How Toyota Motor contributes with ideas and advice
Toyota Motors represents a successful implementation of total quality management. Since its foundation, Toyota Motors puts customer and quality as a priority. Total Quality Management principles like kaizen, problem-solving, creative innovation spread throughout the company and took root, contributing to higher product quality and work quality at all levels and improving the vitality of individuals and organizations.
The company put in place a suggestion system that helped a lot the company. Everybody in the company is taking part in the development. The suggestion system in Toyota accepts written or verbal ideas, no need for the manager’s permission, an employee can write a suggestion himself or ask for help. Toyota Motors organizes a prize for the best ideas. The suggestion system was very efficient, the company has been able to collect more than 40 million suggestions. All employees’ suggestions are welcomed. The suggestion system has been running for more than 70 years. At Toyota, more than 700,000 ideas are implemented every year, for each idea the company makes 100$ with a total saving of 70,000,000$.
Employees in most cases suggest ideas linked to their work in order to improve processes. The aim of the Suggestion system is to teach employees continual improvement philosophy called also Kaizen in Japan. Ideas are implemented with the person who comes up with them. The ideas are implemented fast just after being collected and implemented. There is a review process but it is done very quickly and approved at the lowest level possible. Toyota has a reward system for the best ideas, it is a way to encourage employees and reward them for spending time during breaks and personal time to improve the company. Employees are supervised by experts and more experienced employees in order to implement ideas.
- Flexible management: The employee suggestion system fails due to the high bureaucracy system to evaluate ideas.
- Suggestions but no complaints: Ideas turn to complaints rather than suggestions for improvement. Management should explain that the main objective of the suggestion system is to provide ideas for improvements rather than complaints.
- Incentives for best suggestions and implemented ideas: The company should have an incentive plan to encourage the best suggestions and successfully implemented ones.
- Simple suggestions: In order to be successful in this suggestion system, it should be as simple as possible.
- Budget: The company should allocate a budget for the functioning of the suggestion system. It needs as well resources to put in place suggested ideas.