45-765 Production and Operations Management

Toyota Motor Manufacturing, U.S.A. Inc.

February 21, 2002

Sean Belt Marc Brands Devon Cheshire Peter Johnson Jeff Maglin

U. Risks & Contingencies . Inc February 21. Analysis III. 2002 Table of Contents I. Executive Summary 2.. Recommendation & Implementation IV.45-765 Production and Operations Management Case Analysis: Toyota Motors Manufacturing.A.S.

Fujio Cho pronounced this to be the next step for TMM. These problems increasingly occurred when the varieties of and demand for the seats increased.A. Place QC person at arrival dock for seats to check for defects before sending seats to the line. Toyota to implement TPS system at KFS factory.45-765 Production and Operations Management Case Analysis: Toyota Motors Manufacturing. We are recommending the following major measures to overcome these problems: Immediate • • Send TMM Quality Control (QC) to KFS to identify and correct the source of the problem. is responsible for most of the problems. KFS is a logical first supplier. specifically between Japanese design engineers and US manufacturing.S. Kentucky Framed Seat (KFS). 2002 I. • • Decreased seat variety. Long Term • Improve internal communication in Toyota. TMM’s single seat supplier. U. Inc February 21. PAGE 1 OF 5 . • • Keep fixing seat defect off line. Material flaws and missing parts are the major defects that TMM encounters. Too expensive to stop the line. Assign employee to be responsible that correct replacement seats are fitted in the car the following shift.. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Toyota Motors Manufacturing (TMM) faces increasing problems with its seat supply.

A. Most of this can be blamed to the seat problem.05 Cars/Min 525 Minutes 450 473 449 402 47 $ 19. It is quite evident that something needs to be done.S. Although KFS delivers seat replacements twice a day.000 per shift. currently the vehicles with seat problems are mostly dealt with after the assembly is completed.4 Million per year considering two shifts and 5-day workweek.610 50 Minutes $ 16.215 PAGE 2 OF 7 . 2002 II. Inc February 21. since stopping the line to repair or replace the seat takes too long. The calculation below shows that the decrease in production per shift is close to 50 cars. it is Toyota’s strategy to solve the problem online. To produce these missing cars with overtime capacity will cost TMM over $16.45-765 Production and Operations Management Case Analysis: Toyota Motors Manufacturing. This translates to around $8. This strategy contradicts Toyota’s jidoka policy. On April 27th the run ratio was down from 95% to a meager 85%. sometimes KFS sends the wrong seat assemblies and this problem seems not to be dealt with effectively as shown by the occurrence of four day old vehicles in the overflow parking area. However. which only extends the problem. the problem is not solved at the line but rather a seat is ordered.50 1. U.00 $ 25.. ANALYSIS When a defective seat has been found. Stations Employees Wage/Hour Overtime Cycle Time Shift Length 'Productive' Minutes Run Ratio 100% 95% 85% 'Lost' Cars Per Shift (95% to 85%) Cost per Hour of Production Overtime Time Required to Produce Add'l Cars Cost to Produce Additional Cars 353 769 $ 17.

which account for almost 60% of all defect occurrences. We are predicting that this trend will further increase the problems that TMM is experiencing especially since KFS is their only supplier for seats and has shown a vulnerability to style proliferation. It only accounted for about 11% of all the problems according to the Group Leader’s Seat Defect Data from April 14 to April 30 1992. it only gives possibilities to increase the ratio of vehicles that could be fixed online. so it can be assumed that the problems we are facing are not due to blatant incompetence. Inc February 21. but this problem could be fixed within 30 seconds. One significant problem with the seats that can be blamed on TMM is that a worker occasionally shot a bolt at an angle. using their Five Why’s. 2002 The problems are being shifted down from the assembly line to the clinic. U. It is clear that the problem should be first analyzed on the supplier side.A. which cannot be corrected online if no replacement is available at the time. or missing parts.S. The two biggest problems are material flaws and missing parts. PAGE 3 OF 7 . From the case it is evident that the problem started early in 1992 when Toyota started to increase their numbers of seat varieties from 12 to about 23.. Of course these two options do not address the real problem. One possible option would be to have a larger amount of safety stock.45-765 Production and Operations Management Case Analysis: Toyota Motors Manufacturing. Another solution to this issue would be to have a smaller number of seat varieties. We do not recommend these options. It seems that the 10 day change over and the 10 weeks to ramp up production that TMM was allowing KFS was sufficient for KFS to efficiently change over to the production of the new seats. KFS is responsible for the remaining 89% of problems. This step would increase the chances a good seat is in the pipeline. Toyota’s philosophy is to deal with the problem where it was found. KFS has been a very reliable supplier in the past. Most of the problems are material flaws. The problems intensified in March when more seat varieties were introduced and expansion is planned to more than 50 seat varieties. but this is not an efficient solution to the problem because is defeats the idea of JIT. But we believe that the KFS employees are not sufficiently trained in the idea of JIT since they do not tackle the problem right away and figure out the cause.

2002 Although a decline in seat problems has been observed from fall 1991 to spring 1992. Toyota generally favors to work out problems with its suppliers rather than just get rid of them.000 can solve TMM’s problem with the Plastic hook relatively easily and might very well be worth it. we believe that the increase in demand and variety of seats will offset the learning curve. where they have used the same design.45-765 Production and Operations Management Case Analysis: Toyota Motors Manufacturing. It is also very difficult to find a supplier that is so close to the TMM plant. TMM could also change the seat supplier of get an additional supplier. Investing the $50. which points to the learning curve of the TMM employees. If we consider an internal rate of return of 15%. Further analysis and effect of planned changes at KFS would give us a better picture. no problems have been reported. the hook breaks about once per shift if we assume two shifts per day and a 5-day workweek. in Japan. Furthermore.000. According to these numbers it is very reasonable to invest in modifying this relevant tool to make metal hooks. PAGE 4 OF 7 . Inc February 21.. U.000 yet.A. Currently. the breakage would be approximately 500 per year. each seat replacement or repair should not cost more then $15 to justify not investing the $50.S. However the statistics show that the occurrence has significantly declined. We would not recommend investing the $50.

KFS inspectors should visit the TMM and should get trained by our QC Personnel and be taught the Five Why’s. The supplier should be notified of defective seats as soon as they are noticed. Positively reinforce time limits on replacement seats and time limits on how long a vehicle can stay in the overflow parking area. A closer collaboration with the Japanese designer and the American seat manufacturer to overcome the geographical and cultural distance should be encouraged. As part of the TPS principle.45-765 Production and Operations Management Case Analysis: Toyota Motors Manufacturing. Also to better monitor the trends a designated area for vehicles with seat problems should be available in the overflow parking area to visualize the fluctuation of defective. If the limit is exceeded a problem solving session should be called.S. TMM needs to implement the following measures. Designate an employee to be responsible to make sure that the correct replacement seat is ordered and that the correct seat arrives within the next shift. which might be dealt with by training or redesign of the bolting area. 2002 III. Employee on the assembly line and in quality control for incoming seats should immediately take actions to inform the supplier. KFS’s proximity is also a good reason why KFS and TMM can benefit from an integration of TPS. To eliminate the root of the problems we recommend the following actions. PAGE 5 OF 7 .. In the same manner have an employee check the seats at the arrival dock so those problems can be identified early. Especially work out problems like the angled bolting. Primarily it is crucial that a close relationship is being facilitated between KFS and TMM and TMC. It makes sense that supplier are being introduced to TPS especially KFS since the problem is quite obvious and since they produce a relatively expensive and important item. Inc February 21. U. the KFS employee should be trained to identify problems in the line so that a solution can be found. RECOMMENDATION & IMPLEMENTATION In the immediate future. which is within the next day. The TPS system should be brought to KFS and Toyota’s other supplier.A. Extensive education is needed for this to work. These short-term measures are to deal with the current situation and should become obsolete whenever the underlying problems are solved.

These measures should take care of the problems that TMM is currently experiencing with KFS. 2002 The next actions should be introduced to revise current procedures to deal with the problems. it is of importance that the variety of seats that Toyota is requiring is minimized to avoid additional problems and to ease problem when they occur. U. So TMM should recommend to TMC to reduce the variety of seats.45-765 Production and Operations Management Case Analysis: Toyota Motors Manufacturing.. Inc February 21. Shutting down the line if a seat needs to be replaced is generally not recommended but the employees should be reeducated to follow the TPS philosophy and maintain high quality and volume. IT should also be used to reorder seats that are defective or incorrect. cut cost etc. These actions are also recommended for other suppliers. but the focus should primarily on KFS since they are the suppliers that are causing the current problems. Last but not least.A. QC personal should be placed with KFS to analyze why so many defective seats are getting to TMM.S. For quality control seat parts from Japan should be sent and compared scientifically with the parts that KFS produces and buys. In addition a closer IT infrastructure between TMM and KFS should be implemented to help information flow to predict problems. PAGE 6 OF 7 .

We assume that Toyota is by far KFS’s largest customer.A. This risk could be relatively high in the short-run but additional capacity can be purchased which makes this risk small in the long run.45-765 Production and Operations Management Case Analysis: Toyota Motors Manufacturing.S. contingencies as above would also be recommended here in case problems would arise. KFS is the only supplier of seats for KFS so Toyota is obviously dependent on KFS. Even if TMC keeps increasing the variety we believe it could be manageable in the long-term. U. Whether this capital expenditure is worthwhile must still be analyzed in more details with more data. RISKS AND CONTINGENCIES TMC might not feel that the variety of seats could be reduced. the problems with the angled bolt and likely the problem with the plastic hook. This would decrease the labor cost. Add a robot that would automatically install the seats. by which TMM can get a second suppler or start assembling some seats at the TMM facilities. The same Other contingencies include • • Invest the $50.. • Enforcing the idea that problems should be solved online could be a good idea even if it would cost more. KFS might not be able to deal with the increased demand in which TMM’s alternatives are similar to the once mentioned above. Another option might be to get a second seat supplier or assemble the seats in-house like they do in Japan. • Continue to investigate ways to solve problems online. In that case TMM has to focus on teaching KFS the principles of TPS and help KFS to deal with the increased capacity demands. But we don’t believe that this could actually happen since TMM and KFS are very much dependent on each other.000 and get the metal hook instead of the plastic one. 2002 IV. This could be a severe problem if KFS would not cooperate with TMM. Inc February 21. PAGE 7 OF 7 . KFS could refuse to work with TMM.

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