The Toyota Way: A Guide to Globalization

Welcome to the wonderful world of lean manufacturing and cost cutting initiatives, unfortunately this is here to stay as companies look to increase efficiency.  During my MBA program I took the course MGT 705-50 or Global Economic Climate for short.  One of the course objectives was to be able to evaluate a company that has been successful in going global.  Anyways here was the final assessment of the course we had to do a thorough analysis of a firm and its industry in terms of its actual and potential globalization, and the extent to which the firm’s competitors have global strategies.  Identify the major strategic groups and what the strategies of the firm should be.  We base this analysis on the concepts discussed in the course.

I chose to write a paper about Toyota, and come to find out after 35 pages later I learned a lot about the organization and its roots.  I am not going to take you through the analysis performed but if you would like to review the paper drop me an email and I can send it off to you.  The world is now our market place and we need to view it that way.  I have readers from all stretches of the globe reading what I publish.  To think that I only publish and only people from my small section of New York in the United States read it would be silly.  Companies need to look at the global landscape as well when they begin to offer products.

Toyota was one of the first companies to embrace the Kaizen model for continuous improvement.  This evolved into the Toyota way.  Kaizen was first implemented after the Second World War and has progressively spread throughout the world.  A similar type process was implemented at the organization that I work for, I work at a hospital and while not having direct care we are all caregivers.

The Five Elements of Kaizen are: Teamwork, personal discipline, morale improvement, quality, and suggestions to improve processes.  This method takes into consideration every person involved.  If a process is not working the process is reviewed with the necessary people and a suggestion for improvement is initiated.  All team members are looking for ways to improve operations.  The morale is improved because the lowest stakeholders feel they can impact process and operations.

The Toyota Production System model has been deployed all over the world and has been the subject of numerous case studies. The Kaizen approach has been one of the major contributors in helping the Toyota brand expand globally.

While I do not personally own a Toyota, I know a few that own them and also one who is a Toyota engineer.  What do you think of the Toyota brand?  Do you own one?  My global readers, what would you say the Toyota footprint is in your locale?

 Photo by: toyota uk