Doug Friesen, the manager at Toyota's assembly in Kentucky, was faced with a problem because of the seats installed in its Camry product. The defect rates have increased. The reason being defected seats or with no seats at all. The reason identified is increased over time. However, the reason and the solution to the problem is not evident. The plant in Kentucky is an example of the popular TPS, Toyota Production System. Friesen is determined that the problem will be solved through the TPS and its principles and tools. The students must state the actions Friesen should take in the process of analyzing Georgetown's current problem solving and its TPS philosophy.
1. Consider the following terms mentioned in the case, jidoka, just-in-time, heijunka, kanban, kaizen. What role does each of these concepts play in the Toyota production system, and how do these concepts support/enable each other?
2. Does Toyota respond just-in-time to customer orders? What does it do justin-time?
3. We’ve talked a lot about inventory during the last two classes, particularly the factors affecting how much inventory we should hold. Lean production focuses on keeping inventory levels low. In light of what we have discussed about inventory (and queuing and process analysis, for that matter), what things are Toyota doing to make this possible.
4. As Doug Friesen, what would you do to address the seat program? Where would you focus your attention and solution efforts.
5. Where, if at all, does the current procedure for handling defective seats deviate from TPS principle?