Operations Improvement Plan
Sunday, April 03, 2015
MBA- 6022 – Strategic Operations Management
Toyota is one of the largest makers of automobiles with 7.4 million vehicles sold each year on five different continents. It has the unique advantage of being the best Japanese brand sold in the United States and to be number one in Europe (Taylor, 2010).
On September 29, 2009, Toyota recalled 3.8 million U.S. vehicles, and on January 16, 2010, another 2.3 million more were recalled for what was determined years after the initial complaint of a “stuck accelerator pedals.” (Greto, 2010) After Toyota’s executives were called to congress and forced to stop selling their cars, the U.S. fined Toyota with a 16.4 million dollar civil penalty. In addition, Toyota Motor Corp., in December 2012, agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a class-action lawsuit stemming from complaints of unintended acceleration in its vehicles that soured its reputation for quality and undermined its sales globally. (Ramsey, 2012) Three processes were identified within Toyota that will benefit from improvement: 1) Leadership, 2) Quality Management, and 3) Communication. Communication was selected as the process for improvement. Project Management Institute (2013) reports that Business research from Forbes, Price Waterhouse Coopers LLC and Towers Watson proves that companies are aware of the positive impact that effective communications have on projects, programs, and portfolios. The report states that without an effective communication plan, the potential effects are negative. The purpose of this paper is to create an improved communication plan for Toyota by reviewing the current communication strategy and identifying the areas of opportunity. Developing an effective strategy will allow Toyota the ability to execute an Operations Improvement Plan (OIP) project. The Operations Improvement Plan will highlight a description of Toyota’s issues, a fact-finding analysis based on data obtained from who, what, where, why, and how questions. This analysis will reveal the root cause of the problem. The plan will also include numerous flowcharts and tables that will illustrate before and after scenarios as well as the improvement scope. Lastly, a review of data collection tools and techniques, highlighting examples of specific tools used to collect data. History
Toyota’s headquarters was established in, Aichi, Japan, and produced its first passenger car in 1936 (Greto, Schotter, & Teagarden, 2010). Toyota Motor Corporation was created as an independent company in 1937, and began supplying trucks for the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. After the World War II, Toyota almost fell to bankruptcy, however was saved by a large order of vehicles purchased by the U.S. military. Toyota Motor Sales Inc. was created, in 1957, after Toyota established sales, marketing, and distribution divisions in the United States. The company’s innovative business strategy led to partnerships with General Motors including building a plant in California. Defining the Problem Statement
Toyota’s ability to communicate was sub-par and extremely ineffective during the accelerator crisis. It was this lack of communication that left top executives in the dark when countless claims were filled regarding the accelerator crisis.
In order to avoid future recall crisis’s Toyota must improve their communication strategy to consist of a more timely approach and acknowledgment when claims are filed. This will allow full transparency, providing stakeholders a clear picture on the current issues as well as the status of each issue. Some measured effects of such an ineffective communication strategy are recalls, and fatalities. In September of 2009, 3.8 million cars were recalled, and less then 6 months later, in January 2010, another 2.3 million more cars were recalled due to quality issues not...
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