Teaching Resources Library

Operations Management

Supply Chain

Toyota Supplier Relations: Fixing the Suprima Chassis



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.

Learning Objectives

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   

Educator Copy*

*An educator (non-watermarked) copy of this case is available only to individuals who hold teaching positions at academic institutions and want to use the case in a course.