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Total Quality Management in Toyota Case Solution

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Toyota Motor Corporation is a Japanese-based carmaker Toyota. Toyota is the biggest automaker in the world ahead of both Volkswagen Group and General Motors (Toyota, 2015). It sold 9.98 million vehicles as per the financial statements for the year 2014-2015 (Toyota, 2015). The company’s product manufacturing includes robots, buses, cars, and trucks and is the fifth-largest company in the world. It has significant market shares in Europe, the USA, as well as in Africa. In Australia, the company is the market leader. It also holds significant market shares in several southeast Asian countries. Toyota’s production system is a leading factor for the company that has resulted in Toyota being realized as a leader in the automobile manufacturing and production industry.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. Introduction

  2. Toyota Production System

  3. Total Quality Management at Toyota

  4. Conclusion

Case Analysis for Total Quality Management in Toyota Case Solution

It became known as TPS in 1970 but was established much earlier by Taiichi Ohno (Kakuro, 2002). Based on the principles of Jidoka and Just-in-time, the system is a key factor in the reduction of inventories and defects in the plants of Toyota and its suppliers (Jayaram, Das, & Nicolae, 2010). The production system of the company emphasizes on continuous improvement which is a resultant of employee engagement in the company. This system is exemplified as a benchmark of the highest level for companies in the automotive sector (Bounds, 2004). The paper discusses the implementation of Total Quality Management at Toyota’s large production system.

2. Toyota Production System

Toyota has harbingered a production system that is termed as Toyota Production System. The system aims to:

  • Seek the cooperation of the people, since he could not do without them, training them to work best in achieving the objectives of the company. It makes them responsible (Donald, 2006).

  • Company customer focus. Systematic and comprehensive of everything that does not add value to the customer (waste) search. She goes to work to all people and trained and motivated to eliminate it (Bounds, 2004).

The results obtained and the contributions over the years have been spectacular. One can see on the competitiveness of their companies. Methodologies and tools that initially applied to the production environment have transcended all areas of the company, leading to management model is known as Total Quality (Steers & Shim, 2013). This fact is reflected in a gradual redefinition of the concept of quality in parallel to new ideas that take place at every stage and in every region.

3. Total Quality Management at Toyota

Total quality management is a process of quality management whose objective is to obtain a broad mobilization and involvement of the entire company to achieve perfect quality by reducing the maximum waste and continuously improving the output member. The Toyota quality system includes seven key features throughout the supply chain (Steers & Shim, 2013). Reduce setup times by reviewing and organization of procedures and allow employees to create their own stations; produce in small batches to take advantage of reduced installation time to expand capacity to produce a variety of products on the same line; train employees through continuous training and the addition of responsibilities, encouraging them to treat other employees as clients and involve the participation of the team leader and one of the workers on the line; upholding source quality by empowering manufacturing line employees. These employees can not only diagnose occurring problems, but also possess the skills and competencies to solve the problems at that moment. They do this by making quality circles at the point a problem occurs. This helps in effective time saving because the employees are competent and also empowered to solve problems; keeping the computer as a primary tool for quality maintenance, with frontline workers monitoring equipment, so that they are in the best position to diagnose and repair problems as they occur; maintaining a consistent flow of communication bottom up and top down in the production line to offer only the required amount of equipment and material needed to keep the line flowing, minimizing inventory work; and engaging suppliers through training and taking responsibility for delivering their products to the main line, with the same level of quality and efficiency that the main line strives for (Chalice, 2007).

Jidoka

The general translation of the word Jidoka is "automation combined with a human aspect" that is derived from power looms and operators of Sakichi. Jidoka is a significant part of the essence of total quality management implemented in the Toyota production system (Kakuro, 2002). With the occurrence of problems in the production line, the production line is paused. This prevents the defective parts from entering into manufacturing. This results in minimization of defect rates (Schonberger, 2007). Operators possess the skills to handle several machines at one time. If a machine breaks or is faulty, the operators alert the technicians so that the machine can be repaired. While they continue to track the performance of other machines enabling the process to flow smoothly (Schonberger, 2007).

  • Just-In-Time – Just-in-time is an implication of the Jidoka system. This is because it allows the workers to take suitable actions for what is needed at the right time ("Just-in-Time"). In the Toyota production system, the "kanban" method is adopted from the model developed for supermarkets. Walmart has applied the Kanban successfully in which the supplies are ordered as well as delivered when the need arises. In the TPS, the spare parts supplies use the Kanban approach by just-in-time delivery and do not require large quantity of inventory storing (Steers & Shim, 2013). This results in inventory costs being significantly reduced and also allows workers to exercise greater control on product quality. This is because workers inspect small batches that decreases the chance of errors and defects (Colledani, et al., 2012).

  • The Human Element – the human element stands as the most important component of the quality efforts at Toyota because it integrates the system into a whole. The company not only encourages but also requires employees to participate in the development of the process and the betterment of the system (Amasaka, 2007). The pursuit of perfection is continuous and endless. However, it does not imply that mistakes and errors done by the human element are punished. The only emphasis is on progress and learning benchmarks that highlights the aspect of improvement in the human element as well along with the production aspect (Zeng, Phan, & Matsui, 2007). This system also dramatically affects labor relations. Workers are empowered and inculcated in the goal of improvement to the extent that they state what they require in order to perform efficiently. This includes raw material and demands of process flexibility and adjustments. It might also include the demand for the modernization of equipment to developing skills and vocational training. The administration provides assistance by allocating capital and imparting training and instructions according to the need (Shim & Steers, 2012).

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