Toyota Case Study Group: 1
1. As Doug Friesen, what would you do to address the problem? Where would you focus your attention and solution efforts?
The major problem that Doug, manager of assembly, needs to address is of Seat Problems. Due to seat problems, production level is decreasing and which resultant leads to increase in overtime works, lead-time and off-time vehicle inventory.
The major problem that is observed is improper seat quality management in KSF. Most of the seat problems were occurring because of this mismanagement like, wrong, missing and broken parts, wrinkles and missing bolster.
Also, KSF inspection of seats before shipping is not proper. There need to check the method followed by KFS while inspection of seats because several of defective seats are being send as fit. May be by providing more training to the worker this problem could be solved.
Also, there was ineffective feedback system, due to which Doug was not able to reach the specific solution for the seat problems. So, by properly sharing and discussing all the feedbacks may gave best optimum solution to the problem.
2. What options exist? What would you recommend? Why?
The options for the seat problem are: -
1. Fixing of bolts and hooks in a proper manner – As the members of the teams were trying to fix the bolt in the front seats they tend to shot the bolt at a wrong angle because of which cross threading happens. If they can work for 30 sec. more on it then they will be able to solve this problem at that particular moment. 2. Company was following JIT method because of which seats reaches at TMM on time but because of this there is no time left for solving any problem related to the quality of the seat at the time of installation. 3. Back Up for seats – As seats are the delicate object to be installed in a car so any mishandling can cause damage to it very easily which can cause problem while installation to stop this kind of problems they must have a backup of the seats in their warehouse. 4. Use of plastic hooks – as company was using metal hook which can cause body of the consumer some damage to reduce that company can use plastic hooks which will do the work as well as will no harm the costumers to.
3. Where does the current routine for handling seats deviated from TPS? Toyota Production system was based on the principles of Just In Time (JIT) and JIDOKA which stated that production should be stopped when problems are detected. a) Deviations from JIDOKA As it implied that production should be stopped when problems surfaced but as in the case of defective seat problem production was not stopped and car passed through assembly line with defective seats in it. Car was taken to Code 1 clinic area to detect the problem and then to overflow parking area for seat replacement. b) Deviations from JIT principle As it stated that produce what was needed and when it was needed. So it aimed at reduction of waste and inventory but in routine for handling of defective seats cars were moved to overflow parking area where seat replacement was done so it resulted in increase in inventory as well as waste. Secondly seats with no defects were not produced at a time when they were needed. These deviations occurred because the production people knew that stopping production was too expensive and it was possible to finish the car without seats in it.
4. What is the real problem facing Doug Friesen?
The production of cars was getting low or shortfall of 45 cars per shift. The main problem was regarding the car seats. Then Friesen find the reasons behind the problem and they found that the designing of small part used in the assembly of the seat was the main problem. The material of the hook used in earlier models was metal in the new model it is a fabric material whereas the assembly line was designed for metal hook as a result the hook is even damaged at times in the process of assembling the seat as a result the time is delayed and is even an issue of quality control.
In addressing the seat problem as Doug Friesen, I would start by establishing the problem at hand. It is necessary to understand the signs of problems within TMM and how they relate back to the defective seats. This will firstly be established by explaining the low run ratio. On April 27th 1992, Doug Friesen noticed that the run ratio was down to a meager 85% from the normal 95%. This figure measures the number of cars actually assembled in proportion to the number of cars that could have been assembled with no line stoppages. This 10-point drop led to a shortfall of 45 cars per shift, which had to be made up with overtime. In addition, there is another problem to address- the high level of off-line vehicle inventory. Too many cars needed off-line operations of one type or another before they could go on to shipping. After addressing the seat problem, I would focus my attention and solution efforts on the exception in the case of the defective seats and the coordination between the plant and seat supplier. The exception was based on three reasons- first, the final assembly people already knew of the problem; second, it was possible to finish building the car without seat assemblies; third, it was felt that stopping the line was too expensive given how long it took to obtain the replacement seat. Doug Friesen should focus on these exceptions given the problems that followed. There were reports of occasional incidents of cross threading, when a team member shot a bolt at an angle. In addition, there were incidents when someone would accidentally damage the seat covering with hand tools. Thus, Friesen should identify the specific processes that need to be improved. He should then gather more information regarding these problems to ultimately figure out gaps between the standards and the current outputs.
There are many options that exist for Doug Friesen regarding TMM’s seat problem. One option is to improve the seat assembly team. It is reported that the seats are damaged during the assembly. Furthermore, it is reported that KFS is TMM’s only provider, and there is an increase in number of seat styles from 3 to 18. Thus, I woud recommend TMM to hire multiple suppliers. This will lighten the workload for KFS resulting in fewer defects. In addition, another option is to redesign or improve off-line operations in case Doug Friesen decides to continue correcting seats off-line. A recommendation for this problem would be for TMM to revise their off-line operations. In doing so, they will be able to avoid overtime work. These recommendations will allow TMM to improve sales and focus on maintaining the JIT principle, which aims to produce only what is needed, only how much is needed, and only when it is needed.
The current routine for handling defective seats deviates from the two guiding principles of TMM: the Just-In-Time principle and the jidoka principle. Firstly, the current routine deviates from the JIT pri...