In order to produce world-class, quality automobiles at competitive price levels, Toyota has developed an integrated approach to production which manages equipment, materials, and people in the most efficient manner while ensuring a healthy and safe work environment (Toyota web page). The Toyota Production System is built on two main principles: Just-In-Time" production (the manufacturing and conveyance of only “what is needed, when it is needed, and in the amount needed), and "Jidoka." (to the ability to stop production lines, by man or machine, in the event of problems such as equipment malfunction, quality issues, or late work). Underlying this management philosophy and the entire Toyota production process is the concept that "Good Thinking Means Good Product." From the systems perspective, the human infrastructure is a set of processes and structures within TPS. Key elements of that human infrastructure are: a. Effective utilization of every member’s time.
b. Total participation at all levels
c. Encouragement of ingenuity
Toyota has developed a system where the human infrastructure works harmoniously with the rest of the operating system. Some of the attributes of Toyota’s human infrastructure are intensive training, rapid problem solving skills, and teamwork. The expectation was that problems will be solved promptly, completely, and systematically. A review of the Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky, Plant case indicates the above key elements of human infrastructure were evident at various degrees. TMM did receive intensive training from TMC, starting a year ahead of plant opening, one-on-one, as well as having TMC trainers remain in Kentucky for a few years. However, as indicated in the case, team member’s time was not always effectively utilized. In some tasks, such as when a car had a seat problem the team leader pulled the andon cord to signal Ok and then tagged the car to alert Quality and moving the car to the Code 1 clinic area to see...
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