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Applying “The New JIT (Just in time)” in Toyota

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  1. The traditional JIT system and problems faced
  2. The ?New JIT?
    1. The concept of the ?New JIT?
    2. Description of Toyota's Marketing, Development and Production Systems
  3. Example of the application of New JIT through the Design Technical Methods
    1. Sense of value analysis
    2. Design preference for car appearance
    3. Psychographics of the Lexus GS 400

During the second half of the 20th century, Japanese car companies, especially Toyota, set down standards in defining the best production principles. In particular, they have carried out a quality management approach of the production through the implementation of the Just In Time (JIT) strategy. This strategy used to be a strong competitive advantage for companies such as Toyota. Nevertheless, during the mid 90s, the Japanese car industry faced important quality related problems. Moreover, the JIT strategy no longer offered a competitive advantage since all the main worldwide competitors had implemented a similar quality approach of the production process. Consequently, there was a strong need to introduce new practices in order to lead the next generation cars.

Kakuro Amasaka, with the help of Toyota's management teams, worked out a new management technology / quality principle, called ?New JIT?.

In this paper, we will first briefly recapitulate the traditional JIT program at Toyota. We will then introduce the main changes of the New JIT with concrete examples of its application at Toyota. At the end, we will study a few problems that have been encountered during the application of the New JIT and the solutions that have been used to settle them.

During the second half of the 20th century, Japanese car companies, especially Toyota, set down standards in defining the best production principles. In particular, they have carried out a quality management approach of the production through the implementation of the Just In Time (JIT) strategy. This strategy used to be a strong competitive advantage for companies such as Toyota. Nevertheless, during the mid 90s, the Japanese car industry faced important quality related problems. Moreover, the JIT strategy no longer offered a competitive advantage since all the main worldwide competitors had implemented a similar quality approach of the production process. Consequently, there was a strong need to introduce new practices in order to lead the next generation cars.

Kakuro Amasaka, with the help of Toyota's management teams, worked out a new management technology/quality principle, called ?New JIT?.

In this paper, we will first briefly recapitulate the traditional JIT program at Toyota. We will then introduce the main changes of the New JIT with concrete examples of its application at Toyota. At the end, we will study a few problems that have been encountered during the application of the New JIT and the solutions that have been used to settle them.

JIT was firstly developed within Toyota manufacturing plants by Taiichi Ohno, during the beginning of the 70s. The oil embargo probably triggered this theory; the program was intended to avoid wastage, reduce inventories and increase production efficiency in order to maintain Toyota's competitive edge. Besides, the company believed that customers would be satisfied with maximum quality in the shortest time-period. Toyota realized that JIT would only be successful if every individual within the company was committed to the new project. At the beginning, JIT was used as a method to reduce inventories in Toyota's shipyards, but afterwards it evolved to a management philosophy containing a set of techniques.

The JIT traditional production system was composed of two main parts: Toyota Production System (TPS) was the hardware technology and Total Quality Management (TQM) was the software technology. Using TPS and TQM enabled Toyota to upgrade quality in the production process (which resulted in cost savings for the company) and to satisfy customers' needs in terms of excellent quality, cost and delivery (QCD). The TQM was mainly implemented through statistical quality control (SQC) that enabled reduction in fluctuations and raised the average level of quality. The implementation of the JIT strategy resulted in success for Toyota.

[...] This has been in line with the focus on customers that Toyota decided to implement. This has been used in elaborating the design of the Lexus GS 400. The survey was based on a panel of 157 Japanese persons of different generations, sex and personality. People where asked to evaluate four mutually competing models that were part of the quality range of the Lexus GS 400 on their front, side and rear appearance (BMW 850i, Mercedes Benz 300, Legend Coupe, Soarer 4.0 GT). [...]


[...] Moreover, the software side has been upgraded with the use of the ?Science to give birth to the TQM-S. This software enables optimization of quality process through a scientific approach of quality. By fostering the sharing of information between its divisions, Toyota has bridged the gap that existed between development engineers, production engineers and marketers. The company has clarified gaps that exist in theory, testing, calculation and actual application. The implementation of this new system has resulted in the renovation of cutting edge quality management for Toyota. [...]


[...] The interpretation of this chart leaves no doubt that front design is more important than side and rear for this group of customers due to a Bf ( 0.46 ) higher than Bs ( 0.30 ) and Br ( 0.29 Nevertheless, side and rear are also quite important in the consumer choice. The same study for higher age/revenue people reveals that they give even more importance to the front side. This study has also been carried out in the United States and had revealed that, in effect, customers focus on the design as a whole. [...]

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