Essay by krsachinUniversity, Master'sB, March 2014

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1) As Doug Friesen, what would you do to address the seat problem? Where would you focus your attention and solution efforts?

Doug Friesen and his team is witnessing severe problem related to rear seats provided by Kentucky Framed Seats(KFS) after the plant started manufacturing Camry wagon models from March 1992. It has been observed that most of the issues are from the supplier's end and relatively insignificant errors are from the Toyota Motor Manufacturing(TMM) plant in USA. Some of the major problems were Missing Bolsters, Gap in rear seat etc. As per Exhibit 7, defects per vehicle have reduced significantly post Oct '91and in fact is well within the goal/target in the month of February and March 1992. But, in April '92 the seat defects surpasses the limit once again. It coincides with TMM's plan to produce and become sole source of Camry wagons to North America, Europe, Japan and Middle-East.

Exhibit 10(Andon Pulls at Left-Hand Side Seat Installation) indicates significantly high number of Andon Pulls in First Shift of Rear seat installation station compared to 2nd Shift.

Doug Friesen should work towards finding solution to three issues: (1) Drop of quality seats with KFS and 2) Identify reason for variance in andon pulls of first and second shift (3) Delay in replenishment of replacement seats from KFS once the problem is identified in clinic area .

As Doug Friesen, we(group L2) would first try to identify process constraints and concerns related to upgrading the facility and process capability of KFS to manage new and greater mix of variety of seats to be produced for new models. From the case, we understand that when KFS first started supplying seats in 1986, it had a tough time to learn and cope with requirements at par with TMC's Japanese seat...