Toyota Motor Manufacturing, USA, Inc.
1.If you were Doug Friesen, where would you focus attention and what would you do to address the seat problem?One of the first things that I would do is to determine if the process that is being used to solve the problems with defective seats is the best method to use, especially since it doesn't follow the TPS method of stopping production, trying to figure out why the problem occurred and how to prevent it from happening again, fixing the defect, and restraining production. Also, I would take a look at the communication between the seat supplier, Kentucky Framed Seat (KFS) and the plant, if there a miscommunication of some sort. One other issue to be looked at is why the cars are sitting in the overflow parking lot for so long. KFS was making special deliveries of new seats twice a day, but there were cars with defective seats still sitting in the lot for over four days.
Another issue that also must be looked at is the problem caused by cross-threading and the breaking of the hook, also the deliveries of wrong seats by KFS. I would also go to the KFS plant and watch the production lines and see if there are any easily noticeable problems. Then I can go and watch the team who installs the seats and make sure there are no problems there. Overall I will need to find the root of the problem.
2. What options exist? What would you recommend and why?One solution to the problem could be that employees can spend more time on installing the seats in the way they would fit, the bolt through the hook with more caution. Another option could be to redesign the seat to resolve the problem with...