Toyota is an automotive company with its headquarters in Aichi, Japan. It employs 364,445 employees all over the world. In 2017, it was ranked the second largest automotive manufacturer globally. Currently, it leads in the manufacture of hybrid electric cars and the hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. The company was founded in 1937 and the first automobile manufacturer to produce 10 million cars in just one year. In 2018, it was ranked 6th globally regarding revenue. It generated 260.8 billion US dollars (Mansour & Clodic, 2012). Its success to stay at the top in such a competitive industry is attributed to its flexible structure through the adoption of a management information system that allows smooth running of operation in the main plant. The major competitors of Toyota Company are the Honda, BMW, Volkswagen Company, Nissan and Ford.
The company has a wide range of products such as SUVs, Trucks, luxury and sport utility vehicles, buses, engines for hybrid cars such as Prius. It has subsidiaries such as a Daihatsu motor which manufactures mini-vehicles and Hino Motors which makes buses and trucks.
The cars produced vary in price and design to fit every individual. For instance, those clients that are cost sensitive can but vehicles such as sedans. Their cost of maintenance is low. For those who don't mind about spending, they have the option of choosing luxury cars such as Lexus. Another factor that has made it grow is because it is customer-oriented (Monden, 2011). Extensive research is conducted on the market to determine what the preference of the public.
Regulatory issues facing Toyota Company
Toyota Company has had some legal problems, but the major one was in 2009. It car models had a defect on the accelerator. As a result, some of the accidents that had happened were pointed to the design of the throttle. When a family of three was killed in a road accident, the company decided to take back approximately 14 million cars for the error to be rectified (Monden, 2011). However, lawsuits against the company still followed. Pressure from the public and the Congress forced the company to admit the mistake and recalled all those models that had the fault.
Role of information system in Toyota Company
The Toyota production system has played a crucial role in improving the company's manufacturing process and ensuring the company widens its gap with its competitors. It is used in the production plant, and it combines the Jidoka and just-in-time tools. The just in time manages the network of supply chain and the production system. It also monitors how the items are flow and labeled. The Judoka tool help in enhancing the visual control process.
Inefficiency in Toyota Company
Toyota has an excellent leadership was crucial in ensuring the company adopts the right strategies to survive in the competitive industry. However, its leadership showed a weakness when it produced cars with default accelerators during the 2009 incidents. They took an affirmative decision when they got pressure from the public and when suits against them were filed. The error showed that there was an error that went on undetected during the design of the accelerator and manufacturing of the device.
In 2012, another recall took place, 7.4 million cars were removed from the market by the company because of fault on the window switch. The switches were melting hence posing a danger of causing a fire.
The recalling generated negative publicity. The error was seen as lack of visibility by the top officials of the company. The officials of Toyota could not come publicly until they had gotten a solution. Their delay was perceived to be a lack of concern over the safety of the people.
The websites operated by the Toyota Company are written in a few languages. However, the company has branches in every part of the world. If they make their website readable in a variety of styles, the number of potential customers will increase.
The central manufacturing plant is in Japan. When the 2012 earthquake hit the country and caused damage, the production of cars had to be stopped, leading to huge losses to the company. In the same light, the floods that hit Thailand in July 2012 disrupted the production of Toyota because it supplies the company with raw materials. The two natural disasters cost the company one million vehicles.
Recommendations to improve the Toyota supply chain
The implementation of the Total Quality will serve a crucial role in ensuring the company meets its strategic goals and mitigate cases of recalled products from the market.
The company can improve its culture by adopting Kaizen. Kaizen will upgrade the organization and system of the company. This system will encourage any worker with an idea to test it and with the help of other staff make it viable. People who are close to the system are in a better position to provide a practical solution. Additionally, in a bid to develop a new culture strategy, it is imperative to monitor the complaint from customers, audit files, records of quality management, process and product management, and data analysis.
Performance levels are analyzed So that the stakeholders of the company can assess its value (Estacio & Olchik, 2014). The analysis can help the administration to identify the department that is performing well, those that are lagging, and help avoid huge mistakes before it's too late.
Even though the focus of the company is the customers, the needs of the employees also require the same attention. The company expects a process that gauges the satisfaction among their employees. When the workforce is satisfied, the quality of the products also improve, and the chances of creating new products are increased (Stevenson & Cao, 2007). All employees ought to be encouraged to participate in the surveys and ensuring that they will remain anonymous.
A consumer's perspective plays a significant bearing on the sales volume of Toyota vehicles. Therefore, before a product is made, the company ought to conduct surveys to get the customers views. They can reach the customers through questionnaires, emails and creating a comment section on their websites.
In case an error occurs and goes on undetected, the Toyota leaders should communicate it to the public before the mistake start causing accidents. In this way, the customer will have a perception that the company looks after their safety. The company ought to have an efficient public relation team that could handle the criticism immediately and avoids losses due to negative publicity.
The process of purchasing an automobile takes longer than it's required. The company ought to adopt the use of bar codes during purchase. This technology can be used when the customer is at the dealer shop or if the product is meant for exportation.
The geographical location of Japan makes it susceptible to hurricanes and earthquakes. This disaster causes a massive loss to the company. To avoid such injuries, the central plant ought to be relocated to a different region that is more stable. Alternatively, a similar plant should be established in another place so that if one shuts down, the other can continue and the production rate of the company won't be disrupted. Relocating to places whose cost of labor, transportation is low, and there is economic stability should be prioritized.
Toyota depends on a few supplies such as Thailand. That makes it be adversely affected when their supplies are hit by a national disaster or an economic crisis. As a result, the company ought to diversify its suppliers.
Toyota Company is a global company that manufactures automobiles. It is a customer oriented company and therefore, the products produced reflects what the customer wants. In the past, it has faced a couple of legal issues due to faultiness during the manufacture of the cars. The top officials took a bit longer than expected and that gave the company a negative image. Another drawback of the company is that is a few supplies, and its central plant is in Japan, a country that faces frequent earthquakes. It is, therefore, recommendable that the company adopts effective public relation that will protect the reputation of the company. The company should also increase the number of suppliers, establish other big manufacturing plants, and adopt the kaizen model.
Estacio, B., Prikladnicki, R., Mora, M., Notari, G., Caroli, P., & Olchik, A. (2014, July). Software kaizen: Using agile to form high-perfomance software development teams. In 2014 Agile Conference (AGILE) (pp. 1-10). IEEE.
Mansour, C., & Clodic, D. (2012). Dynamic modeling of the electro-mechanical configuration of the Toyota Hybrid System series/parallel power train. International Journal of Automotive Technology, 13(1), 143.
Monden, Y. (2011). Toyota production system: an integrated approach to just-in-time. Productivity Press.
Stevenson, W. J., Hojati, M., & Cao, J. (2007). Operations management (Vol. 8). Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
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