Management and Organisational Problems Created When Toyota Motor Sales, Usa, Relied on Its Corporate Customer Information System and Management Decisions Taken to Solve This Problem.

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Ambitions and targets are something which everybody owns. But not everyone has the same ambition. To some, becoming a pilot is an ambition, while to some doing Doctorate is an ambition. Similarly owning and driving Toyota Lexus is an ambition of many people. But ambitions of these are not easy to achieve. There are thousands of people who fancy owning a Toyota Lexus, as we all know how costly it is and affording a Lexus is not easy. When we study this case we came to know that they were encountered by a data administration problem, when they started posting cheques equivalent to $400 to the customers who were not eligible or never owned Toyota Lexus. Those cheques were issued to compensate the tyre replacement for Toyota Lexus customers only. The seriousness of this problem can be assumed by this fact that those cheques were send to those customers as well who never owned Toyota Lexus since a while. And the worst part was that they came to knew about this problem when one of the cheques was received by the Auditor of Toyota Motor Sales USA who no longer owned the vehicle.

Following is a case study which emphasises on the value of money for the customer services and also on the importance of accurate data administration by keeping it organised in an efficient way.

Research and Analysis:

Toyota Lexus believed in high customer’s services and satisfaction and in pursue to achieve that they contacted the owners of the vehicle, pick up their vehicle for servicing and provided a courtesy car. And after servicing their vehicle they would wash the vehicle, fill up the fuel and return it to the customers as a good will gesture. Customer service of such intense level was made achievable by the help of Toyota Motor Sale’s Corporate Information System. This system was accessed and processed by Toyota’s call centre in Iowa to provide customers with warranty, roadside assistance, prepaid maintenance etc. This was all done in order to assure high quality customer service, boost up sales and profits and achieve organisational targets.

Problems Occurred:

But in 1998, Toyota Motor Sales USA (TMS) came across a data administration problem when they started issuing cheques for more that $400 to customers who never owned a Lexus or either they owned it before. This problem is a worst nightmare for any company because nobody would want to throw money like this. Luckily one of the cheques made its way to the Toyota’s auditor who was the previous owner of a Lexus. It was only then when they realised they are facing a failure with Corporate Customer Information System. This was a technical problem which should have been fixed earlier and it occurred because of the overloaded system because information systems have a limited capacity to store the data. If data exceed the provided limit it is obvious that it will crash. Another cause of the problem was the sensitiveness of the software by placing the right data in the wrong place. But unfortunately this was not only the problem they were also dealing with the shortage of time because they wanted minimise the duration of time to solve a particular query. Because the Customer Information System which Toyota Motor Sales USA was working under the principle of logical organisation.

‘Logical Organisation Integrates data from several different locations and is how the user sees the data’.

(McLeod, Raymond-Management Information Systems, 1998)

The data inside the system was stored in 14/15 different locations across the company and it was used to solve the customer’s query and for that call centre staff members had to open 4 or 5 different application to access the customers details from the database. This process was very much time taking because customer had to wait on the telephone so that call centre staff can access their data before the query is being solved. This was a bad impression for the customers because Toyota Lexus claimed gold plated service. Another problem they...
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