Case ID: 693019
Solution ID: 36834
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Toyota Motor Manufacturing U S A Inc Case Solution


The Production System of Toyota is called TPS (Toyota Production System). It is an acclimatized socio-specialized framework created by Toyota itself. This framework includes the practices and the administration rationality of Toyota. Jjidoka, without a moment to spare (JIT), heijunka, kanban and kaizen are a portion of the principle ideas utilized as a part of TPS. The TPS systematizes strategic and also fabricating forms for Toyota that incorporates communication with every one of the providers and clients. The TPS is really a noteworthy antecedent of the more standard 'incline producing framework'. This Toyota Motor Manufacturing U.S.A. contextual analysis examines the TPS framework in detail and dissects a seat issue that was managed by the administration. In the passages underneath, a detail investigation of the contextual analysis is given by giving responses to the particular inquiries.

KFS was making special deliveries of new seats twice a day to replace the defective seats, but still there were cars with defective seats sitting in overflow lot for over four days. The other seat issues that Mr. Friesen should look into are the problems caused by cross-threading, breaking of the hook, and the delivery of the wrong seat by KFS.

What options exist? What would you recommend? Why? 

There are about five different options that I believe Mr. Friesen could follow. The first is to adjust the seat assembly team. He should determine if there are any changes in employees, processes, or training that need to be made. The second option is to rework the off-line process. There needs to be something done to reduce the number of cars sitting on the overflow lot waiting for new seats. Possibly, a system that notifies employees when a car has been sitting in the overflow lot for more than four hours could be used. This should allow enough time for the correct seat to arrive and the problem fixed. Also, if the employee already knows that the seat needs to be reordered, why can't he reorder it right then. The third option is to redesign the seat to solve the problem of the breaking hook. Mr. Friesen did look into this and found that it would cost KFS $50,000 to redesign the seat. The question here would be how long would it take to recover the cost, is it not worth the cost to redesign it, or is there a better way to solve the hook breakage problem. Another possible solution to this would be to have the employee spend a little more time on installing the bolt through the hook and so will be able to use more caution. The next option is to look at KFS's production process. Why is it that the off-line team sometimes receives the wrong seat type? Does KFS perform a quality check before the seat leaves their company? They should work with KFS to ensure that KFS does a quality check before sending out the seat. The last option is to review the increase in the amount of work since the addition of seat options and the wagon production and find ways to handle it. In this option, it might be necessary to use another supplier to supplement the seats that KFS cannot produce fast enough. I know that all of these have been listed as options, but I believe that they all can be done and should be. The reason for this is that though any of these would help alleviate some of the seat problems and reduce the number of cars with defective seats or the fixing time of them, they actually focus on different pieces of the problem. The theme behind the TPS process is to eliminate all waste and so each of these problems need to be resolved. Therefore to sum up what needs to be done, Mr. Friesen needs to identify the processes that need improvement, gather more data on what the problems are and their causes, and analyze the data to determine what the solution to the problems is. 

Where, if at all, does the current routine for handling defective seats deviate from the principles of the TPS?

As mentioned earlier, TPS relies on JIT and jidoka. The current routine fails to meet either one of these methods. The fact that it does not meet the JIT requirement is seen in the number of cars in the overflow lot. The cars needing a new seat should have the seat arriving just as the car arrives at the Code 1 clinic. However, since the new seat is not ordered until after it reaches the clinic, it must wait until the seat arrives for it to be fixed. The current routine does not follow jidoka because instead of stopping production and waiting for the new seat to arrive and then fixing the seat before production restarts, TMM USA continues with production and fixes the seat problem after the rest of the car is finished. There is one other way in which the current routine has deviated from TPS and that is that no one has tried to figure out what the root cause of the problems are, instead they are just fixing the seat. Because of this TMM continues to increase the number of cars in off-line production and the amount of overtime work required to maintain production numbers.

What is the real problem facing Doug Friesen?

The real problem facing Mr. Friesen is the fact that cars with seat problems are sitting in the overflow lot way too long, which means that the run ratio had dropped from 95% to 85%. Thus there appears to be a problem with the handling of cars through the off-line process. Mr. Friesen needs to determine whether the cause of increase in the number of cars sitting in the overflow lot is caused by the process used for defective and damaged seats, the overall off-line process, or the supplier's ability to meet TMM USA needs.

* Conclusion, recommendations, and criticisms.In conclusion, the seat problem is an issue that should have and could have been solved sooner. It is an example of what can happen when a company makes

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Excel Calculations

Questions Covered

1. Consider the following terms mentioned in the case, jidoka, just-in-time,  heijunka, kanban, kaizen. What role does each of these concepts play in the  Toyota production system, and how do these concepts support/enable each other?

2. Does Toyota respond just-in-time to customer orders? What does it do justin-time?

3. We’ve talked a lot about inventory during the last two classes, particularly  the factors affecting how much inventory we should hold. Lean production  focuses on keeping inventory levels low. In light of what we have discussed  about inventory (and queuing and process analysis, for that matter), what  things are Toyota doing to make this possible.

4. As Doug Friesen, what would you do to address the seat program? Where  would you focus your attention and solution efforts.

5. Where, if at all, does the current procedure for handling defective seats  deviate from TPS principle?