This week, when Thursday rolled around my mind was still blank on what topic to blog. Until, I was working from home this morning and received a news txt alert on my iPhone that was actually working for once that Toyota’s CEO apologizes for the latest safety woes and has announced in a quality control committee to review and increase the company standards. While you may read this, the question may arise, what authority do I have in writing on thistopic. Back in college, I’m recalling a study on the TQM model (Total Quality Management) that Toyota was becoming known for in the business market in the 90’s as well as some other Fortune 500 industries.
As I re-read my synopsis for the research, I also recall other corporations like FedEx, Rockwell International, Black and Decker, Ford, UPS, etc., looking to implement this new methodology during the 80’s and 90’s. On a different side note, I owned a 2000 Camry with nearly 190k miles until the fall of 2008 and traded it for a new Fusion (sport edition). Yes, I loved the Camry, but with a 120 mile commute I was making (and still making), it was time to upgrade. I test drove several Camry’s, but nothing seem to handle as well as my 2000 model (which was your standard model with no modifications).
It’s a little of an paradox that a Toyota, which is known for TQM back in the 90’s, is having to create a committee to evaluate what has broken down in the process. Obviously, I do recognize that the supplier used is a third party vendor. The question being, should businesses now have to perform quality testing on products from third party vendors? Being the compassionate person that I am, I know this has to be embarrassing for Toyota. When I think of both Toyota and all the TQM concepts, I automatically think what went wrong. Was it management, was it employees, did we have a breakdown or change in leadership over the years? Two things stand out, empowerment and employee-management relations. TQM empowers the employee to make decisions and fosters a close working relationship with the employee and manager.
Being one that has worked in various industries with various personnel, something went wrong in testing and was not documented to management. It’s common sense. The question, was a test scenario missed? How may we apply this lesson to our lives? When testing new theories, products, etc., be sure to cover all grounds. Value the employee-management relationship, and if something is not right, do not be afraid to question the process or the people involved.