Toyota and Quality Issues Paper Howard Gripp, Melissa Hatfield, Leslie Stewart, Melinda Hoye Applied Business Research & Statistics (QNT/561) Professor Gerald Heidt University of Phoenix August 2, 2010 Toyota and Quality Issues Paper The quality of the Toyota products has not been up to company standards lately as there have been more customer complaints and serious lawsuits from customers. In 2010 alone, Toyota has had recalls on 400,000 Avalons, 600,000 Minivans, and over 400,000 Prius vehicles as well as certain Lexus HS 250h models (Automotive Advertising Network, 2010).
The Toyota quality process consist of Lean Six Sigma made popular by Motorola, Toyota, and General Electric. The iSixSIgma (2010) website, Six Sigma is a rigorous and disciplined method that uses data and statistical analysis to measure and improve a company’s operational performance by identifying and eliminating “defects”. With all of the current recalls, Toyota must find a way to improve the testing process and sampling of products that go in to the production of Toyota vehicles. Develop a Research Question Because of the number of complaints within the past year, it is imperative for management to determine the cause of the defects.
Therefore, management must research the current quality control system to determine the flaws that exist and the potential solution for these flaws. The current quality control process involves human error. Therefore, implementing a computerized system based on Six Sigma that will do automatic checks, check multiple samples, and create graphs, charts and reports that will improve quality, reduce customer complaints, reduce the high number of recalls, and regain the confidence of the consumer market. Determine the Appropriate Research Design
In determining how to implement the computerized quality control system, Toyota has to make sure they are doing all the research necessary to ensure the system will properly detect defects in the parts that go into making the cars. Based on Cooper & Schindler, a useful way to design a research study is as a two-stage design (2006). This will allow Toyota to find the weakness in their current quality control process. First, they will compare data from other manufacturing companies that have used the computerized system to see how it has worked in detecting defects in its products.
In analyzing how the system reduced the amount of defects that crossed through to the product, and the level of customer complaint with and without the product: it will determine if the system is accurate. After they have collected the necessary data, Toyota will implement the system into a test area of the production line. This will give feedback that will show how this system is working for Toyota in detecting the defects, and reducing customer complaints.
With an ex post facto design, the variables included in this research are the number of detected defects, customer satisfaction, and the reduced time to detect the defects, and the number of employees who are affected by the computerized system. Because Toyota has no control over these variables, it is important that the results are not manipulated in any way (Cooper & Schindler, 2006). Identify a Sample Design Toyota can segregate the population into mutually exclusive subpopulations by vehicle make and model. Therefore, the most appropriate sampling design is stratified sampling.
This sample design will be used to collect the data necessary to measure how many defects were detected on a daily and weekly basis by model over four weeks, before the system implementation took place and afterwards. This will allow Toyota to determine the quality control process improvement or regression by make and model by analyzing the mean, median, and standards deviation of the data collected. Conclusion Toyota will use a two-stage design to fully understand the problems with their current Six Sigma quality control process. This will require an ex post facto design in which the company does not have control over the variables.
The results will allow management to determine the accuracy of their quality control process and will allow management to correct quality issues by vehicle make and model. Management will use stratified sampling to collect the data necessary for their research project. References Automotive Advertising Network. (2010). Toyota Recall. Retrieved from http://www. toyotarecall. org/ Cooper, D. R. & Schindler, P. S. (2006). Business research methods (9th ed. ). Boston: McGraw Hill/Irwin. iSixSIgma. (2010). Six Sigma. Retrieved from http://www. isixsigma. com/index. php? option=com_content&view=article&id=201&Itemid=27