“Layout has numerous strategic implications because it establishes an organization’s competitive priorities in regard to capacity, processes, flexibility and cost, as well as quality of work life, customer contact and image.” I agree this statement and I will use Toyota Motor Corporation to discuss as below:
First of all, I want to introduce some background of Toyota Motor Corporation. Toyota Motor Corporation, commonly known simply as Toyota, is a multinational corporation headquartered in Japan, and the world's largest automaker by sales. Toyota employs approximately 320,808 people worldwide.
The company was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda in 1937 as a spinoff from his father's company Toyota Industries to create automobiles. Three years earlier, in 1934, while still a department of Toyota Industries, it created its first product, the Type A engine, and, in 1936, its first passenger car, the Toyota AA. Toyota also owns and operates Lexus and Scion brands and has a majority shareholding stake in Daihatsu and Hino Motors, and minority shareholdings in Fuji Heavy Industries, Isuzu Motors, Yamaha Motors, and Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation. The company includes 522 subsidiaries. Toyota is headquartered in Toyota City, Aichi and in Tokyo. In addition to manufacturing automobiles, Toyota provides financial services through its division Toyota Financial Services and also builds robots. Toyota Motor Corporation (including Toyota Financial Services) and Toyota Industries form the bulk of the Toyota Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the world.
On May 8, 2009, Toyota reported a record annual net loss of US$4.4 billion, making it the latest automobile maker to be severely affected by the 2007-2009 financial crisis.
In my opinion, we can understand the competitive priorities as to satisfy customer. In Toyota, they would achieve this by various manufacturing method. One of the method is Lean Manufacturing.
Lean manufacturing or lean production, which is often known simply as "Lean", is a production practice that considers the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer to be wasteful, and thus a target for elimination. Working from the perspective of the customer who consumes a product or service, "value" is defined as any action or process that a customer would be willing to pay for. Basically, lean is centered around creating more value with less work. Lean manufacturing is a generic process management philosophy derived mostly from the Toyota Production System (TPS). It is renowned for its focus on reduction of the original Toyota seven wastes in order to improve overall customer value, but there are varying perspectives on how this is best achieved. The steady growth of Toyota, from a small company to the world's largest automaker, has focused attention on how it has achieved this.
Lean manufacturing is a variation on the theme of efficiency based on optimizing flow; it is a present-day instance of the recurring theme in human history toward increasing efficiency, decreasing waste, and using empirical methods to decide what matters, rather than uncritically accepting pre-existing ideas. As such, it is a chapter in the larger narrative that also includes such ideas as the folk wisdom of thrift, time and motion study, Taylorism, the Efficiency Movement, and Fordism. Lean manufacturing is often seen as a more refined version of earlier efficiency efforts, building upon the work of earlier leaders such as Taylor or Ford, and learning from their mistakes.
To implement lean manufacturing, Toyota use Just-in-time to achieve it. Just-in-time (JIT) is an inventory strategy that strives to improve a business's return on investment by reducing in-process inventory and associated carrying costs. To meet JIT objectives, the process relies on signals or Kanban between different points in the process, which tell production when to make the next...