In late 2004, Walt Bernstein, the director of production control for Toyota Motor Manufacturing’s Macon, Georgia operation, was notably frustrated with the plant manager for ChassisCo, a Toyota supplier. There were quality and conformance issues with the rear suspension cradle that ChassisCo was manufacturing for Toyota’s new Suprima crossover. ChassisCo had made a number of operational improvements since production started 14 months earlier, but problems continued to surface. Bernstein, an expert in Toyota’s production principles, needed to figure out what to do.
To encourage students to think about how best to structure a supplier relationship that will be able to continually address new challenges and change.
Appropriate for the Following Course(s)
operations management; operations strategy
Toyota Supplier Relations: Fixing the Suprima Chassis
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THIS CASE HAS A TEACHING NOTE.