Operations Improvement Plan
Strategic Operations Management
Instructor: Dr. Zhimin Huang
This operation improvement plan is to help improve the internal communication process at Toyota between their employees and management. There has been a loss of ideas and knowledge, which is a complete violation of their founding principles defined in the Toyota Way. With the suggested recommendations, Toyota can once again reclaim its dominance in the world automobile market while at the same time improving their operational efficiency and quality.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Toyota’s Key Challenges
Analysis of Data and Findings
Summary of Recommendations
The Toyota Motor Corporation has experienced numerous setbacks the past decade including lawsuits, damaged corporate reputation and eroding consumer confidence. Although many different processes can be to blame for this, ultimately it is Toyota’s upper management that has to be held accountable for the decisions made. One of the contributing factors to these poor decisions is the breakdown in the concept of continuous improvement due ideas and knowledge shared by employees not being embraced by management. This is a violation of the Toyota Way and Toyota needs to return to their roots. Data around Toyota’s employees has been collected to support the fact that internally Toyota treats its employees’ average compared to other global companies. Employees cited poor leadership and lack of direction as major complaints. External to Toyota, there is data to show that Toyota’s consumers feel similar feelings in that Toyota doesn’t show the proper respect to them and this is reflective in Consumer Reports review of Toyota. This communication process can be improved with the implementation of a knowledge management system (KMS). The KMS will help Toyota return to its roots and help to improve employee empowerment, productivity and the concept of continuous improvement.
According to Greto, Schotter & Teagarden (2010), Toyota was established in 1933. The main form of business for the company leading into World War II was the manufacturing of trucks for the Imperial Japanese Army. Shortly after the war, Toyota was on the brink of bankruptcy until an order from the U.S. military during the Korean War helped to revive the company. Recognizing a growing market across seas, Toyota expanded into the United States markets during the early 60s and grew very rapidly over the next few decades. During this growth Toyota spread out into other industries such as aerospace, higher education, robotics, finance and so forth. They also revolutionized the manufacturing industries and other industries with their pioneering philosophy called the Toyota Way, which was essentially a lean process that focused on quality and efficiency. “The Toyota Way mandates planning for the long term; highlighting problems instead of hiding them; encouraging team work with colleagues and suppliers; and, perhaps most importantly, instilling a self-critical culture that fosters continuous and unrelenting improvement” (Greto, Schotter & Teagarden, 2010, pg. 3). Somewhere along the way, Toyota in an effort to become the top automobile manufacturer globally strayed away from their core values. The result has been a decade of disappointment during the 2000s that has resulted in overambitious initiatives by management that was driven by short-term gains, dysfunctional management, overstretched...
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