toyota case study 2 - Toyota 2/14/2008 Doug Friesen,...

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Toyota 2/14/2008 Doug Friesen, manager of assembly for Toyota's plant in Georgetown, Kentucky, is in charge of dealing with a major car seat problem at the plant. The date is May 1 st , 1992 and there are 18 automobiles with an array of seat problems in the overflow parking area, some dating as far back as April 27 th . The run ratio at the factory (a measure of the total number of cars assembled in relation to the number of cars that would be assembled if there were no line stoppages) had dropped from 95% to 85% in a months time. This equates to 45 less cars per shift (525 minutes), which requires overtime to make up for the shortfall at an average of $25.50/hour, 50% above the regular pay of about $17.00/hour. It was determined that the seat problem was a main cause for this slowdown. Upon closer inspection of the case, there are a few problems with the seat assembly that build on each which lead to this larger, more serious problem at the factory of running behind schedule and not getting cars to the sales company on time. First, Toyota Motor Manufacturing (TMM) made a mistake with how they handled the occasional glitch on the assembly line. There current system in place was a worker pulled the andon cord (a cord hanging over each work station that when pulled alerts supervisors to a potential problem) to report problems with a seat to a team leader. Instead of dealing with the problem at that moment, even shutting down the assembly line if need be as dictated by the Toyota Production System (TPS), the worker just installed the defective car seat and let the assembly continue. The team leader supported this, pulling the andon cord themselves to indicate it was alright, and just made note of the cars that had problems. Once the defective car was fully assembled, it was taken to a clinic area to see if the problem could be corrected there. Although it was a conscious decision to deviate from the
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toyota case study 2 - Toyota 2/14/2008 Doug Friesen,...

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