Toyota Management Strategy
When dealing with the problem affecting the organization, a team approach is employed that involve many ideas and opinions. These opinions and ideas help in identifying the cause of the problem. A cause-and-effect diagram is employed to display different potential causes for a particular problem or effect (Kenett, 2014). Flowchart is a diagram that indicates sequence of actions involved in a complex system of production.
The information from the cause-and-effect diagram created in Unit 3 seems to point to the quality control as the cause of the problem relating to slow response to the customers when accelerator problem was found in their cars. Quality control involves the process of reviewing the quality of all factors employed in production (Williams & Naumann, 2011). It focuses on elements of performance, integrity criteria, job management, and identification of records. By focusing on employees’ skills, their knowledge, as well as their experience, it reviews their competency (Williams & Naumann, 2011). The aim of the quality control process is to ensure that the company adheres to high integrity levels and accordingly ensures that its organization culture is focused in ensuring there is a team spirit in the production of high quality goods and services.
The information relating to a system to identify safety and quality concern, which is presented in the cause-and-effect diagram seems to suggest that the accelerator problem that led to the car being recalled was caused by the failure of the system to ensure that standards of manufacturing were followed. The quality control department in Toyota failed to come up with the standards that should be met when manufacturing their cars. The information in the diagram suggests that the company failed to focus on the safety and quality concerns. There was a need for the management team of Toyota Company to set the safety and quality standards, which all the cars should meet. All the employees working in the production department should have been trained on how to ensure those standards are met. Additionally, there was a need to create a production procedure, which will ensure that those standards are met.
The information in the diagram also suggested that Toyota failed to come up with the most appropriate percentage of units which should be tested for safety and quality standards. Despite the fact that acceleration problem of detected in Toyota cars, it is important to note that a selected number of cars were tested to ascertain whether they comply with the set standards. However, there was need for testing to be done on a specific number of cars for the findings realized from testing to be reliable. The fact that an acceleration problem was detected in the cars even after testing suggests that data relating to compliance with quality and safety standards was not collected from the right percentage of units of cars produced in the company.
Failure to employ effective quality control system affected the result of the decision made by the management team in the company. Lack of effective quality control system in the company led to the failure of identifying defects in the cars. As a result, the management team decided to order the sale of all units produced in the company. The decision also supported the production of the similar cars to continue. This created a situation where cars with defects continue being produced and offered to the market.
The cause-and-effect diagram does not conflict with the flowchart because of the former deals with the cause of the problem while the latter focuses on dealing with customer’s complaints. The information contained in cause-and-effect diagram helps in identifying the cause of the problem. The flowchart indicates the process, which should be employed so as to effectively deal with complains raised by customers.
The main importance of the cause-and-effect diagram is in revealing important steps in quality control process which are not documented (Williams & Naumann, 2011). The diagram indicates that data analysis step in quality control process is lacking. For the management team in the company to ascertain that all the cars have met the set standards, the testing of design and the final products must be undertaken. From the testing, data has collected that help in indicating whether the set standards are met. For the management team to ascertain that all cars have met the set standards, collected data need to be analyzed so as to realize the required information. However, the quality control department in the company did not analyze the collected information so as that their decision can be based of available information.
There is a need for further research on internal communication systems in the cause-and-effect diagram to ascertain how it might have affected the problem that affected Toyota. Communication is an important process in the organization because it ensures that directions are offered to the employees and junior offices, from the top management, to ensure that the production process is running smoothly. Thus, there is a need for further research to find out whether the internal communication system employed in the company allowed the information to from effectively from the top management to junior officer, employees and other members of the staff. The research will help in ascertaining whether communication breakdown during production process could have caused the defects in the car, which relate to acceleration problem.
In this case, the customer is the key stakeholder who is used in by Toyota Company to update the feedback for the process flowchart (Williams & Naumann, 2011). Having been affected by the acceleration problem, customers would offer their feedback to the company relating to their satisfaction. Customers play an important role in decision making process of the company because their feedback after buying and consuming the product is used as the basis for making a decision (Williams & Naumann, 2011). The position of the customer about acceleration problem identified in Toyota cars is that they their needs have not been met. The customers might say that acceleration problem in the cars have created difficulties when driving because they cannot decide on the speed they want to maintain. Additionally, they would say that acceleration problem has created safety problems because they have been involved in accidents. The customers might suggest that the company consider compensation due the loss incurred by them due to the company’s mistake in the production process.
This information impacts on the problem statement because the involvement of the customers in offering the feedback to the company helped in improving external communication. External communication is important to the company because it allows the company realizes the feeling, perceptions, and desire of the members of the community, who include the customers. The problem statement stated that the external communication in Toyota was ineffective. However, the involvement of company stakeholders in offering feedback about company’s product helps in improving the effectiveness of the external communication. Improving external communication would help in addressing the problem to ensure that all customers have been satisfied. It will also help in responding to the compliments of the customers.
Graphical Flowchart (before)
The figure below represents an original graphical flowchart created concerning complaints received from customers about acceleration problem detected in Toyota cars. The flowchart contains information relating to a procedure that the company will take to deal with customer’s complaints.
The revision of the flowchart relates to the fact that the cause of the problem is inefficiency in quality control department. The acceleration problem in Toyota cars is caused by the failure of the quality control department to effectively test the end product before releasing it to the market. It would be appropriate to forward all complaints received from the customers to the quality control department. It is the personnel in this department who will carry out the investigations and come up with findings, which will be used in offering the appropriate responses to the clients. There is need to assure the customers that the problem will be addressed so as to give them hope that the company will work on dealing with the problem so as to improve the quality of the cars. This help in making sure customers feel that the improved product will meet their needs effectively.
Graphical Flowchart (after)
The figure below is the graphical flowchart after the original procedure of dealing with the customer’s complaints has been improved. The diagram shows that the procedure has been simplified to help hasten the process of dealing with those complaints.
The revision of this flowchart relates to the fact that there is need to simplify the process of offering responses to the customers. The company is faced with a huge number of complaints from the customers. As a result, it is important to make sure every customer is responded to within a very short time so as to ensure that all customers get the required responses.
The revision in both flowcharts will impact on the problem statement. This is because the problem statement indicates that despite the calls, Toyota made no effort to rectify the problem. It also states that Toyota had no clear way of speedily responding to the complaints lodged by its customers. The revision clearly indicates that the company has focused on investigations to ascertain the cause of the problem, and come up with the ways of dealing with it. The company has also outlined a clear procedure for dealing with customer’s complaint as quickly as possible.
The measurement strategies that I might use for my operation improvement plan (OIP) relates to efficiency measures, outcomes measures, and quality measures. The efficiency measures strategy will focus on cost effectiveness and productivity. The problem facing the Toyota relates to defending on its products. Thus, to measure the productivity will involve ascertaining the number of the cars without accelerating problems that are produced by the company, after the implementation of the proposed process of dealing with customer’s complaints. The efficiency strategy will also focus on cost efficiency by assessing the amount of money spend on rectifying the problem and the revenue generated after the clients’ complaints are dealt with, and the quality of the product is improved.
Outcomes measures strategy will be used to measure whether the end results meet the set standards. The strategy will also ascertain whether the product has met the need of the customers after the proposed changes are implemented. The evaluation will be done after all complaints are addressed, and after the problem have been rectified.
Quality measures strategy will assess the effectiveness of the expectations (Nudurupati et al., 2011). The strategy will also evaluate the general improvement of reliability, courtesy, accuracy, competence, compliance and responsiveness.
The measurement strategy that enables me to measure the improvements that my proposed process will offer relates to on-time delivery, customer satisfaction and loyalty, and market Position. Acceleration problem that was identified in Toyota cars created a situation whereby all the cars were recalled. The customers should get their cars back once the problem has been fixed. Thus, on timely delivery of the cars will help in confirming that the proposed process has led to improvements.
Customer satisfaction strategy will help in ascertain whether the customers were satisfied once the proposed changes were implemented. The strategy would confirm that the changes have led to improvement if the measure indicates that the largest percentage of the customers has been satisfied, and they would be ready to buy cars from the company. The only thing that would improve the loyalty of the customers is the commitment of the company to deal with customers’ complaints and dealing with acceleration problem.
Market position strategy is helpful in ascertain the performance of the company about the rival businesses (Williams & Naumann, 2011). When the measure indicates that Toyota cars are attracting more customers than other car manufactures, then the proposed changes will be effective in creating improvement in the company.
I will use quantitative measure in net profit in evaluating my strategies. The choice of qualitative measure relates to the fact that I will relay on the actual data collected in the company. The measure will involve an elaborate analysis of the net profit of the company and the revenues. The level of net profit will indicate how the strategy has helped the company to minimize the cost operation, but increase the amount of revenue. This indicates that the strategy has led to improved effectiveness in the production process. It also indicates that wastage of resources has been minimized by focusing on improving efficiency. The net revenue will also be an important indication of the company’s cash flow. Generally, a lot of revenue will be an indication that the company is making a lot of sales.
The measure of sales will help in ascertaining the number of cars bought within a given period. The increase in sales will be clear evidence that the strategy has helped in attracting new customers to buy cars from Toyota. Additionally, it indicates that it has helped in increasing the returning customers. On the same note, a comparison of the revenues and the sales made will indicate the average price that most customers are willing to pay for each vehicle. Accordingly, the company will be able to identify the cars to specialize in and the trends in the market. For example, an increase in sales from sport utility vehicles (SUVs) will indicate that Toyota should start focusing more on these vehicles.
The improvement of results will be measured quarterly using quantitative measure. Measuring the improvement of the result after every three months will be realistic because it will help in ascertain the improvement that has taken place in a specific quarter. This will help in comparing improvement results in different quarters.
Kenett, R. S. (2014). Cause‐and‐Effect Diagrams. Wiley StatsRef: Statistics Reference Online.
Nudurupati, S. S., Bititci, U. S., Kumar, V., & Chan, F. T. (2011). State of the art literature review on performance measurement. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 60(2), 279-290.
Williams, P., & Naumann, E. (2011). Customer satisfaction and business performance: a firm-level analysis. Journal of services marketing, 25(1), 20-32.