An Analysis of Toyota’s Operations Management

Subject: Company Analysis
Pages: 2
Words: 655
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

Operations management is one of the key areas in both small and large enterprises, which determines the success of a company to a considerable extent. Essentially, operations management constitutes the capacity of a business to efficiently convert its resources such as raw materials, employees, and production facilities into viable products sold to consumers (Reid and Sanders, 2019). Toyota is one of the leading companies worldwide in terms of delivering an excellent level of operations management. In 2020 alone, this Japanese car manufacturer sold more vehicles than any other company, namely, over nine million units (Davis, 2021). This paper will discuss Toyota’s approach to operations management, which is based on continuous improvement, it will also explore how operations management is interrelated to other Toyota’s business functions such as human resources management and marketing. Additionally, the role of the service system in Toyota’s competitive position will be mentioned, as well as the responsibilities of the company’s operations manager and their daily challenges. Finally, the importance of treating together the design of products and design processes will be explained.

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Toyota’s approach to operations management rests on the ideas of continuous improvement, so-called “kaizen,” and lean manufacturing, which entail constant positive changes in the internal procedures. Such a method of working implies that Toyota is concerned about its transformation process and strives to make it perfect. For instance, when a worker identifies a problem, they can stop the whole assembly line and call others to help them solve the existing issue together (Ivanov, Tsipoulanidis, and Schönberger, 2019). This form of quality control ensures that all of the items produced at the company’s factories do not have major defects. Additionally, Toyota’s transformation process involves determining areas of waste and minimizing their impact. The workers and managers check if there is a waste of time, overproduction, movement, and processing and try to identify the root problem and solve it (Toma and Naruo, 2017). These high standards of operations management translate into a service system which is strictly oriented towards quality and efficiency. Toyota’s service system ensures that the company does not manufacture defective products, which ultimately allows it to be an international leader in terms of car sales.

Operations managers at Toyota thus receive a unique set of responsibilities and challenges. Primarily, Toyota operations managers are tasked with developing policies which outline the areas of focus and goals, as well as propose strategies which have to lead to improvement in performance (Sisson and Elshennawy, 2015). Additionally, they have to oversee the implementation of new procedures and must address daily challenges of wasteful production, poor quality, and low productivity. Operations management at Toyota is interrelated to the function of human resources management since the idea of continuous improvement also concerns employees. For instance, workers are taught new methods of working at kaizen workshops, special training sessions, which often take place on a monthly basis (Coetzee, Van der Merwe, and Van Dyk, 2016). Toyota’s operations management is also interrelated to the marketing function since strong operations practices contribute to consumers’ view of Toyota as a reliable brand. The design of products and design processes are interrelated because the former depends on the latter. In other words, whenever a certain product is designed, the company must pay attention to the design process to avoid any issues during the manufacturing stage. Thus, the design of products and design processes have to be treated together because it will allow the company to work more efficiently and avoid wasting resources.

Toyota is one of the largest car manufacturers on the planet, which manages to sell millions of vehicles every year. Its operations management approach relies on the ideas of continuous improvement and lean manufacturing, which imply efficiency, excellent quality, and reduction of waste. The company’s operations managers are responsible for setting goals and strategies which seek to improve performance. Operations management at Toyota is closely connected to other company’s functions such as human resource management and marketing.

Reference List

Coetzee, R., Van der Merwe, K. and Van Dyk, L. (2016) Lean implementation strategies: how are the Toyota way principles addressed? The South African Journal of Industrial Engineering, 27(3), pp. 79–91.

Davis, R. and Inajima, T. (2021) ‘Volkswagen loses title of world’s top-selling carmaker to Toyota?’, Bloomberg. Web.

Ivanov, D., Tsipoulanidis, A. and Schönberger, J. (2019) Global supply chain and operations management. London: Springer.

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Reid, R.D. and Sanders, N.R. (2019) Operations management: an integrated approach. New York: Wiley.

Sisson, J. and Elshennawy, A. (2015) Achieving success with Lean. International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, 6(3), pp. 263–280. Web.

Toma, S. and Naruo, S. (2017) ‘Total quality management and business excellence: the best practices at Toyota Motor Corporation’, Amfiteatru Economic Journal, 19(45), pp. 566–580.