In this study I will explain the facts of the outsourcing operation of Toyota with Keane. Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), the US division of Toyota Worldwide that handles marketing, sales, distribution, production and customer service for the auto maker, decided it was time to upgrade what was now becoming an outdated IT system. The company wanted to streamline operations, improve business relationships, and ensure continued growth in 2000. So it began an aggressive IT update initiative that quickly became more than it could handle internally. The project involved simultaneous development of six major IT and data software initiatives. And TMS soon discovered it needed all its IT personnel for this task. But how could it also manage the day-to-day projects that keep the car maker competitive? There was simply more work than people to do it. “We needed our best people on these new projects but couldn’t abandon our day-to-day projects,” says Brian Mason, national manager of Application Management Services for TMS, which oversees operations of more than 1400 Toyota and Lexus dealerships in the US and employs 8500. “In the car business, production is king and we have to maintain vehicle and parts flow. That’s our revenue stream. It is critical to customer service, especially in a soft economy. We have to balance customer requirements against economies of scale,” he adds. It was clear that TMS needed to outsource; the priority was to make certain the outsourcer could provide good, competent, daily support to keep the company’s technology – which was both diverse and unique to the industry — running smoothly. The service provider also had to incorporate changes developed by TMS’ IT staff in manufacturing, management, and warehouse processing. This led them (again) to Keane.
Keane Rides to the Rescue
TMS looked at three different firms but had done business with Keane previously to support its financial services side. “They knew how we did...
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