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This should always be the case and bad things will happen again if Toyota stumbles. The fact that Toyota is not a domestic car maker will be used against them by opportunists.
A struggle that has been encountered by many car makers is the "complex web" (as the case study calls it) of dealers, parts suppliers, offices and so forth that have to be managed when running a car company. Toyota has nearly nine thousand employees in the United States alone and they (as well as the dealers) are strewn across the United States.
The management of inventories, parts and customer support in general needs to be as complex as it needs to be but it should not be made less simple than it can be. Building up the corporate morass of bureaucracy is idea because it limits the company's ability to react to crises, such as the accelerator problem. As noted in the case study, the company should grow as fast as it can WITHOUT sacrificing quality and safety and this needs to be true even if it means ceding market share to the competition. If there is a way to grow faster without sacrificing quality and safety, then it should be implemented. However, slow and steady will win the race over the long haul, as the competitors at GM and Ford will almost certainly have the same growing pains if they act too swiftly. Growth should be measured, organic and at a pace that allows for the proper foundation and framework to be laid without installing procedures and frameworks that are dysfunctional.
The benefits to managing operations effectively are obvious. Less money is spent fixing errors and the company headcount and administrative overhead will not get bloated and expansive. The impact to the organization will be an efficient and cohesive unit that has what it needs to survive and thrive while at the same time not leading to people twiddling their thumbs or repeating each other's work. Everyone has an assigned task and everything gets done in a timely and effective fashion.
Family vs. Non-Family
The comment by Jim Press at the opening of the case study sets the tone for this section. Management structures that involve family to any degree can be dicey, even in a public corporation, because family priorities are often at odds with those of non-family entities. Press tries to indicate that non-family interests are the "evil" ones with Toyota. His rhetoric is a bit simplistic, but it certainly proves that in-fighting needs to be stopped.
As for how this process of communication and decision-making can be crafted to avoid lack of consensus and bickering, shareholders can exercise their muscles and the upper echelons of the company need to lay down the law and note that even if a decision is acrimonious to some, everyone needs to move on afterwards in a synchronized fashion. Anyone who resorts to childish behavior and speech needs to be shown the door. The benefits of this are that there is no obvious dissention and discord with upper management and the final decisions, even if not everyone agrees with them, will be implemented in a strong fashion. Lastly, Toyota should not give deference to the Toyoda family when undergoing the above. Someone speaking out of turn needs to be slapped down because it's a cancer to the company if that does not happen. Majority rules and who is the higher-up in the company should win the day unless it is obvious safety is being compromised, which is a danger given what happened with the accelerator drama.
Yahoo. (2013, February 24). TM Profile | Toyota Motor Corporation Common Stock - Yahoo! Finance. Yahoo! Finance - Business Finance, Stock Market, Quotes, News. Retrieved February 24, 2013, from http://finance.yahoo.com/q/pr?s=TM+Profile
Yahoo. (2013, February 24). TM: Summary for Toyota Motor Corporation Common- Yahoo! Finance. Yahoo! Finance - Business Finance, Stock Market, Quotes, News. Retrieved February 24, 2013, from http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=TM
Yahoo. (2013, February 24). TM Key Statistics | Toyota Motor Corporation Common Stock - Yahoo! Finance. Yahoo! Finance - Business Finance, Stock Market, Quotes, News. Retrieved February 24, 2013, from http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=TM+Key+Statistics
Yahoo. (2013, February 24). TM Competitors | Toyota Motor Corporation Common Stock - Yahoo! Finance. Yahoo! Finance - Business Finance, Stock Market, Quotes, News. Retrieved…[continue]
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