layers and dissect the underlying problems of Toyota. I made some adjustments to my original problem statement. The people I would consider to be key stakeholders in this process would be customers of Toyota, people that have invested money and time in the Toyota process and workers of the Toyota plant. The customers because they have invested their money into the company and the workers because they make the “Toyota Way” production process happen.

Without these people there would not be a Toyota company with people to service and folks to make service possible. The feedback of the customers is mixed. Some are very happy with their Toyota and all it offers, as well as the response of the company to any needs they have. Most of which have not had any needs outside of their local dealer. The workers benefit from the company’s continued existence and quality performance via maintaining their jobs and achieving promotions and raises. Figure 1 illustrates the revised flowchart.

The flowcharts renders the various processes and each team involved in the process as well as their role in making the whole process come together. Each part has an intricate piece to contribute completing the puzzle of the lean production process. Figure 1 Updated Toyota Quality Management process flowchart Part II: Measurement Strategies I have chosen to utilize the breakthrough strategy. The breakthrough strategy is one that employs companies to actually work on the equipment or issue before it break down or spirals out of control.

The first step is to define the problem. We need to establish who the customers are, what they want and how we go about improving the system enough to meet their needs. Russell & Taylor (2011) states that, “It is important to know which quality attributes are most important to the customer, what the defects are, and what the improved process can deliver. ” The next step is to measure the process, collect the data, and compare the projected data to the present (or current) data. Proper analysis must follow in order to determine the root cause of the problem (or problems).

It is then necessary to get together with the team to come up with possible solutions to resolve the problem, make the necessary changes to tweak the problem, and reanalyzed the results to see if the problems have been resolved. If so, move forward to the next process toward completion. If not, more changes should be made until the desired results are achieved. Lastly, conducting the control phase is crucial since this will reveal whether the process is sustainable and meeting the desired performance levels, (Russell & Taylor, 2011).

Conducting the control phase assures no unexpected or undesirable changes occur. This portion of the paper illustrates the qualitative research measure. This will produced data that has been generated in the research process in the form of textual forms. While quantitative illustrates researched data in the form of numbers, for the sake of time and space, we will focus on contextual data to illustrate our research. The contextual method applies to specific locality or social setting, and negates the census of the total population.

This allows for a more in depth look into the problem. This paper will focus on participant observations, quoted statements, and participatory resources of group-based discussion; as well as visualizations. Measuring the results roughly every three months (or quarterly) should be sufficient enough. I believe the problem statement will only be impacted once the problems are resolved and the problem ceases to exist. Otherwise, the problem statement is most encompassing and specifically names the issues as Quality Control Management. Communication is key in any (and every) process.


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