Case #5 (Optional)
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Co.
1. As Doug Friesen, what would you do to address the seat problem? Where would you focus your attention and solution efforts?
If I was Doug I would look at when the seat problem began. When Toyota introduced the new wagon model along with eight other seat variations compared to the original five. Also, volume increased significantly as demand did. Now the plant was producing for the world market, Europe and Japan/Middle East added a combined total of 28 variations alone
2. What options exist? What would you recommend? Why?
Toyota has several options when looking at resolving this problem. To address this problem I would look to see if these many variations are feasible for a company like KFS to handle. Expanding from ...view middle of the document...
This hook has been breaking frequently causing issues. The cost to modify the tool would cost the supplier KFS $50,000. This problem has been getting better though.
When looking at defects data, a major issue throughout the day was material flaws. This is where Doug needs to show concern. This defect isn’t happening at the TMM plant, but from the supplier KFS. Toyota prizes itself in quality and the lack of the materials being flawed is helping contribute to the seat issues.
3. Where, if at all, does the current routine for handling defective seats deviate from the principles of the Toyota Production System?
Toyota follows the same routine for handling all other defects except when it comes to the seats, because they are manufactured at the other plant, KFS. Toyota follows the TPS system using jidoka meaning “any production problems instantly self-evident and stop producing whenever problems were detected.” For instance using this system if the part was off they would pull the and on and try to fix the problem on the spot or stop the whole production until it is handled. However, when referring to a wrong or defective seat the assembly line keeps moving, they just notify QC of the issue so that it can be fixed at the end of the car assembly. Toyota justifies using this different method because the car can still be completed with the wrong seat and the timeliness of fixing the problem considering seats aren’t made in house.
4. What is the real problem facing Doug Friesen?
I believe that the real problem facing Doug is quality of seats being received from the supplier, KFS. Doug has to deal with the commuting problem of the two plants not being connected, so the least trips possible are a major concern. Having to have KFS send extra seats because of their lack of material quality is hurting the Toyota plant.