Case Study: Quality Management – Toyota

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Question 1: Develop a Diagram that Summarizes what Toyota has done in Response to

Its Recent Quality Recall Problems

Quality

  • Assigning 1,000 engineers who focus on spot-checking  the quality of Toyota products
  • Establishing troubleshooting teams to ensure timely identification and management of the safety problems in the products
  • Lowering of the of the bar for the required recalls by including issues that were not considered problematic in the past
  • Enhancing checks on the new model cars before their release to the market

Management

  • Naming a managing director that oversees all the safety-related issues. The director works on the area of research and engineering but also works together with a separate quality-focused team
  • The establishment of the Swift Market Analysis Response Teams, also known as Smart, which are meant to troubleshoot in the United States. The teams are responsible for tracking down safety and defects in the Toyota automobiles. The teams are further being implemented in other global markets, including China, Europe, Southeast Asia, and India
  • The establishment of a multimillion-dollar, multilingual computer system that comprises of a dedicated team of twenty employees who are responsible for compiling repair reports from the global Toyota dealers, in addition to complaints posted on the internet as well as information on safety concerns gathered by governments.

 

In

Question 2: Evaluate the Statement in the Case made by Toru Sakurangi that…‘Toyota  has been Caught between a need to cut Costs to overcome the Strong Yen and the need to Improve Quality to Prevent Recalls, and they are now pursuing both strategies, but they are essentially at odds with one another.’

            The statement indicates that pursuing both the cost cutting strategy and the quality improvement strategies is a key challenge for Toyota, since the company needs to maintain high quality standards in the production of its products while lowering the cost of production (Jacobs & Chase, 2017). The strong Yen demonstrates that the prices of cars would appear high among the global customers, since a strong currency in the exporting country makes imports expensive for the global customers. Hence, Toyota needs to lower its cost of production so that it can subsequently lower the prices of its cars to make them more affordable for the global customers. On the other hand, Sakurangi emphasizes on the importance of quality in attracting and maintaining the global customers for the general success of the company.

The strategy is realistic because it is achievable, whereby the company can lower its cost of production through improved automation of its manufacturing processes, enhancing employee motivation to ensure higher productivity and higher quality products, as well as sourcing the raw materials from cheaper suppliers, which is easily achievable given the strong Yen, which makes importing the key raw materials cheaper for the company. The company can improve the strategy by focusing more on enhancing the quality of the products by implementing an effective quality management system as well as adopting a cost leadership strategy by focusing on global suppliers to acquire raw materials at a lower cost, which can be crucial in lowering the prices of its cars (Toma & Naruo, 2017).

Question 3: Suggest Improvements that you feel could be made to Toyota’s Quality Program. Also, what might Toyota do to improve its Image to the Consumer relative to Quality?

            Some of the improvements that Toyota can make to its quality program include enhancing the level of automation in the production of its products, whereby such automation plays a crucial role in minimizing the number of errors in the production process that lead to quality and safety issues. On the other hand, the company should focus on maintaining a highly competent and motivated team to ensure that the company’s goals are effectively met, particularly regarding the product quality and safety (Jacobs & Chase, 2017). Moreover, for the company to improve its image among consumers regarding quality it should focus on implementing programs that focus on ensuring extensive testing of the cars for quality and safety issues before the products are released to the market. Further, Toyota should establish diverse communication platforms to facilitate communication with its global customers, where the feedback obtained from the customers would be applied in improving the new car models.

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