In other words, I rarely read a news story and then bang out an article around it since, honestly, this type of writing bores me beyond words.
But, unless you live under a rock, you’ve no doubt heard about how Toyota is up against it in a big way making this a bit more than your normal, every day, news.
And then Brian, a reader of the blog, sent me the following email making me feel even more compelled to offer my two cents. Here is what Brian asked.
Ron – What are your thoughts on how Toyota is handling this huge recall? They seem committed to finding root cause (using 8D methods like 5 Whys? etc) since they suspended sales of 8 models. But I think they should have drilled deep to ID root cause & corrective action BEFORE they suspended sales… because the media seems to be grilling Toyota over the “half-baked” plan of suspending sales before recall actions happen. Huge PR black-eye for Toyo, don’t you agree?
I’ve owned Toyota car for many years, luckily our RAV4 is not in the recall this time.
All the best,
Most lean practitioners understand the concept of Jidoka. It’s a pillar of the Toyota Production System.
The basic premise of jidoka is to immediately stop what you’re doing once an issue has been identified.
At that point, if it’s feasible and safe, a temporary solution may be implemented allowing things to start back up.
Then, a more thorough root cause analysis will be done allowing for a permanent countermeasure to be implemented ensuring the problem never occurs again.
When to Stop the Line?
Now, many are questioning the way Toyota is handling this. Some think they’re crazy for stopping production like they have.
Me, I don’t think they’re crazy at all. In fact, if anything, I think they waited too long.
I am not sure when they first realized the severity of the problem… but I am guessing it was some time ago. So, once the problem was identified I think they should have stopped production then and there.
But, to be fair, perhaps they did stop as quickly as possible. I am there so I don’t want to be too judgmental.
Sticks and Stones
Now, what about the press? Is the Toyota PR team doing the right things?
My guess is Toyota is far more concerned with finding a root cause and implementing a countermeasure then they are about how to spin the press machine.
So, sure, Toyota is feeling the pain right now. Their stock has taken a beating and many of their competitors are jumping for joy.
But it will not surprise me to see Toyota not only survive this devastating issue but also come out of it stronger than ever.
What do you think?
So, I’m curious. What do you think about the way Toyota is handling this problem? Are they doomed to become the next GM begging for bail out money? Or will they come out of this stronger than ever?