Toyota is one of the leading automotive manufacturers that is famous for its focus on quality and sustainability. The company has received numerous awards, which can be regarded as the acknowledgment of its effort (Toyota, 2016; Golden Peacock Awards®, 2016). I believe the high quality of the products is largely ensured by the self-assessment system used in the organization. According to the Business Excellence Institute (2015), self-assessment is one of the key elements of the production cycle. This procedure enables organizations to detect issues at the stage of development and eliminate them, which reduces costs and ensures quality. The lean production system utilized at Toyota facilities encourages employees to work as a team and focus on continuous improvement (“TMHE Improves Efficiency & Quality,” 2011). Every employee can (and is encouraged) to stop the production cycle at any stage if a defect is detected. The cause of the problem is then identified, and the problem is eliminated. Thus, employees work hard to provide the highest quality as they can be rewarded for detecting a defect and penalized for concealing or causing it.
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Toyota’s self-assessment system has proved to be effective as Toyota cars are safe and reliable although some issues appeared in the past. The recalls that took place in 2009 were associated with unintended acceleration that could be caused by displaced driver’s mats. Many people can see 2009 recalls as an illustration of certain flaws in the self-assessment system. However, I believe this is only another example of how a company should act in certain situations. It is impossible to predict all issues. However, if some issues occur it is the company’s responsibility to make sure that people will not get hurt and the products will be improved. The self-assessment system involves a meticulous examination of each item by a team of professionals (“Toyota Mirai 2015,” 2015). Some issues can only be revealed during the continuous use of the product. It is also noteworthy that there is a lot of controversy concerning the causes of unintended acceleration as well as the validity of customers’ claims. I believe the self-assessment system is not compromised since the problems that occurred in 2009 are now taken into account, and Toyota employees make sure that possible errors made will not occur again.
I believe Toyota has numerous opportunities for improvement via its self-assessment system. The company has developed a comprehensive self-assessment system that ensures the high quality of products and continuous improvement (“2011 new Toyota Yaris video,” 2011). As has been mentioned above, the company’s employees are encouraged to detect any flaws and come up with strategies to eliminate any defects. As far as the continuous improvement is concerned, regular cross-functional meetings play an essential role in this process. Professionals in different areas can collaborate to develop effective and innovative ways to address various issues detected during the self-assessment process. At the same time, there are certain limitations as some issues can be detected during the continuous use of the product. However, I would not call those issues defects. The first vehicles were considerably less comfortable, fast, and efficient. Only years of use and research are leading to innovation, progress, and improvement. However, self-assessment is also a good platform for improvement. The issues detected and innovations developed translate into various standards that are followed during self-assessment. Therefore, self-assessment and research/innovation are interrelated processes or even segments of the production cycle.
2011 New Toyota Yaris video. Maintaining the highest levels if built-in quality. (2011). Web.
Golden Peacock Awards®. (2016). Web.
The Business Excellence Institute. (2015). BEX sustainable business excellence framework. Web.
Toyota. (2016). Toyota Kirloskar Motor wins the Golden Peacock Award 2015 for excellence in corporate social responsibility (GPACSR). Web.
Toyota Mirai 2015: Il quality control. (2015). Web.