Toyota is a Japanese automobile company and part of the financial-industrial group Toyota. These days, this company is one of the world’s greatest car manufacturers. It is considered as the biggest Japanese automaker producing more than five million cars per year (Camillo, 2015). It is equal to approximately one car per six seconds. However, the most important is the fact that the company continues to evolve and develop. In Toyota group, there are many companies involving in different projects. It concerns, for example, the system of supplies just in time and kaizen. Toyota was the main driver of the Japanese industry in the 20th century.
One of the advantages of a good car is its ability to perpetuate the name of its creator. In the United States, there is Henry Ford, in Japan – Kiichiro Toyoda. At the beginning of the 20th century, Japan did not have its auto industry, although General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler built assembly plants on its territory. However, this situation did not discourage enterprising Kiichiro Toyoda, who intended to start his car business in Japan. The history of the company dates back to 1933, when in the company, which originally did not have relation to cars and was engaged in the textile industry, Kiichiro Toyoda opened the car department. The company’s logo portrays a weaving loop. It is associated with the fact that Toyota began its activity with the output of automatic weaving looms.
It is a multi-faceted company. Toyota is known for being the largest automaker in the world. In the book The Oxford Handbook of Business History, it is stated that “Toyota does own between 11 and 49 percent of fifteen key, first tier firms, that along with Toyota Motor are known as the Toyota Group” (Jones & Zeitlin, 2008, p. 260). For several years, the company occupies the first place in the ranking of the most expensive automobile brands in the world. Angelo Camillo (2015) affirms that “Toyota vehicles have found their way into over 170 countries of the globe” (p. 95). The company produces passenger cars, buses, and trucks under the brands Lexus, Toyota, Hino, Daihatsu, and Scion. Toyota Motor Corporation also actively promotes hybrid technologies to the automotive market. It is the first company that started the mass production of hybrid cars. Toyota currently has three lines of hybrid cars. They are based on a system of Hybrid Synergy Drive (Camillo, 2015). They include Camry, Highlander, and Prius.
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Toyota’s success depends on many factors. However, first and foremost, it is an organization of production of the company (Jones & Zeitlin, 2008). Toyota is famous for its operation management functions. These tasks are extremely critical for the success of the company. They are used to reorganize inputs into outputs. The success of Toyota among consumers throughout the world was conquered by heavy, hard work, as well as the perfect combination of innovation, high quality, and production standards. The company taught the world how to make modern cars. Until now, the main know-how of the Japanese giant is the Toyota production system. This system has even become the subject of a detailed study of scientists around the world. In the book Toyota Production System: An Integrated Approach to Just-In-Time, it is stated that “The main purpose of the system is to eliminate through improvement activities various kinds of waste lying concealed within a company” (Monden, 2012, p. 1). The heart of the system is the total elimination of wastes and idle time, as well as the concentration on the quality of cars in the process of continuous improvement. It is called kaizen. Components and parts for the assemblage of cars are supplied to the conveyor when they are needed. There are no stocks. The conveyor operates exclusively on a consumer and not on the warehouse. At first glance, it is not a difficult task. Nevertheless, when it comes to the coordination of production, delivery, and quality of thousands of components, complexity of the task becomes apparent.
In addition to the production system, Toyota is famous for the mechanism of conducting of management (Chiarini, 2012). Due to a rational system of production and management of human resources, the company was able to achieve great heights becoming one of the world’s leading cars manufacturers. The company’s principles of management are entirely based on its philosophy, which is focused on the long-term perspective. It represents a set of rules and ideas that define the management of resources and consists of three parts. The first part is human resources management. The second part is the creation of high-performance systems of suppliers. The third part consists in the development of the distribution system. These three principles are inseparable with each other and represent a powerful weapon in the competition.
The philosophy of a long-term perspective is based on several principles. Management decisions should be made considering the long-term perspective, even if it is detrimental to short-term financial goals. The process in a continuous flow helps identify problems. It is important to use a “pulling” system to avoid overproduction. Organization of production requires a consumer to receive what he/she needs at the right time and in the right quantity. It is necessary to align the amount of work. To create the right lean manufacturing and achieve a better quality of service, it is crucial to align the production schedule (Chiarini, 2012). It is not always necessary to strictly follow the order of receipt of orders. If quality is required, the production could be stopped.
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Toyota production system has a unique method of production management that is known as Kanban (Marksberry, 2012). It plays an extremely significant role in the success of the company. The Kanban system is also called the supermarket method, because the idea of using control charts was borrowed from American supermarkets. On control charts of products, there is specific information such as a product name, a product code, and storage. At Toyota, when a process refers to the preceding process to obtain parts, it uses the Kanban to inform, which parts were used.
Toyota production system immersed in the philosophy of the total elimination of all losses covers all aspects of production for maximum efficiency (Marksberry, 2012). Losses include everything that does not add value for a customer such as losses due to expectations, unnecessary transportation, an excess of stocks, additional processing steps, overproduction, and marriage. All these needs are intertwined with each other thus creating, even more, losses. This fact ultimately affects negatively the control of the corporation. Toyota production system has developed and complemented over the years through trials and errors. These days, it is completely a perfect system of the production. Kanban enables the process to refer to the previous process to obtain the necessary parts when they are needed and in the required quantity.
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Nowadays, Toyota is an extremely popular company around the world. It is one of the greatest automotive companies. Toyota produces its products under diverse brands. The success of the company depends greatly on the production system. Toyota production system is focused on the complete elimination of waste and based on several principles. The most important principle is a principle just in time when parts that are necessary for assembly appear severely on the production line at the right time and in the strictly required amount using the means of information transfer Kanban.