Toyota Motors business strategy Essay


Title: Toyota Motors in its accounting and finance country organisational behavior, selling, corporate scheme, concern Economics and Business Decision selling. 10,000 words.

We will write a custom essay sample on
Toyota Motors business strategy Essay
or any similar topic only for you
Order now


This study sets out to analyze the Toyota Motor corporation of Japan, with peculiar mention to its fiscal operations. It considers the manner in which this important portion of the operation has mostly been subordinated by scholarship devoted to the corporations land interrupting production and human resources inventions. Therefore, although the ‘Toyota System’ has become synonymous with the thought of best pattern in fabrication, the fiscal logic which underpins it has remained relatively vague. What emerges is a system of capitalisation steadfastly rooted, non merely in Toyota’s yesteryear, but that of its national background and native fiscal establishments. This implied peculiar relationships with stockholders and Bankss, and above all, assured the corporation effortless solvency, even during old economic downswings, such as the Nipponese slack of the 1990’s. Now nevertheless, Toyota faces wholly different challenges. Having posted its fist concern loss for 70 old ages, the still comparatively flush corporation must use its schemes in altered contexts which may good outlast a modern-day cyclical slack. With its fiscal construction come ining a new stage, the universe of car fabrication – and to a big grade, the auto purchasing public – looks to Toyota to specify the hereafter of driving. The inquiry is, has the twenty-four hours of the elephantine multinational auto shaper has passed, or whether Toyota can redefine it once more.

Contentss Page

List of Abbreviations……………………………………………………..4

List of Tables……………………………………………………………..4

1. Introduction……………………………………………………………5

2. Accounting and Finance……………………………………………….8

3. Organizational Behaviour……………………………………………..12

4. Marketing………………………………………………………………16

5. Corporate Strategy……………………………………………………..18

6. Business Economics and Decision Making…………………………….22


List of Tables

1. Global Vehicle Production…………………………………….p.5

2. Percentage of Toyota Vehicle Gross saless by Region, 2007……… . p.8

3. Annual Average Petrol Consumption, US Gallons,

Full-Sized SUV……………………………………………… p.23

List of Abbreviations

HourHuman Resources

IMCIntegrated Market Communicationss

KMKnowledge Management

SHRStrategic Human Resources

I: Introduction.

Commenting on Toyota’s troubles in December 2008, main executive Katsuaki Watanabe remarked that ‘…This is an unprecedented emergency…Unfortunately, I can non see now where the underside will be.’ ( Soble 23.12.08 ) Toyota can nevertheless see the exigency from a far better place than most of the competition. The Toyota Motor corporation is rated the world’s fifth largest company by theLuckGlobal 500, which besides places it at the vertex of the world’s motor makers, in front of General Motors and Daimler in 2nd and 3rd topographic point severally. ( Fortune 2008 ) . Toyota had eleven mills in nine states in 1980, this had grown to twenty mills in 14 states by 1990 ; by 2005, the ratio stood at 46 mills in 20 six states. (The Economist2005). However, it may be argued that Toyota’s singular industrial and concern success is merely portion of its planetary trade name strength. The Toyota trade name signifies a great trade more, both to its clients, and to the populace at big. Partially due to this, as Table 1 shows, it now equals the gross revenues of old market leaders.

Table 1.

Beginning:The Economist,8th Nov 2007.

This study argues that Toyota is basically a learning organisation, or as Hyam and Mason put it, ‘… one in which directors perceive their place in the organisation, and their relationship with subsidiaries, in a radically new manner, using new metaphors and ways of understanding.’ ( Hyam and Mason 1995: p.145 ) . This study sets out to analyze the Toyota phenomenon holistically, sing its fiscal temperament, organisational behavior, selling, economic rational and determination devising. A important constituent of Toyota’s success ballad in the development of seminal patterns in fabrication and operations direction, a fact attested to by many independent perceivers. As Womack et Al. set it, ‘We’ve become convinced that the rule of thin production can be applied every bit in every industry across the Earth and that transition to thin production will hold a profound consequence on human society – it will truly alter the world.’ ( Womack et al. 1990: p.8 ) Whilst it is undeniably the instance that the ‘Toyota Way’ has become the criterion by which all fabrication is judged, it is however problematic whether it truly represents the Panacea claimed here. This is partially because other facets of the Toyota operation – finance for illustration – do non suit the radical or land breakage mold in rather the same mode. The other variable is the changing environment, in footings of the economic system, environment, energy, and all the other tensenesss built-in in modern-day globalisation. ‘Many companies are already cognizant of the turning demand to turn to clime alteration. Those expecting extroverted demand and statute law are taking a lead in the response to climate alteration. Advanced carbon-sensitive merchandises are already in the pipeline.’ ( Carbon Trust 2005: p.13 ) . Cardinal issues about the sustainability of industrialised society may be about to be played out in altered or constrained forms of ingestion, as uncertainness about energy security, natural stuffs, and finance chaff both consumer facing and business-to-business endeavors. Toyota applied scorching logic and apologizing ardor to the jobs of mass production: in the hereafter nevertheless, it may hold to work out wholly different sorts of jobs. The ultimate trial of its much vaunted operational protocols may put in how it re-interprets itself in a station global-corporate age. As Lervick and Lunnan point out, ‘…management cognition can be seen as a possible beginning of sustainable competitory advantage, a scarce resource shacking in one portion of an organisation, which needs to be replicated and transferred to other parts to accomplish synergisms and scale-economies.’ ( Lervick and Lunnan, 2004: p.295 ) . Toyota has surely achieved this to day of the month: it is interesting to theorize on whether it can go on to make so in the hereafter.

A important focal point of this study is the fiscal, accounting and economic determination devising of the Toyota corporation, and what these can state us about the changing nature of the organisation. Consequently, the treatment will prosecute with the conceptual issues and jobs experienced in abducing behavior through economic footings. As Cyert, Simon and Trow observe, ‘…If we are seeking to utilize this model to depict how existent human existences go about doing picks in a existent universe, we shortly recognise that we need to integrate in our description of the pick procedure several elements that are losing from the economic model.’ They further stipulate that, ‘The options are non normally “given” , but must be sought… the information as to what effects are attached to which options is rarely a “given” , but, alternatively, the hunt for effects is another of import section of the determination devising task.’ ( Cyert et al. 1970: p.67. ) . Whereas Toyota has to day of the month engaged successfully with the intrinsic issues of the industry, it now faces an wholly new set of challenges. Apparently, its greatest resource in run intoing these arguably lays in its people. When Gratton et Al. inquire ‘…What is the relationship between the concern scheme of a company and its human resource scheme: is there a strong relationship or make schemes emerge? ‘ ( Gratton et al. 1999: p.5 ) , they pose a inquiries which brings Toyota’s whole strategic attack into crisp focal point.

2: Accounting and Finance.

In 2005 theEconomistcould justifiably detect that, ‘In an industry strewn with basket instances, where barely any volume manufacturer makes a existent return on its capital, Toyota is exceeding in that it systematically makes good returns.’ (The Economist,2005 ) . This is something of an understatement: although it posted a little loss in its first twelvemonth of operation in 1937, it has non done so since it began printing one-year consequences in 1940-41. ( Soble 23.12.08 ) . Even this degree of congratulations seemed modest when Toyota was compared to its rivals, particularly those in the US. For illustration, when, in late 2008, the Detroit companies petitioned Congress for a bail-out, Republicans cited the United Auto Worker’s union’s opposition to Toyota’s criterion of efficiency as evidences for keep backing taxpayer’s money. ( Dombey 2008 ) . The eventual granting of a loan by the surpassing Bush disposal was conditional on the ‘restructuring’ of Detroit’s fabrication operations, with some employees being limited to a pay of $ 14.20 an hr, about half of what a Toyota line worker receives. Failure to accomplish this and other marks could intend the stopper is pulled on the support line of life, as Simon studies. ‘…If they are unable to make so, they will be denied farther extracts of taxpayer dollars, and be required to refund the short-run loans within 30 yearss. In other words, they would hold small pick but to register for bankruptcy – and perchance liquidation.’ ( Simon 20.12.08 ) It will be interesting to see to what extent General Motors and Chrysler follow ‘Toyota-esque’ reforms in their command to get away this destiny. As these pages were being written, Toyota itself had to denote its first of all time concern loss in modern times: the difference of class is that it will stay maestro of its ain destiny, without exterior force per unit areas for restructuring.

Table 2.

Beginning:The Economist,8ThursdayNov 2007.

As Table 2 shows, the largest proportion of Toyota’s gross revenues now lays in the domesti district of the American market leaders. The birthplace of Toyota’s profitableness lays partially in its version to external factors. When Japan’s hitherto untrammeled industrial enlargement slowed in the early 1990’s, the company cut costs to recover borders in the face of an unfavorable exchange rate between the hankering and the dollar. The Restoration of former currency para meant that Toyota’s new thin operation produced even better returns. (The Economist2005 ) . At present, a disadvantageous accommodation in the comparative values of the hankering, dollar and euro have turned the tabular arraies on Toyota one time once more, as Lewis studies: ‘…The hankering ‘s additions in the past two months have carved a ?690 billion hole in Toyota ‘s net incomes, and caused proportionately similar hurting to Sony, Canon and Honda.’ ( Lewis, 2008 ) . To see Toyota’s fiscal direction in context, it must be considered against the background of wider developments in the car fabrication industry. Increasing regulative force per unit areas and motorists’ desire for smaller, more efficient autos mean lifting development costs every bit good as smaller net income borders on each vehicle. As a consequence, there has been an intensifying hunt for partnership with the necessary finance capital. The job for the makers so is that with such partnerships frequently come multiple bureau jobs. As Watson and Head point out, ‘Agency struggle arises between stockholders and debt holders because stockholders have a greater penchant for bad undertakings than debt holders. The return to stockholders is limitless, whereas their loss is limited to the value of their shares…the return to debt holders, nevertheless, is limited to a fixed involvement return…they will non profit from the higher returns from riskier projects.’ ( Watson and Head 2007: p.13 ) .

Part of Toyota’s sustainable competitory advantage ballads in the fact that it is comparatively free from such complications: any strategic faux pas are likely to be the merchandise of its ain ( on occasion ) flawed determination devising, instead than investor in-fighting.

In footings of net present value, the size of its cashflow has – to day of the month – been relatively healthy ( for the modern-day car industry ) , cut downing its dependance on progressively expensive and perchance scarce external finance. Toyota besides has the huge advantage of holding had ( up until now ) a comparatively short hard currency transition rhythm. Its stock transition period is kept low by its merely in clip fabrication processs, intending that it has non normally had to seek a creditor deferral period. This means that its buffers of stock list are virtually fixed at an optimally low degree, even though it is still invariably seeking new economic systems. It besides possesses the graduated table and purchase to use direct force per unit area on stock transition rations through pricing at beginning. One indicant of this is a modern-day bead in far eastern steel portion monetary values, prompted by studies that Toyota is to inquire for monetary value decreases of up to thirty per cent in the following financial twelvemonth. ( Whipp 2008 ) . On current grounds, the steel makers will hold small room for scheme, so Toyota is rather likely to acquire its manner. Toyota has assiduously avoided the booby traps of overtrading which presently beset its American opposite numbers. This means that it has non had to desperately seek an debut of new capital, although, as will be discussed, we do get down to see the other authoritative characteristics of over-trading retrenchment: efforts to better working capital direction, and a decrease in some concern activities.

Toyota, like many of its Nipponese coevalss, has up to now bask an enviable hegemony in traffics with stockholders, holding had a dividends policy which accrues them yet more priceless liquidness. As Womack et Al. point out, ‘ … many Nipponese companies pay barely any dividends. Typically, they pay a 10 per cent output on the par value of their stock, where the par value, established at the clip of the original equity trades…is well zero. So Toyota stock…in financial 1989 paid a dividend of 18.5 hankerings or 10 per cent of earnings.’ ( Womak et al. 2007 p.201 ) . As Lumby and Jones point out, the ‘signalling effect’ of a dividend declaration is in itself an of import consideration for the company: some grounds indicates that market portion monetary value is affected, in assorted ways, by the proclamation of dividends. ‘Hence the dividend declaration consequence on the portion monetary value may be a major ( if nonthemajor ) consideration in the determination. However…where a company has a good ground for cut downing its dividend rate ( e.g. an exceeding investing chance )andcan adequately convey information about this to stockholders, it is improbable to endure as the consequence of cut downing its payout.’ ( Lundy and Jones 2001: p.543 ) . Earlier in the decennary, Toyota was in the wont of increasing dividends twelvemonth on twelvemonth, albeit from a relatively low base point: investors did peculiarly good up to 2004 when payments increased by 9 Hankerings twelvemonth on twelvemonth, lifting to 45 hankerings per portion and doubling over a five twelvemonth period. ( Ibison 2004 ) The precise reading which may be placed on dividend policy and dividend size may of class vary. Toyota appears to shun fixed per centum payout policy in favor of a changeless if non generous dividend, but the jobs of set uping this perfectly through empirical research are good known. As Lumby and Jones point out, ‘Capital markets are imperfect in the sense that information is neither costless nor universally available, and so determinations have frequently been made by stock market investors on the footing of progressive and uncomplete information.’ ( Lumby and Jones 2001: p.543 ) . Toyota, which has already flagged up a 27 per cent net incomes fall up to March 2009, ( Soble July 2008 ) has non yet intimated that this will compare to a radial alteration in its dividends policy, apart from short-run expedients. For illustration, in July 2008 it warned of a suspension in portion dividends in an attempt to bring forth working capital of $ 15 billion. ( Soble 29 July 2008 ) This compounds the good known leaning of major Nipponese companies to be penurious with stockholder dividends, as Nakamoto and Burgess qualify it, ‘ … a leaning to stash hard currency instead than return it to shareholders.’ ( Nakamoto and Burgess 2008 ) . Japan ‘s attack to corporate administration over old decennaries has seen executives rank stockholders alongside or even below other stakeholders, such as employees, clients, providers and the wider community, including regulators and politicians. As Nakamoto and Burgess once more point out, ‘Management was accountable chiefly to the company ‘s primary lenders… But the Nipponese direction system, which worked good while the economic system was turning, companies were booming and the stock market was dining, is now under besieging as globalisation and the greying of Nipponese society change the investing landscape.’ ( Nakamoto and Burgess 2008 ) . The visual aspect of activist investors on the Nipponese administration scene is a peculiar concern for council chambers, who may, as will be discussed subsequently, be forced into cardinal re-configurations of corporate finance. However, Toyota are in portion the designers of their ain uncomfortableness in this respect. Until the mid 2000s, they were the net donees – at least in footings of liquidness – of a distinctly Nipponese signifier of administration. A traditional system of cross-shareholding between itself and the country’s largest Bankss meant that Toyota was ne’er short of financess, whilst the Bankss found a usage for excess liquidness in an environment where demand for loans was low. At one point this reached 34 per cent, until the regulative governments intervened, upseting what had been for Toyota a cozy but restricting agreement. As Ibison points out, the Bankss were ‘passive’ stockholders: ‘…They ne’er voted against the company, merrily settled for a dividend output of approximately 1 per cent per annum and sat lazily by as Toyota amassed hard currency militias estimated at $ 20bn.’ ( Ibison 2004 )

Over clip, this Nipponese matrimony of convenience meant that Toyota was in an intermediate place between two concern civilizations. On one regard, it was germinating into a diversified, modern planetary transnational, listed in both New York and Japan and apparently committed to international norms of corporate administration. On the other, it was both a supporter and victim in protracting one of what Ibison describes as ‘…Japan ‘s most detrimental hurdlings to structural reform – the links between Bankss and the state ‘s major companies.’ ( Ibison 2004 ) In the short term so, stockholders whose outlooks of fatter dividends during enlargement went mostly unmet, can non hold much cause for optimism as leaner times approach. Timess are provably altering nevertheless. Activist investors are notoriously dismissive of reputes and histories likewise.

Toyota’s fundss are come ining interesting times. The recent loss of Toyota’s ternary ‘A’ recognition evaluation by virtuousness of Fitch’s downgrade still leaves it in front of other car makers, but, as a Tokyo based analyst put it, ‘…This crisis is showing that the car industry can non back up a triple-A evaluation, ’ ( Lewis 2008 ) . The two whole number downgrade, which was besides deemed accurate by Moody’s and Standard and Poors, will hold the extra consequence of increasing Toyota’s adoption costs. ( Soble, Nov 2008 ) . Toyota has so far exhibited a conventional attack to more rigorous trading conditions. Katsuaki Watanabe, the CEO, announced an “Emergency Net income Improvement Committee” in November 2008, to “sniff out waste” , every bit good as a 10 per cent decrease in the December fillips of 8,700 in-between and senior directors. As Soble studies, ‘…although the wage cuts made public on Tuesday do non use to Mr. Watanabe or other top executives, they excessively are expected to have smaller compensation bundles this year.’ ( Soble Dec 2008 ) .

3: Organizational Behaviour.

As Holbeche observes, ‘There are few chief boards with a manager entirely responsible for human resources. Even where this is the instance, the existent influence of the HR manager can be limited.’ ( Holbeche, 2001: p.4 ) . Whilst this may be true of many big corporates, in a sense these taxonomies break down when discoursing Toyota’s organisational behavior. This is chiefly because it has placed behavioral efficiency at the Centre of its operations, with the specific purpose of associating the production procedure to client penchants. In measuring the optimal relationship between scheme and the market, Lensgold observes that ‘…With net incomes as the end and the selling budget managed as an investing, ROI must emerge as the primary selling measurement.’ ( Lensgold 2003: p.4 ) . Toyota seems unambiguously placed to exemplify the realisation of this theoretical account, since that is basically what – or about what – its thin production operation is based on. It is merelyaboutwhat, because Toyota applied the same logic to the instrumental portion of return on investing, as in the creative activity of value for the client. As Liker puts it, ‘When using TPS, you start with analyzing the fabrication procedure from the customer’s point of position, ( both the internal client at the following stairss in the production line and the concluding, external client. ) This defines value. Through the customer’s eyes, you an observe a procedure and divide the value added stairss from the non value added stairss. You an use this to any procedure – fabrication, information, or service.’ ( Liker 2004: p.27 ) Apparently, Toyota’s operations direction and organisational theoretical account exemplifies non merely one, but several ideal types of strategic behavior: in fact, it is one of few companies which publically conforms to a recognizable templet of scheme. This is possibly non surprising, since Toyota has become a benchmark organisation in operations direction since the visual aspect ofThe Machine that Changed the World. ( 1991 ) . The latter substantively outlined the ‘new’ thoughts about thin production as embodied in the riddance of waste, or to be more precise, the ‘seven signifiers of waste’ ormuda.In the pronouncements of Chief Engineer Taiihi Ohno’s Toyota production system, these were..

  • Overproduction: the industry of an point before it is really required in the overall production series. Whereas the handiness of the point at precisely the right interval would be seen as ‘just in time’ , overrun, or pre-emptive visual aspect of the point, every bit described as ‘just in case’ .
  • Waiting: this describes the province of an object when it is non being either processed or transported for processing. In a authoritative non-lean production context this would intend that an over-produced object is either waiting for the following operation, excessively far from a work Centre, or otherwise adding to overall hold in production.
  • Transporting: an unneeded extra cost, since it adds perfectly nil to the merchandise.
  • Inappropriate Processing: investing in fixed capital which is either excessively expensive or excessively complex, lending to the attach toing inclination towards over production on the premise that the costs of such capital can be recovered by higher productiveness. Ultimately this can skew production and costs by doing hold elsewhere in the production procedure.
  • Unnecessary Inventory: the unneeded accretion of work in advancement or WIP, which non merely absorbs expensive production infinite, but obscures the overall efficiency – or inefficiency – of the overall procedure. In other words, if extra stock list habitually consequences from overrun, it is more hard to observe precisely where – or why –inefficiencies are happening. If a peculiar buffer of stock list occurs in the production procedure, analysis will hold to be applied tobothsides of that buffer in order to abduce where the existent job lies.
  • Unnecessary/Excess Gesture: unproductive, insecure or unhealthy activity on the portion of employees which increases costs, and could present potentially litigious developments.
  • Defects: apart from the obvious quality and stigmatization deductions, defects besides imply multiple short-circuits, doublings-up and retracing of stairss in production which wholly destroys old cost analyses.

To this good established duty has recently been added the thought of under-utilization of employees, as an 8th signifier of waste. As Liker expresses it this extravagance lays in elements such as, ‘…unused employee creativity… losing clip, thoughts, accomplishments, betterments, and larning chances by non prosecuting or listening to your employees.’ ( Liker 2004: p.29 ) . Toyota besides accrues economic systems of graduated table in footings of Continuing Professional Development through the operation of developing installations such as its Crotonville Centre, where cohorts of executives drawn from all over its planetary operation undergo the same strict development government. Toyota’s lean-build doctrine is supported by the constructs ofGenchi GenbutsuandKaizen,with the former meaning a changeless hunt for facts, and the latter, as Hyman and Mason point out, bespeaking ‘…continuous endeavoring for betterment in every facet of the organization’s concern through the echt engagement of its employees. Hence for Nipponese direction, the work force is seen as a cardinal strategic resource, and it is from this get downing point that one can outdo understand “Japan’s” attack to employee involvement.’ ( Hymn and Mason 1995: p.167 ) . There is a batch more to this than any cliched reproduction of stereotyped cultural traits, as theEconomistpoint out ; ‘Once these values are inculcated into a worker, they guide decision-making throughout the twenty-four hours. There is no demand to mention affairs up the silo to inquire what to make. Everyone knows what solution should be adopted, so decision-making is dramatically speeded up.’ (The Economist2006 ) . To supply a running cumulative appraisal procedure, monitoring is provided by theObeyaor ‘Big Room’ a secure country where representatives from important functional countries can piece to obtain a ocular overview of the full procedure. This device, as Liker studies, emphasizes the primacy of ocular control within the whole Toyota direction mentality. ‘…many ocular direction tools are displayed…by the responsible representatives of the assorted functional specialities…These tools an be reviewed by any of the squad members. Any divergence from agenda or public presentation marks is instantly seeable in theobeya.( Liker 2004: p.156 ) This procedure illustrates the lateralism inherent in the whole TPS theoretical account, in which equals and co-workers are expected to offer reciprocally supportive and constructive reviews of the production procedure.

Few outside of Toyota – and possibly even fewer in rival makers – would deny the efficaciousness of these methods, but in world a somewhat more complex state of affairs pervades the store floor, and has done so since Japan’s slack of the 1990’s. At that point, the relatively rare sight of contract workers in Nipponese blue-chip corporations became much more common ; it is they who are presently leting Toyota to adhere, nominally at least, to its no sackings tradition. Permanent staff may be maintaining their places at present, but impermanent staff have been shed by the 1000, with Toyota be aftering to cut down its sum of 9,200 to 3,000 by 2009. ( Soble 27 Nov 2008 ) . It is besides interesting to reflect on the extent to which the soaking up of so many impermanent workers may hold compromised Toyota’s legendary work force placement. Toyota was accustomed to absorbing skilled staff from other parts of the group as and when required, as Liker points out, ‘Affiliates can come onto undertakings as needed and so travel back to their place companies, leting an highly flexible system and necessitating minimum full clip employees.’ , ( Liker 2004: p.125 ) . It is in countries like these that we may see the fiscal and accounting logic of Toyota get down to impact more straight on the operational unity of its production. This is particularly true if we consider that the relationship between investors and direction is itself basically altering in Japan. Activist investing may non, for illustration, digest the serially low dividend forms which have helped insulate companies like Toyota from deep cuts in its SHR programmes. Temporary and contract workers may be extremely skilled, and in plentiful supply during an economic downswing: it is far more debatable to asseverate that they could keep the same dynamic cognition direction which is so of import to Toyota’s competitory advantage. As Nonoka et Al. point out, ‘…the capableness to make and use cognition to be the most of import beginning of a firm’s sustainable competitory advantage…’ ( Nonoka et al. , 2000: p.3. ) . The inquiry is whether Toyota an continue to afford these extremely developed and expensive strategic human resource systems in a universe of decreasing returns.

4: Selling.

As Hooley et al point out, in selling footings, ‘…Uniqueness may stem from using superior, proprietary engineering, using superior natural stuffs, or from distinguishing the touchable and augmented elements of the product.’ ( Hooley, 2004: p.386 ) . As we have noted, Toyota has managed to set stop user satisfaction at the nucleus of its fabrication operation through pioneering quality control. If this was non plenty, Toyota besides seems to hold increased its currency still farther, by going one of few corporations to hold achieved a truly operation incorporate selling communications. This may be defined as ‘…a procedure for pull offing the client relationships that drive trade name value. More specifically, it is a cross-functional procedure for making and nurturing profitable relationships with clients and other stakeholders by strategically commanding or act uponing all messages sent to these groups and promoting data-driven, purposefulduologuewith them.’ ( Kitchen and De Pelsmacker 2004: p.6. ) . It is arguably merely this sort of good mutualism which has supported the development of Toyota’s trade name equity over the past seven decennaries. As Jim Press, ( caput of gross revenues in Toyota US ) puts it, ‘…the Toyota civilization is inside all of us. Toyota is a client ‘s company…Mrs. Jones is our client ; she is my foreman. Everything is done to do Mrs. Jones ‘s life better. We all work for Mrs. Jones.’ (The Economist2005 ) Such a correlativity is of class hard to quantify, and remains an basically phenomenological accomplishment, but many more independent perceivers have noted how this sort of consciousness pervades the organisation. As theEconomistreported, if you engage Toyota employees in conversation, ‘…after a clip you realize there is something different about them. The remainder of the auto industry raves about engines, gear boxs, acceleration, fuel economic system, managing, ride quality and sexy design. Toyota ‘s people talk about “The Toyota Way” and about customers.’ Toyota itself likes to impute this movable quality to its original conservatory civilization in the suburbs of Nagoya. (The Economist,2005 ) . There is small to take issue with in this, but it is arguably the re-invention of the trade name in altered environments which will be the ultimate trial of Toyota’s selling.

Merely as it eschews waste in its fabrication production, Toyota is far from rake with its terminal merchandise scope, where a overplus of theoretical accounts is based on an economical agreement of interchangeable parts and physique procedures. As theEconomistpoints out, ‘The consequence is a bewildering array of over 60 theoretical accounts in Japan and tonss of different versions in large abroad markets such as Europe and America. Of class, under the tegument, these portion many common parts. Toyota has long been the title-holder of seting old vino in new bottles: over two-thirds of a new vehicle will incorporate the unobserved parts of a old model.’ (The Economist,2005 ) These schemes will be put to their severest trial in current trading conditions, the worst in recent times, and with no immediate chance of betterment at manus. Its customary Thanksgiving publicities took topographic point against a background of drawn-out Christmas shut down being announced for December, whilst the company attempts to stave off politically awkward American redundancies. ( Simon 2008 ) . Conditionss are arguably altering faster than scheme can germinate: in August 2008, Toyota imposed a monetary value rise on some theoretical accounts due to increased cost of natural stuffs, the first for 16 old ages. As Sable studies, ‘Toyota has kept monetary values stable by paring operating costs and tilting on its providers. But recent cost additions – which have affected a scope of stuffs including rare metals, plastic and rosins – have outstripped even its celebrated ability to save. Steelmakers are going peculiarly hardheaded after a near-doubling of Fe ore monetary values this year.’ ( Soble August 2008 ) Merely as selling is linked to operations and production in the Toyota theoretical account, so there is a nexus between selling and corporate scheme, as will be discussed farther below.

5: Corporate scheme.

As Fincham and Rhodes have indicated, ‘…the simplecausalnexus between construction and public presentation has…been challenged. Contingency theory proposed that an appropriate construction gives rise to high public presentation, but all that the empirical research showed…was acorrelativitybetween construction and performance.’ Crucially, they add that ‘The way of causing was assumed.’ ( Fincham and Rhodes 2004: p.481 ) . The dashing fact about Toyota from an oppositions position, is that it seems – from the exterior at least – to hold made itself future-proof, through its ain corporate scheme. It has been in the vanguard of intercrossed engineering, and is hence good placed to ‘trailblaze’ the passage from that intermediate phase to full graduated table. When sing corporate scheme as a whole, Brown points out – from an operations perspective – that, ‘…the demand to promote production/operations and to associate it to corporate scheme remain a hard hurdle to companies who still see production/operations as a reactive map, instead than a proactive competitory weapon.’ ( Brown 1996: p.76 ) . The same substantial subject is expanded by Skinner, who claims that really few companies really achieve this mutualism: he asserts that, ‘…a strategic point of position is often missing. What is needed is a fabrication scheme that links fabricating to the corporate strategy.’ ( Skinner 1985: p.21 ) . Consideration of Toyota’s scheme besides takes us into the twin spheres – already identified above – of human resources and knowledge direction. The corporation was in the vanguard of an wholly new Strategic Human Resources Management motion, long before the term was conceptualized ; and neither do Eurocentric theoretical accounts of co-determination or employee engagement adequately depict its inventions. We can clear up this contrast by situating the inquiry posed by Gratton et al. , i.e. , ‘…What is the relationship between the concern scheme of a company and its human resource scheme: is there a strong relationship or make schemes emerge? ‘ ( Gratton et al. 1999: p.5 ) . In the current post-industrial environment, it could moderately be argued that many SRHM sections are continually engaged in this sort of duologue with their council chamber. However, the thought of Toyota enduring from this peculiar sort of strategic nearsightedness or unease does non sit comfortably with the standard image of the corporation. Up until now, and in the present, Toyota would look to hold achieved the optimal balance between what happens on the mill floor, and what actions are agreed in the council chamber. In this portion of the treatment, we will see the strategic theoretical account which may be ascribed to the corporation, and whether or non the sensed demands of the short, medium and long term may be adequately met by such as theoretical account.

In the first case, it may be helpful to see the thought of strategic theoretical account in the abstract, equilibrating the different models every bit good the agencies of their application to empirical fortunes. There is no deficit of such theoretical accounts, all of which have an equal claim on interpretive public-service corporation. However, imputing an academic theoretical account to the whole of a complex industrial operation – given that its existent, inmost modern-day workings are improbable to be in the populace sphere – is less than straightforward. As Palmer and Hardy argue, ‘…the nexus between talk and action is non good understood. Consequently, we have merely an ill-defined thought of how lingual buildings relate to specific persons in specific organisations, and so the practical lessons for directors are slightly vague.’ ( Palmer and Hardy, 2000: p.165 ) . Nevertheless the first phase in the coveted matrimony of the theoretical and empirical is to consider between the overplus of scheme available. If we opt for the analyses proffered by Zen, there are three templets to take from: the Evaluative, the Descriptive, or the Interpretative/Descriptive. If, on the other manus, we employ the theoretical accounts developed by Whittingham, there is a pick of four possible theoretical accounts: the Systematic, the Classic, the Evolutionary, or the ‘Processual’ . Rouleau and Seguin offer another scope of theoretical accounts within the constructs of Socio-Political, Socio-Cognitive, Classical, and Contingency schemes. The position with the widest range in footings of interpretive possibilities is arguably that of Mintzberg, who offers a 10 portion analyses embracing a comprehensiveness of organisational types. ( Palmer and Hardy, 2006: p.141 )

Mintzberg’s analysis offers the conventional entrepreneurial, positional and power types, every bit good as the less hierarchal constellation, environmental, learning, cultural and cognitive discrepancies. A with many such models, the taxonomies provided are non systematically accompanied by objectively agreed practical illustrations or instance surveies: an thorough exercising of this sort is beyond the range and resources of infinite of this peculiar survey. What may be utile, nevertheless, is the selective application of those theoretical accounts deemed most pertinent. It may be argued that Toyota diversely fulfils the demands for a acquisition, cognitive and cultural organisation, through its capacity to develop a shared ethos, ability to absorb valuable new cognition, and ‘operationalise’ the latter. As Mintzberg points out, strategians ‘…develop their cognition constructions and believing procedures chiefly through direct experience. That…shapes what they know, which in bend forms what they do, thereby determining their subsequent experiences.’ ( Mintzberg, 1998: p.150 ) There is an copiousness of grounds and sentiment to propose that this precisely what Toyota can make, non merely in a procedural sense, but a commercially successful manner. Its cognition direction protocols have so far enabled it to serially regenerate itself in a recognizable but improved discrepancy of its former ego, harmonizing to perceived demands. This sort of cognition direction is in itself an huge resource, as Lane et Al. point out, ‘…The acquisition of valuable new cognition does non by itself influence an organization’s public presentation. The strategic context in which the cognition is used every bit good as the…organization’s ability to accommodate the cognition to that strategic context will besides act upon its ability to efficaciously use the particular cognition it has acquired.’ ( Lane et al. , 2001: p.145 ) .

This capacity is arguably what has underpinned the success of Toyota’s corporate scheme in the past few decennaries: non merely has it been advanced in footings of scheme, it has turned that invention into profitableness and trade name equity. As Blumenrit and Danis remind us, barriers to invention are likely to be reflected in strategic options. ‘…Because guardians value efficiency and stableness in their engineering, construction, and organisational modus operandis, they are sensitized to jobs associated with invention ( e.g. , high cost, hazard of failure, menace to the established order ) …’ ( Blumenrit and Danis, 2006 ) .

Knowledge direction is at the bosom of Toyota’s ego triping theoretical account for its employees, in fact, it is deeply constructive of its corporate civilization, an individuality which spans another of Mintzberg’s strategic types. Whereasallorganisations arguably have a civilization, even if merely constructed in a vacuity or by skip, the witting determination tobean organisation driven by a defined ‘culture’ produces an ideal type which features conspicuously in any analytical duty of strategic possibilities. As Mintzberg et Al. observe, ‘…Culture was “discovered” by direction in the 1980’s, thanks to the success of Nipponese corporations…All fingers pointed to Nipponese civilization, and particularly how that has been manifested in big Nipponese corporations.’ ( Mintzberg, 1998: p.264 ) . The alleviated impression of the ‘cultural’ corporation does, nevertheless, run contrary to the empirical face of Toyota in some respects. The stereotype consists of an organisation which achieves tremendous strength through collegiality and/or conformance, but at the disbursal of prevision, exterior vision, and flexibleness. This is hard to accommodate with the reported conditions in the Toyota knowledge direction system, where a changeless re-visiting and inquiring of bing cognition is seemingly encouraged. For illustration, if we are to measure any civilization of cognition direction, we must, as Lervick and Lunnan suggest, ask ‘…Is diffusion a predictable procedure of retroflexing predefined cognition, connoting a high grade of standardisation, predictability and control, or is diffusion inherently advanced, where local acquisition and version are critical? ’ ( Lervick and Lunnan, 2004: p.299 ) . The reply, in Toyota’s instance, is no: the lone thing which is predictable is uninterrupted alteration, or so it has been to day of the month.

Overall so, if Toyota’s direction manner appears to be an puzzling merger of hierarchal and sidelong constructions, there is no such ambivalency on the store floor. Toyota eschews the Western position that directors fundamentally exist to state their subsidiaries what to make. This, they believe, will strip employees of enterprise and self realization. Alternatively, they hold that ‘…The manager’s occupation is to assist staff larn problem-solving accomplishments and work out what they need to make for themselves. Real organisational leading is about making both – bettering operations and developing people – at the same clip, in such a manner that they are reciprocally supporting.’ ( Mitchell 2008 ) . As Liker reveals from an insider’s position, motivational theory is considered of import within Toyota’s civilization. For illustration, in hisThe Toyota Way:14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer( 2004 ) , we are advised how the ‘Toyota Way’ was deeply adaptative of established models, with peculiar mention to the work of Maslow and Herzberg. Maslow’s hierarchy of demands and the satisfaction of basic demands is purportedly addressed by proviso of occupation security, good wage and working conditions: meanwhile, CPD opportunities encourages each person to come on towards self realization. If Herzberg’s theoretical account is applied to Toyota, so “dissatisfiers” such as unhygienic or ergonomically disadvantageous working conditions are supplanted by “positive satisfiers” or incentives. In practical footings this means that Toyota use ocular direction processs, SHR policies, occupation rotary motion, and built in feedback to actuate employees.’ ( Liker 2004: p.195 ) . We see here what Armstrong footings the ‘philosophy of wages management’ , or the acknowledgment by direction that the latter should be strategic in the addressing of long term issues, or ‘…Reward schemes and the procedures that are required to implement them have to flux from the concern strategy.’ ( Armstrong 2002: p.4 ) . In a strictly nonsubjective appraisal of these thoughts, we would possibly equilibrate them with some inversionary points or dissenting voices – though such testimony is evidently non to be found in the ideals of Liker or Womack et al.’s surveies. This is non to state that anything so utile could be found in say, the ailments of a dissatisfied ex-employee: this would be besides the point. Rather it is that we need to set up a sufficiently sensitive usage of theories such as Herzberg’s, before an intra-corporation use of it can be helpfully accepted. As Buchanan and Huczynski point out, one unfavorable judgment of the term HRM itself ‘…concerns the potentially misanthropic usage of the term to give a more modern “up-beat” tone to the profession, to give the feeling of alteration and advancement. Such image-building is assisted by the add-on of “strategic” to the label human resources management…’ ( Buchanan and Huczynski, 2006: p.698 ) . There is small grounds, nevertheless, that this is the instance in the context of Toyota.

6: Business Economicss and Decision Making.

As Clegg et Al. argue, with mention to some outstanding strategic theoretical accounts, ‘…strategy is more complex than it first appears to be. It is non merely the extension of the humanistic disciplines of war to the seductions of commercialism, the challenges of public service, or the selflessness of voluntary organizations.’ ( Clegg, 2006: p.410 ) Achieving the appropriate balance between scheme and context has to be a lasting accomplishment, particularly if economic determinations are to last the vagaries of a altering environment. Arguably the most important concern determination made by Toyota, was to put behavioral instead than neo-classical economic sciences at the bosom of its corporate scheme. Consideration of Toyota’s corporate economic scheme and determination devising may be assisted by first sing the relevant theoretical models, such as dealing cost theory, behavioral theory, and neo-classical economic sciences. The transactional theory of the generic house, as proposed by Coarse, attempted to specify it in relation to its market. It stated that, despite regulative complications, houses are basially called into being to cut down dealing costs. In this theoretical account, the being of the house eliminated the demand for a myriad of overlapping contractual agreements, easing a feasible rationalisation of such relationships. The extent and enlargement of the house is so defined by interacting external and internal fortunes, consisting entrepreneurial input which seeks to maximise returns, and regulative, which in some step represents a restraint. ‘Entrepreneurial’ in this context does non deduce the presence or strategic version of that function in the usually recognized sense, but merely direction activity focused on the net income motivation in general. A decreasing returns theoretical account may so be employed to gauge the eventual growing of the house, in proportion to its ain control of dealing costs and those of its rivals. Ultimately so, one time it has reached this phase, the chances of the generic endeavor are implied by the costs of rival enterprisers, balanced against the costs of using the monetary value mechanism. ( Coarse 1937 ) .

As may be seen from the above, this position pays light attending to what Bratton and Gold term ‘…the internal beginnings of competitory advantage…’ . ( Bratton and Gold 2003: p.6 ) The transactional theoretical account overall exhibits small divergency from classical and neo-classical theoretical accounts, and does non to the full depict the economic behaviour of an organisation like Toyota. As Williamson has noted, there is a limited ‘psychological commitment’ seeable in classical theories of the house. ( Williamson 1974: p.29 ) Behavioral theories such as those proposed by Richard Cert. and James March mostly eschew this sort of attack. In the position of Williams, this hypostatization of economic analysis should develop a ‘…more truth like theoretical account of the procedure by which the house generates determinations… ’ ( Williams, 1978: p.150 ) Central to this thought is the premiss that fabrication has basically outgrown the classical theoretical account in cardinal respects. And particularly with respect to gain maximization. As Cohen and Cert. point out, ‘For the intents of the classical theory, the net income maximization premise may be absolutely equal. It is clear nevertheless, that as one asks a different set of inquiries… the net income maximization premise is neither necessary nor sufficient… ’ ( Cohen and Cert. 1965: p.330 ) It is mostly from this place that the Behavioural school begins its analysis, concentrating on the firm’s internal workings ; the myriad interactions, ‘overlapping’ and behavior which jointly make up the whole. Within this complex whole, the behaviorists propose that companies ‘satisfice’ themselves, i.e. set up and work towards aims which non merely run into the demands of the market, but besides their ain capacity and struggle declaration parametric quantities. ( Curwen 1974: p.103 ) .

There can be small argument about the fact that Toyota has placed its religion, and possibly its ultimate destiny, in a behavioral theoretical account: as discussed above, its full value proposition for the client is built into the production procedure itself. As Witzel points out, this must be based on two overruling rules: ‘The foremost is strategic sensitivity…the 2nd country is “collective commitment” . Directors must be ready to take determinations together, and rapidly, so as to maximize chances, instead than being stuck in “individual hesitancy” …the 3rd country is “resource fluidity” which means merely that companies can deploy the right resources – human resources, capital, engineering – rapidly and to the point of greatest need.’ ( Witzel 2008: n.p. ) If this is accepted, so Toyota’s hereafter depends on perpetuating that relevancy, and reassigning it across territorial, cultural and ‘sectoral’ contexts. It is in this respect which Toyota may confront its sternest trial – or trials. Over the past two old ages the thought has gained currency that Toyota is beset by two meeting jobs, which are mostly the merchandise of its ain market place. The first is that the way to market laterality has been forge partially through via medias in its legendary quality control: the 2nd is that its repute for environmental duty is likewise eroded by the demands of the market. The former was evidenced in an increasing frequence of merchandise callbacks which finally elicited promises of lengthened development times and a “customer first” ethos from Mr.Watanabe. However, as theEconomistrelates, ‘…the callbacks have continued and Toyota is still stealing in consumer quality studies. The company’s planetary caput of fabrication, Takeshi Uchiyamada, late expressed “shame” at the jobs with the latest Tundra full size choice up.’ (The Economist,2007 ) . The oversight of Toyata’s green certificates continues, despite the benchmark intercrossed engineering in thePrius, partially due to the coincident selling of the gas-guzzlingTundra,but besides because it has teamed up with the Detroit makers to sabotage a Senate measure which would set up a swift norm of 35 stat mis per gallon by 2020. (The Economist2007 ) . Even Toyota’s legendary just-in-time production has faltered, with handiness of the Prius disrupted by deficits of Ni metal intercrossed batteries, regulators and transaxles. ( Soble July 2007 ) . In add-on, some of its overall concern scheme has been overtaken by events, or merely been broad of the grade. For illustration, it prioritized pick up trucks and SUVs over its smaller autos, particularly in the US, where it hoped to derive the duplicate benefits of a higher net income border, and advantage over its Detroit challengers in footings of market portion. As Soble studies, ‘…The scheme has backfired, nevertheless, as $ 4-a-gallon gasoline prompts many Americans to trade their gas-guzzling trucks for hatchbacks.’ ( Soble 29.7.2008 ) . As Figure Three shows, across the proportion of intercrossed stat mis in SUV versions has non significantly impinged on conventional milage.

Table Three.

Beginning:The Economist,2neodymiumDec 2004.

Merely within certain parametric quantities can Toyota said to be presenting the benefits claimed to be at the bosom of the production procedure, i.e. the creative activity of value for the client. It does non, for illustration, produce the cheapest vehicles through its operation, unless that definition is adjusted harmonizing a specific value proposition, i.e. the thought that it produces better quality or more dependable vehicles at the tantamount monetary value to it rivals. It has besides invested a batch of value in its pioneering environmentally friendly vehicle engineering. As Hooley et Al. point out, ‘Despite the inevitable hazard of being a innovator, foremost to market is frequently best for several grounds. The intelligence value of an invention extremums in the early phases, and this offers maximal communicating impact and a opportunity for widespread consumer trial.’ ( Hooley et al. , 2005: p.467 ) . It may yet be the instance that, despite the fact that the Prius has sold a million units worldwide, it represents something of a cul-de-sac in footings of the existent hereafter of environmentally responsible conveyance. Toyota continues to re-work the hatchback format, with the world’s foremost compressed natural gas ( CNG ) and electric loanblend revealed at the Los Angeles motor show in November 2008. Hybrids presently represent 10s per cent of Toyota’s US market, although gross revenues of this new discrepancy may be hampered by the limited mercantile establishments for natural gas fuel. ( Simon 25.9.08 ) . This may non be the full image, nevertheless. In doing the move from being a Nipponese to a planetary company, Toyota besides has to see trade name equity, and economic systems of sale accrued through hybrid’s pioneering niche. AsThe Economistpoints out, ‘Even if the Prius is pushed aside by other signifiers of intercrossed, it has done admirations for Toyota ‘s repute by doing the house seem green and technically cool. At a clip when the Nipponese house was taking advantage of the corporate sufferings of America ‘s car manufacturers to go the market leader, that has been politically priceless.’ (The EconomistJune 2007 ) . Neither an Toyota be said to be resting on its awards in this respect: it is reportedly in partnership with Hitachi Vehicle Energy in the development of a feasible lithium-ion auto battery. ( Reed March 2008 ) .

The hereafter may nevertheless be more complicated than even the most prescient council chamber can expect, as current international treatment of the electric auto suggests. A recent study commissioned by France’s President Sarkosy and completed by former energy regulator Jean Syrota, has produced some politically inconvenient decisions about the existent public-service corporation of the vehicle, in both the environmental, and the useful senses. As Betts and Jung-a indicate, ‘…Overall, the Syrota study says that accommodating and bettering conventional engines could heighten their efficiency by an norm of 50 per cent. It besides argues that new-generation intercrossed autos uniting conventional engines with electric propulsion could supply an interesting hereafter alternative…’ ( Betts and Jung-a 2008 ) The precise future return on this ‘priceless’ plus is hard to project, and arguably dependent on factors beyond the control of Toyota or its rivals. Specifically, the value of environmentally friendly merchandises and engineering may change drastically in proportion to consumer perceptual experiences, in a manner likely to dispute even the most extremely developed selling programme. As the UK’s Carbon Trust argues, ‘…climate alteration will go more seeable as an issue over the following 5 old ages, from utmost conditions events, to press coverage of the political argument over issues such as post-2012 international emanations ordinance and the demand or otherwise for atomic power. This study argues that in this context, clime alteration could go a mainstream consumer issue by 2010.’ ( Carbon Trust 2005: p.3 ) . The thought that trade name strength will go vulnerable to this sort of purchase is evidently one mediated through multiple variables of graduated table, timing, strength, and political direction. As Monbiot points out, many interested parties are cognizant that the deficiency of unequivocal information on the timing and impact of environmental events is itself an of import consideration. Therefore, those who prefer theposition quoto alter, may good take the position that, ‘…Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their positions about planetary heating will alter consequently. Therefore, you need to go on to do the deficiency of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate.’ ( Monbiot, 2007: p.27 )

Whatever the challenges, Toyota arguably has three splanchnic qualities in its favor: the legendary TPS theoretical account, the less good known Nipponese corporate finance system, and its operational character as a complex acquisition administration. As has been noted above, the Nipponese corporate finance base orkeiretsusystem has performed good in proportion to its foreign opposite numbers: ‘…the Nipponese group system is patient and highly long term in orientation – but really good informed and extremely critical of unequal public presentation. The groups can afford to put to a great extent to finance corporate turnarounds, because their considerable cognition reduces the hazard of failure.’ ( Womack et al. 2007: p.203 ) . As has been noted above, there may be alterations in front in footings of how finance is raised and investors rewarded, and Toyota must besides see how to reassign cognition across a diminishing and fragmented work force. As Murphy and Riggio indicate, ‘…complexity provides the resources ( cognitive, societal, behavioural ) for bring forthing legion possible responses to a given state of affairs. Persons every bit good as organisations are healthy and thrive when they are capable of many responses to a given state of affairs, and go brickle and vulnerable to altering conditions when they are unvarying and specialized.’ ( Murphy and Riggio 2003: p.13 ) . Even in troubled modern-day conditions, Toyota seems far from brickle or vulnerable.


Addison, J.T. , Siebert, W.S. , Wager, J. , and Xiangdong Wei, ( 2000 ) , ‘Worker Participation and Firm Performance’ ,British Journal of Industrial Relations,Vol.38, No.1, pp.7-48.

Armstrong, M. ( 2002 )Employee Reward Management and PracticeKogan Page, London.

Behnke, R.R. , O’Hair, D. , Hardman, A. , ( 1990 ) ‘Audience Analysis Systems in Advertising and Marketing’ , in O’Hair, D. , and Kreps, G.L. , ( explosive detection systems ) , ( 1990 ) ,Applied Communication Theory and Research,Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, NJ, pp.203-224.

Betts, P. , and Song Jung-a, ‘Politically inconvenient truth about electric cars’ ,Financial Times,11ThursdayDecember 2008, INTERNET, available at hypertext transfer protocol: // [ viewed 11.12.08 ]

Blumentritt, T. , and Danis, W.M. , ‘Business Strategy Types and Innovative Practices’ ,Journal of Managerial Issues, Vol. 18, 2006. INTERNET, available at hypertext transfer protocol: // title=Business % 20Strategy % 20Types % 20and % 20Innovative % 20Practices [ viewed 24.4.08 ]

Bradley, F. , ( 1995 ) ,Marketing Management: Providing, Communicating and Delivering Value,Prentice Hall, London.

Bratton, J. , & A ; Gold, J. , ( 2003 ) ,Human Resource Management Theory and Practice. FT Prentice Hall, London.

Brown, S. , ( 1996 ) ,Manufacturing for Competitive Advantage,Pren


Hi there, would you like to get such a paper? How about receiving a customized one? Check it out