Respect Your Extended Network

Apr 16th, 2009

While musing over American Auto’s debacle with suppliers and wondering why it wanted to take an elevator to the top without stopping at any of the floors in between, I began to conceptualize the problem as a pyramid or hierarchy. Thinking back to college social psychology, I thought of Maslow’s needs hierarchy, discussed briefly in […]

Apr 15th, 2009

The TSSC by design is not part of the business relationship with suppliers. It is there to educate through projects. Toyota purchasing has its own quality and TPS experts to work with suppliers when there are problems, the most severe of which is when a supplier shuts down the Toyota assembly plant because of a […]

Apr 14th, 2009

One way that Toyota has honed its skills in applying TPS is by working on projects with suppliers. Toyota needs its suppliers to be as capable as its own plants at building and delivering high-quality components just in time. Moreover, Toyota cannot cut costs unless suppliers cut costs, lest Toyota simply push cost reductions onto […]

Apr 13th, 2009

Toyota is very careful when deciding what to outsource and what to do in house. Like other Japanese automakers, Toyota outsources a lot, about 70% of the components of the vehicle. But it still wants to maintain internal competency even in components it outsources. These days a management buzzword is “core competency.” Toyota has a […]

Apr 12th, 2009

An excellent example of the contrast in approaches between Toyota and its competitors is in how Toyota approached the logistic challenges in building manufacturing and supply chain capabilities in North America. How can Toyota assembly plants get just-in-time delivery of parts multiple times per day to U.S.-based plants when they are spread across the U.S. […]

Apr 11th, 2009

Go to a conference on supply chain management and what are you likely to hear? You will learn a lot about “streamlining” the supply chain through advanced information technology. If you can get the information in nanoseconds, you should be able to speed the supply chain to nanosecond deliveries, right? What you are not likely […]