Weaknesses in the Product Lifecycle of Toyota (Term Paper Sample)
Within a firms value chain there exist a lot of nodes which could be strengthening the chain or weakening it.
Research has shown that most firms have made a lot of concentration on production in order to meet demand as
well as ensure customers satisfaction. Under the ISO 9000:2000 with developments to 2015, the body of
international quality and standards have set regulations and guidelines that should be followed by organisations
(Rahman, 2017). However, most firma are not able to follow most TQM and ISO 9000 requirements thus
leading to weaknesses which have an impact on a firm’s sustainability and profitability. Most firms due to weak
or inappropriate operation strategy, they run into negative returns, with worse scenarios of being unable to
sustain their long-term strategic commitments.
ASSIGNMENT 2: VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS PART 2
CASE OF TOYOTA COMPANY
Within a firms value chain there exist a lot of nodes which could be strengthening the chain or weakening it. Research has shown that most firms have made a lot of concentration on production in order to meet demand as well as ensure customers satisfaction. Under the ISO 9000:2000 with developments to 2015, the body of international quality and standards have set regulations and guidelines that should be followed by organisations (Rahman, 2017). However, most firma are not able to follow most TQM and ISO 9000 requirements thus leading to weaknesses which have an impact on a firm’s sustainability and profitability. Most firms due to weak or inappropriate operation strategy, they run into negative returns, with worse scenarios of being unable to sustain their long-term strategic commitments.
WEAKNESSES IN THE PRODUCT LIFECYCLE OF TOYOTA
A product life cycle (PLC) explains a product from inception, market entry, penetration, growth, maturity, and to its decline. Toyota is known for its dominance in the automotive industry. Most of its brand products have been able to penetrate the market. The firm vehicles have been widely known for their durability and reliability. Therefore, most of its product line are at maturity stage (Liker, 2016). At this stage the most important strategy for firms intending to remain competitive has been product differentiation. However, Toyota does little or no differentiation to their products line. This has led to one of the major weaknesses faced by the firm which is stagnated market growth. Especially in its domestic market (US), the firm’s market share has stagnated and they have not been able to move sales. Consumers have opted for more attractive products that are differentiated thus taking away the market share of the firm. As of the year 2019, the firm has lost about 4% of its sales revenue (Krijnen, 2019).
In addition, to market stagnation, the firm has been having a weakness of product quality. This has led to a lot of sales recall both in the domestic and international market. Despite the firm application of the just-in-time production philosophy, they have not been able to warrant quality. The recalls have cost the firm a big deal of resources and has led to slow customer’s cycle.
The other problem has been high employee’s turnover. Toyota in its attempt to improve customers services as well as improve their efficiency, they have been engaged in a lot of R&D. in addition, they have been undertaking information system maintenance and upgrading. Tis has led to increased orders especially from the international market. The increase in orders has helped the firm gain customers but at the expense of the employees which have been forces to work extra harder to attend to the orders (Krijnen, 2019). The firm has been engaged in little trainings for the employees to help them move with the rising need and pace. They have also not increased their salaries and have also not increased the number of workers. This consequently, has led to increased strikes, and resignation of workers. Those that are left are overwhelmed by the many orders leading to high employee’s turnover. Finally, the product has led to increased waiting time and long ques. This has led to heightened complains and a contributor of the increased employees turnover.
NEW PRODUCT DESIGN
Currently development and design has been on bases of customer’s thoughts and ideas. This has hence led to the application of the JIT production method. The method though has led to decline in resource wastage as well as increase customers’ relation, it has been associated with increase in quality destabilisation (Sun, 2000). It has led to wastage of time as the firm try to customise the products. In addition, they have not been able to meet unexpected demand as they only produce as demanded. This has led to long queues as customers wait for their order to be produced and delivered.
To take care of the supply shock, and to be able to meet the market demand. Consequently, be able to deal with some of the problems including the slow customer cycle, quality issues, and high employees turn over. The firms would make use of total quality management (TQM) design. This will be complemented with adherence to ISO 9000:2000 standards.
The TQM approach is guides by the principles of total quality, customer’s first, continuous improvement, strategic approach to product development, and mutual respect and team work. Therefore, since the major weakness of the product Toyota is delivering to the market has been faced with challenges of quality, customer waiting, high employee’s turnover, and stagnated market, the TQM approach will offer solution (Hines et.al, 2006). For instance, a focus on mutual respect and teamwork would lead to employment of the most appropriate leadership styles. In addition, it will lead to employee motivation and engagement through engaged process of decision making. Consequently, their productivity would increase and thus lowering the turn over. Also, emphasis on customers as well as quality, will lead the firm to production of cars that meet and go beyond the customers expectation. Thus they will be satisfied. In addition, continuous improvement will lead to differentiation of products offered by the firm. This will lead to opening of new markets and consequently, improvement of customer’s current slow cycle. Customers will realise value and thus be willing to purchase form the firm.
STRATEGIES FOR STRENGTHENING THE OPERATION
Having realised that TQM is an appropriate tool for product design and development at Toyota, the most appropriate operation strategies that need to be employed includes;
* Employees training programs- this strategy was choses so that employees could be trained on the TQM issues as well as the raising demands and customers preferences (Kiritsis et.al, 2003). It will be meant to ensure employees and faster and more efficient to reduce the long waiting time. In addition, it will reduce employee’s turnover.
* Quality assurance manual derived from ISO: 9000 to fit the company-the strategy was choses due to the high number of sales returns experienced by the firm (Krijnen, 2019). The manual will be a guide towards ensuring data guided decision making, customer satisfaction, and engagement.
* Development of customer database and improvement plan- this will be in attempt to solve the market stagnation problem as well as increase customers satisfaction thus improve customers cycle.
COMPONENTS OF THE SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT OF TOYOTA
Toyota supply chain has been one of the operation strategy for the firm and has been customised for the firm production. Currently, the firm chain has been anchored on lean manufacturing. The hierarchy has been on; mutual understanding, interlocking structures, internal control systems, integration of capabilities though compatibility and information sharing, joint improvement activities, and deployment of Kaizen model with deep learning. The firm has also embraced the use of JIT principles at production (Krijnen, 2019). The Kanban approach has been well integrated with signals for the resources needed. In addition, capacity planning has formed a basic party of the supply chain through inventory elimination. Therefore, rely on pull systems with continuous improvement. Use of the lean concept as developed by Toyota has been with the attempt to eliminating waste.
The supply chain management system at Toyota has been aimed at eliminating waste, avoiding over stoking and overproduction, incorrect processing, customer satisfaction, and unused employees creativity. With the models the firm has been able to achieve a competitive edge (Liker, 2016). However, a lot more need to be done so that the firm can be able to increase its market share.
MAJOR ISSUES THAT COULD AFFECT THE CHAIN AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
The structure, sourcing, purchasing, and the overall chain would be affected by;
First the chain would be affected by quality considerations. This would affect where Toyota sources its products as well as the models employed at production. The recalls on the vehicles could be either due to faulty raw material or defects at production. Therefore, the solution would be effective and detailed screening of suppliers, competence and a strong HR department, and training to employees to give room for improvement (Rahman, 2017). The firm could also test new products before relies to the market to correct for any fault.
Timeliness could be the other issue along the chain. Toyota makes use of the JIT model and goes into production by order. This gas led to long waiting and changes in customer’s tastes and preferences have also led to supply shocks (Nishiguchi & Beaudet, 2013). This would be solved through a customer relation program where the firm would evaluate feedback as well as conduct market survey on customers. Consequently, product what customer need hence need timelines as well as rising demands.
Finally is the cost efficiency. One of the major objective of most firms is to ensure costs are minimised to ensure they are able to price their products accordingly while maintaining quality. Use of the JIT approach as well as the time consumed in production has led Toyota to offer their products at exorbitant prices. This has led to slow customer’s cycle as well as stagnated market growth as customer move to other products offered at friendly prices. This could be so...
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