Toyota Learning

Jan 26th, 2010

The beer game was introduced as an exercise in industrial dynamics in 1960. And what has beer to do with automobiles? The beer game is used as a fun way to illustrate some of the pitfalls of operating a supply chain. Certainly, beer gets the attention of students. Even though the product used in the […]

Jan 19th, 2010

The underlying principles associated with managing variety, velocity, and variability across the supply chain—the focus of Toyota’s supply chain leadership and management process—are found in many different industrial contexts. We provide several examples from service industries such as health care, insurance, banking, credit processing, and retailing. Products and services covered include apparel, wine, brake linings, […]

Jan 5th, 2010

The Toyota Way is made up of four major elements: long-term philosophy, right process, development of people, and continuous solving of root problems. Taken together, they are the secret recipe for continuous improvement, for creating value, and for developing people that will continue the mission of creating value into the future. In the paragraphs that […]

Jan 3rd, 2010

Why would Toyota need to be concerned about crisis management when it has implemented processes throughout the supply chain that are synchronized and integrated to function like a fine Swiss clock? The reality is that Toyota is not immune to disruption of its operations because of natural disasters, strikes, fires, bankruptcies, and the like. Because […]

Jan 1st, 2010

Dealers use a number of different processes to fulfill retail customer demand. This chapter will explore the major ones; it will be subdivided into three areas: vehicle allocation, demand fulfillment options, and dealer operations. Vehicle Allocation At Toyota, vehicle allocation in North America is a two-step process. In the first step, the national sales company […]

Dec 29th, 2009

Logistics is an extremely important component of the supply chain. It has two roles: (1) inbound logistics, which is responsible for transporting parts and materials from the tier 1 suppliers to the OEM plants; (2) outbound logistics, which is responsible for the distribution of vehicles from the assembly plants to the dealers. In this article […]

Dec 21st, 2009

Imagine you are a supplier to Toyota. What is your role in the Toyota supply chain? What is your expected productivity improvement over time? How would your experience as a part of Toyota’s supply chain differ from your experience supplying other auto original equipment manufacturers? How would your processes have to operate to synchronize with […]

Dec 18th, 2009

Toyota adopts different planning methods depending on which types of parts are involved. Some of the planning processes are unique to Toyota and so are worth contrasting with general practice. There are many parts ordering processes for the different categories of parts. The four broad part categories are local parts, long lead time parts, in-house […]

Dec 14th, 2009

Production scheduling requires close coordination between sales and plant operations. In Toyota Learning, we will explain how the production schedule is used to provide consistent and continuous flow of materials and vehicles throughout the supply chain. In Sales and Operations Planning we described how information is gathered, both top-down and bottom-up, to create a three-month […]

Dec 11th, 2009

Sales and operations planning (S&OP) is a critical component of the supply chain planning process. It is linked upstream to the mix planning process and downstream to the production scheduling process. The goal of S&OP is to generate a production plan that balances demand and supply in a profitable way. The end point of this […]

Dec 3rd, 2009

Mix planning is an important process for companies that manufacture and distribute products to retailers in multiple market areas. For vehicle manufacturers, this decision is extremely important because of the complexity of a vehicle. This complexity creates millions of possible vehicle build combinations or variants. The objective of mix planning is to reduce the variants […]

Dec 1st, 2009

The Toyota Production System (TPS) is the benchmark used throughout the world as the foundation for “lean” thinking. At Toyota, the TPS practices and principles extend well beyond the factory walls to include the extended supply chain and require some crucial choices to ensure supply chain efficiency. This chapter explains how Toyota plans and operates […]

Nov 22nd, 2009

Toyota is well known for its approach to problem solving and continuous improvement. Articles by practitioners, researchers, and participants have made the tools and techniques of continuous improvement familiar to every business executive. For example, phrases such as andon, heijunka, and kanban have become part of the day-to-day vocabulary of managers. In an insightful commentary […]