On Monday, September 25th, exchange students enrolled in the Global Leadership Program were invited to visit the Toyota Tsutsumi Plant. Mr. Eric KIM, from Lazaridis School of Business, Canada, kindly shared his views and insights of this memorable visit.
“The moment you step onto the catwalk, all you can hear is the sound of power drills whirring and electric trolleys running up and down the production floor. There is not a single sound out of place such as the crude banging of a hammer or the voices of employees. In the space of a football field and two floors is the entire Toyota assembly line for several different types of vehicles, capable of churning out a car every 64 seconds. Each has already been assigned to a buyer meeting their exact specifications, whether it be a compact hybrid for the Japanese market or a luxury sedan for the North American market. There is no room for error as the seemingly endless line of vehicles never stop. The employees can transform a single metal rod into a complete dashboard and into the car within the hour while doing it in the space the size of a closet. Simply put, it is controlled chaos. They may have words such as Kanban, Kaizen, or JIT to describe their capability, but it simply fails to do justice to the awe-inspiring spectacle they have in store in Toyota, Japan.”