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Toyota Motor Manufacturing Case Study


What would be done to address quality (“seat” problem)-Doug Friesen

The “seat” problem in Toyota Motor Manufacturing (TMM) Company requires immediate resolution. As evident from the case provided, the condition is worsening and might hinder the productivity of TMM. The company upholds the aspects quality and competitiveness. Thus, it can hardly install defective Camry seats in its new vehicle models due to quality issues (Mishina 1).

As the CEO of the company, Doug Friesen could have done a lot in order to address the quality issues regarding the seat problem. This is a significant provision when considered critically in the Toyota’s context. The processes set to ensure quality provisions within the company should be augmented to ensure that every department addresses quality issues with precision.

The first recommendable action is to order the supplier of Camry seats (Kentucky Framed Seats) to observe quality in its production systems. This will ensure that the seats they supply meet the quality standards set Toyota Corporation. Doug Friesen could have instructed KFS to produce Camry seats with substantial fitting provisions that minimize damages during their installation.

This will allow employees in the seat installation section to uphold quality and minimize the alleged seat damages. Evidently, how some of the seats are made contribute to the damages witnessed during their installation processes. This is quite discouraging and might force the company to change supplier of its required seats.

Additionally, the CEO would have instructed the concerned departments to observe vigilance while handling seats. This will help in upholding the stipulated quality with regard to seat installation. Additionally, Doug Friesen could have proposed the production of other viable seat designs for the concerned vehicles. This would have helped in alleviating the problems noticed with the defective Camry seats (Erjavec 55).

Ability to incorporate the entire production stakeholders and the department of quality assurance could have also helped in curbing the noticed seat problem. It is from this context that the whole problems facing the company could be alleviated. Additionally, it is important to consider the fact that having proficient workforce and seat designers who could make the required none-defective seats could have helped considerably.

As the CEO, Doug Friesen should act cautiously with precision. It is evident that the seat designs and their nature do not allow for effective installation. Liaising with the supplier of Camry seats (Kentucky Framed Seat-KFS) through relevant departments within the organization could equally help in the situation (Mishina 7). In such instances, KFS would obviously adjust its quality systems and change seat design to the better.

This would have solved the alleged seat problem once and for all. Nonetheless, employees were mandated to install the seats cautiously and report all the problems detected during the installation processes. This would have helped in redesigning the seats to suit the new vehicle models produced by Toyota. Contextually, this is an important provision due to its relevancy.

Existing options, Recommendations, and Reasons

There are various options that can help in solving the seat problem presented in the provided case. Firstly, Toyota can change the seat supplier. The company can outsource another firm, which will provide the recommended seats with no defects and at a cheaper cost. This is an imperative provision in the entire production context. It can help in solving the seat problem with promptness.

Additionally, the company will be able to reduce costs and increase profits. However, changing the seat supplier can also interfere with the production processes and efficiency that the company has been embracing. It will take the new supplier a considerable duration to design the new seats, test their viability, and launch their mass production.

Contextually, it is considerable to change the supplier despite the probable challenges mentioned before. It is crucial to consider various aspects of this provision before enacting other inconsiderable measures. This will allow Toyota Motors to explore other new talents in the realms of seat designers, efficacy, and modernity.

Another considerable option in this context is changing the seat design such that the parts that create problems during installation are corrected precisely. It is illogical to damage the seats during installation due to their poor structures (Mishina 3). Despite the needs to grant customers some comfort within the vehicles, the aspects of production should also be considered for viability.

Evidently, it is quite costly to continue attaining faulty seats while the condition can be corrected with utmost precision. Considerably, changing the seat design is a viable option helpful in reducing wastage of resources. This is a significant option when scrutinized critically. Restructuring the concerned seat design will be helpful in augmenting the efficiency of production, reliability, and other relevant business provisions.

Another viable option in this context is the augmentation of quality assurance requirements. It is the mandate of the company to cope with the situation in a positive manner as it sources for viable options helpful in this context. The seat problem should not continue to distract the efficiency of employees since there are efforts on the ground to correct it.

As indicated before, caution during the alleged installation can help considerably in the matter. Additionally, the quality department will ensure that the seats made for installation abide by the quality demands of the company and enhance the efficiency of the workflow. Seats, which are easy to install, will not distract the production and assembly processes.

Concurrently, the company will achieve its quality demands stipulated in this context. It is crucial for TMM to consider this provision in the entire production context in order to remain relevant and competitive in the motor vehicle industry. Managing to execute the demanded duties will equally contribute to the alleged quality provisions and production efficiencies.

Divergence of the present routines from the principles of TPS

The Toyota Production Systems (TPS) has two principles governing its operations in order to attain value, efficacy, suitability, and adjustability to the constantly shifting market demands. Conversely, current practices used to manage faulty seats diverge considerable from the stipulated TPS principles.

The first principle of TPS is JIT (Just-In-Time) where the company intends to produce only what is needed, at the right time, place, and quantity (Mishina 2). This is meant to eradicate wastage of resources and other impracticable production concepts. Evidently, some aspects of the routines used to handle defective seats are incongruent with the JIT principles of quality, efficiency, and appropriateness.

Firstly, rejection of defective seats translates to wastage of resources and valuable production time. Seats should be inspected at the supplier’s site before introducing them into the Toyota’s production systems within the company. By using defective seats, it means that Toyota will be producing what is not needed in the market. Hence, the company will not meet the intended market demands.

Consequently, this will interfere with the viability and appropriateness of the company. Precisely, this provision hardly conforms to the JIT’s quality provisions embraced by TPS. It is important to observe the production duration used by the company in order to understand evident loopholes that characterizes the matter.

The second considerable principle embraced by TPS is the ability to put production systems focused on detecting problems. TPS achieves this by stopping production processes upon detection of any problem within the production systems. This is helpful in curbing problems promptly before they spread within the entire production systems.

Since the routine production systems do not stop their operations even after detecting defective seats, they hardly conform to the provisions of viable corrective measures as demanded by TPS. It is proper to consider such provisions in the business context. It helps in saving time, reducing costs, and improving efficiency.

Considerably, it is the mandate of every organization to uphold the aspects of quality and effective production processes. Since Toyota returns defective seats to KFS for replacements, it is evident that there are considerable delays in the entire production processes. Inability to correct the defective seats in time equally defies the principle of TPS in observing promptness and quality provisions.

Toyota considers the quality of Camry seats used in the new Wagon models produced by the company (Erjavec 55). Since the occurrence of defective seats is a stumbling block to the entire production processes, it is important to agree that there is a massive deviation from TPS’s quality and timely provisions.

Real problem(s) facing Doug Friesen

From the provided case study, it is evident that Doug Friesen is faced by numerous problems. This ranges from managerial prospects to workforce concerns. One major problem that is facing Doug Friesen is the seat problem (Mishina 1). The emergence of defective seats witnessed within the production system is a major problem. It retards the organization’s efficiency and the productivity of the concerned organization.

This necessitates a massive eradication of this problem forever. The way through which Toyota Corporation would solve this problem explicitly is a massive concern to Doug Friesen. He must mediate its viability in various contexts. Additionally, since he is the CEO of the organization, he must react swiftly, cautiously, and meaningfully in order to correct the situation within the required duration and with precision.

This is a considerable option for Doug Friesen, which he must observe carefully. Evidently, he started to investigate the matter by himself in order to have a viable applicability of the matter. Contextually, it is important to eradicate uncertainties, reservations, and apprehensions within the company and beyond.

Another noticeable problem that faces Doug Friesen is how to enhance productivity of the company and deal with the issues of extended work durations. Employees complain of continuous work minus rest. Since there are higher demands for new model vehicles, the company has to increase its productivity in order to grasp the increasing customer demands and other probable provisions.

Proper management and convincing employees to work extensively is of a massive concern to Doug Friesen. Precisely, the need to resolve the “seat” problem, enhance the sale of new vehicle models, advance the company, embrace new vehicle models, and manage employees properly are noticeable problems facing Doug Friesen.

Works Cited

Erjavec, Jack. Automotive Technology: A Systems Approach. Sydney: Thomson/Delmar Learning, 2005. Print.

Mishina, Kazuhiro. Toyota Motor Manufacturing, U.S.A., Inc. Massachusetts, MA: Harvard Business School, 1995. Print.

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