Lean Management

 

Lean Management

 

 

 

 

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Introduction

As exemplified by (García Alcaraz, Maldonado Macías and Cortes-Robles (2014, p. 4) Lean management is an idea that originated from the automotive built-up business. The concepts of lean management are very practical and are vastly used in the various manufacturing processes as well as information technology, customer service, help desk just to name a few. Therefore, lean management can be defined as an ideology that focuses on the identification and elimination of waste all the way through a product’s complete value flow.

The lean concept puts into consideration a product’s flow from the initiation to the closing stage actions along with all the interactions that may occur in the value added process. The process steps are categorized according to the customer’s view that translates to whether the value of each action in the stream put in value from the customer’s standpoint (Wilson, 2010, p. 10). This report takes Toyota Motor Corporation as a case study. Despite the fact that the company faces a lot of competition in the automobile business, it has greatly established its market share globally. This can be attributed to the exceptional planning of its operations at the assembly point as well as the product and development stage. The Toyota Company employs Just in Time (JIT) method in waste reduction as well as the Kaizen method in maintaining and sustaining quality. Lastly, it uses a Kanban technique in maintaining its lean production.

Company background

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) established in 1937 by Sakichi Toyoda and it has its headquarters Aichi Japan. In 1938, TMC established a plant in Honsha that commenced its production in 1938.  TMC faced a financial crisis in 1950 resulting in the establishment of the Toyota Motor Sales Company Limited. In 1950, the setting up of another plant in Motomachi was established and it won a quality control award and in 1965 (Toyota-global.com, 2015. This resulted in it becoming the world’s one of the leading and Japan’s biggest car producing company.

The Toyota Company brought into the market a small car after the Second World War. That was a huge failure that resulted in huge losses. Later on they started working on a more wide-ranging drive and it is for this reason that they introduced the land cruiser so as to cater for the rising needs of the taxis in the financial system. The land cruiser was a big success and it changed the face of Toyota Company. In 2012, Toyota saw its global production exceed two hundred million vehicles. This is attributed to superior quality in their products, and improved efficiency in their production systems.

Main products and Customers

TMC produces cars under their five brand umbrella. These brands comprise of the Toyota brand, Lexus for the American and European market, Hino, Ranz as well as Scion. The company manufactures two categories of automobiles, which consist of conventional engine vehicles and hybrid engine vehicles. Toyota aims at providing car solutions to their customers globally, from the least expensive to the luxury class of vehicles so as cater for the needs of their customers. According to Toyota-global.com (2015) Toyota has seen its production in Japan and overseas rise steadily and reported to have produced approximately 9,005,000 units in the year ended 2014.

4V Product profile

Volume: High. According to Toyata’s production report, is can  be construed that the production volume has been soaring for over the years. The production volume has seen a growth of approximately 160%. This can be attributed to their commitment to quality, unvarying innovation and value for the globe (Toyota-global.com, 2015).

Variety: High. The Toyota market is an extremely cutthroat, in which design improvement, establishes the prolonged existence of the company. TMC’s ability of manufacturing products that are trending and acclimatize to the changes in customer preferences is essential for the survival of the company (Toyota-global.com, 2015).

Variation: High. Based on the same understanding as variety, TMC is forced to continually come up with inventive designs that ought to keep their clients fascinated, consequentially keeping the demand elevated.

Visibility: High.  The presence of Toyota globally is quite high and its market share quite large owing to its variety in its products.

Operations Process mapping model

The operations process model illustrates the flow of raw materials along with information. The activities are categorized into three sections; enabling value addition, value addition and non-value addition actions. This model seeks to identify and eliminate the non value adding activities in every process consequentially adding on to efficiency.  The table below illustrates the welding process and the final fitment in the assembly of an automobile by Toyota.

As depicted in the table below, the welding process begins with the pressing of steel metal parts. These parts constitute in the making of  the door panels, vehicle’s roof, Bonnet, boot lid just to name a few. This basically involves pressing of the metal parts in the basic shape of the car being produced. The welding process that is carried out by robots is known as Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding.

Welding Process    
Inputs Transformation activities Outputs
Pressing of Metal parts out of Steel Sheets Machine press Door panels, Roof, Bonnet, Boot Lid
  Blanking  
  Embossing  
  Bending  
  Flanging  
  Coining  
Pressed Parts Tungsten Inert Gas carried out by Robots Body in white
     
Final Fitment Process    
Inputs Transformation activities Outputs
Body in white Engine assembly Road worthy vehicle
  Leak testing  
  Pressure testing  
  TransAxle fixing  
  Painting & polishing  
  Human fixing  of windshields, trims, Steering Column, electronics  
  Quality tests  

The final fitment process involves the birth of the vehicle being produced. This operation process involves the fixing of the engine and the transaxle. It also involves the punching of the engine identification number while in the engine block. The engine assembly process comprises of numerous stages such as pistons machining, fitment just to name a few. Thereafter it undergoes a series of tests before it is matched with the transaxle that consists of the gearbox. It also at this point where the body in white commences its painting process, this process is regarded as one of the most multifaceted. The process involves the pre-treatment of the body in white, application of the sealant, painting and finally polishing for the final shine and sparkle.

Thereafter, the fitment of the vehicle parts such as the windshields, trims, wheels is done by people. After all, this is complete, the car undergoes a series of quality tests as well as its parts information keyed in and stored in the production database. A drive test is done is carried out and the car is sent off to the dealership waiting for the buyers (Toyota-global.com, 2015).

Literature review on Total Quality Management

Total Quality Management (TQM) can be defined as an integrated management viewpoint that is focused on constantly enhancing the value of products plus processes so as to realize customer contentment (Ltd, 2012, p. 2). There are many definitions of total quality management and major differences amongst the philosophers in the implementation, but at the same time agree on the fundamental theories Total quality management. This philosophy is known of improving customer relations since it focuses on the needs of the customer and their expectations. From the early definitions of TQM by the likes of Deming, Juran, (Rogers and Kaynak, 2013, p. 27), TQM considered as an improvement to the conventional means of conducting production. As illustrated by Sadikoglu and Olcay (2014, p. 2) Total quality management is an established method that guarantees the continued existence of an organization in a global competition. As stated by Deming, it is only by shifting the measures of management will the mores and dealings of a whole business are changed (Ltd, 2012, p. 5).

 

Concepts of TQM

These concepts of TQM are the foundation of this philosophy. Despite the fact that many theorists and philosophers disagree and differ in their approaches to TQM, they do agree on these basic concepts. These concepts are: constantly improving of quality, customer focus, improvement of operations, a good work environment, good leadership as well as good human resources along with long term thinking.

A number of the corporations have put into practice Total Quality Management comprise of Ford Motor Company, SGL Carbon,  Phillips Semiconductor as well as Motorola and in addition the Toyota Motor Company.

  1. Constantly Improving on Quality:

This attribute is fundamental to all Total Quality Management systems. It is focused on enhancing the value and quality of the products and services that provided by the company. These quality advancements result in superior production, hence, improves the capacity of a company to stay imperative, provide work for the populace, in addition to serving their customers. Centering on the constant quality enhancement facilitates an organization in carrying their business in the right and ethical way. Constant quality enhancement needs an environment that encourages innovation (Sadikoglu and Olcay, 2014, p. 35). This kind of environment welcomes various propositions for upgrading are solicited and respected along with an environment where management is open to divergence, disagreement, and challenges.  Activities that present the improvements for the work processes, in particular when employees are involved, aid in breaking down hurdles that take place among subdivisions or among management and employees.

  1. Customer focus:

This is a major basic concept of total quality management.  A company’s customers include the internal and external beneficiaries of the company’s products. The customer’s needs and preferences describe the quality of the manufacturer who is tasked to meet up and surpass these needs and preferences. By the help of winning customer focus attempts, consumer needs, preferences, expectations and complaints can be factored in during the production process. Consequently, this motivates the company in producing superior and dependable products and services in a timely manner with improved effectiveness and output. When these customer needs are met, customer satisfaction is elevated along with the company’s sales and market share (Sadikoglu and Olcay, 2014, p. 30). Preceding studies have established that a focus on customers optimistically affect the operations, stock administration, employee performance as well as comprehensive company performance.

  • Improvement of Operations:

Most of the work of an organization occurs in various processes that begin and have to end at some point.  Therefore, the management of a company is tasked with the responsibility of systems in the company. Therefore, the management’s  shoulders the blame in case of any system failures. Based on this understanding, total quality management necessitates the study of work processes comprehensively by utilizing the human resources in identifying the breakdowns that may take place during the production process. During this course, the management is in a position to identify solutions to the problems in the future. The study as well aids in the reduction of costs and at the same time ensuring that quality is maintained and built into a product.

The utilization of TQM in the improvement of operations is distinguished by long- term thinking which aids in the molding of the future of the company by comprehending the outcomes of the of current activities. These kinds of thinking necessitate decision making that ought to be based on data in relations to the existing problems.

Application of the Concepts

There are so many applications of TQM principles that can be utilized by Toyota. Some of the benefits that TQM presents include:

The principles of Total Quality Management will help its employees be committed and organized in their jobs. This enhances the learning and progression. It is through the orientation of employees about the organization, its mission and vision of the company so as to achieve its goals.

The use of TQM concepts aids Toyota in picking the best of human resource so as to maintain and surpass the expected quality of their vehicles. By doing so, the human resource progression includes the provision of training that encourages the training of communication skills. These expansion programs do present a wide-ranging edification that assists employees in keeping up with their daily work as well as new tasks.

With the utilization of the TQM principles by Toyota Motor Company helps the company’s managers take responsibility and they can facilitate a revolution of the company in achieving a novel culture of incessant quality development. Based on the concepts named above, the quality of products is of utmost amid the company’s functions. Therefore, Toyota’s management objective is to facilitate the human resource, machinery function accordingly hence acting as a facilitator.

Conclusion

In this day and age, as a company Toyota has been in a position to effectively manage its forefront operations. Its state of the art technology enables a continuous flow of production. Through the use of a well laid down design process and facility layout enables Toyota function effectively. Toyota also incorporates lean production methods, namely Jidoka and Kanban methods. These methods ensure that products are manufactured when their demand is placed. The concepts of lean management are very practical and are vastly used in the various manufacturing processes as well as information technology, customer service, help desk just to name a few. Therefore, lean management can be defined as an ideology that focuses on the identification and elimination of waste all the way through a product’s complete value flow.

Total Quality Management is considered as an improvement to the conventional means of conducting business. As illustrated by Sadikoglu and Olcay (2014, p. 2) Total quality management is an established method that guarantees the continued existence of an organization in a global competition. As stated by Deming, it is only by shifting the measures of management will the mores and dealings of a whole business are changed. Therefore, Total quality management necessitates the study of work processes comprehensively by utilizing the human resources in identifying the breakdowns or the redundant complexities that may take place during the production process. During this course, the management is in a position to identify solutions to the problems in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

García Alcaraz, J., Maldonado Macías, A. and Cortes-Robles, G. (2014). Lean manufacturing in the developing world.

Ltd, P. (2012). Total Quality Management: The key to business improvement. UK: Springer Science & Business Media.

Rogers, R. and Kaynak, E. (2013). Implementation of Total Quality Management: A Comprehensive Training Program. New York: Routledge.

Sadikoglu, E. and Olcay, H. (2014). The Effects of Total Quality Management Practices on Performance and the Reasons of and the Barriers to TQM Practices in Turkey. Advances in Decision Sciences, 2014, pp.1-17.

Toyota-global.com, (2015). Toyota Global Site | Figures. [online] Available at: http://www.toyota-global.com/company/profile/figures/vehicle_production_sales_and_exports_by_region.html [Accessed 27 Nov. 2015].

Wilson, L. (2010). How to implement lean manufacturing. New York: McGraw-Hill.

 

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