Toyota Production System by Yasuhiro Monden

Toyota Production System by Yasuhiro Monden

Author:Yasuhiro Monden [Monden, Yasuhiro]
Language: eng
Format: azw3
Published: 2020-06-25T10:10:23.867469+00:00


Cross-Functional Management to

Promote Company-Wide Quality

Assurance and Cost Management


As described in Chapter 13, CWQC is possible only if quality control activities and quality-related functions are carried out in all departments and at all levels of management. Furthermore, the activities of each department must be planned so they are reinforced by other departments.

Additionally, they will benefit from quality-related functions throughout the company. The responsibility for establishing communication links between the various departments at Toyota and ensuring cooperation in implementing QC programs is given to an organizational entity known as a functional meeting. Functional meetings do not serve as project teams or task forces. Rather, they are formally constituted, decision-making units whose power cuts across department lines and controls broad corporate functions. Consisting typically of department directors from all parts of the company, each functional meeting will consider such corporate-wide problems as cost management, production management, and quality assurance, respectively. The meeting participants then communicate their policy decision and plans for implementation to each department for action. Such management through functional meetings is called functional management ( Kinohbetsu Kanri) at Toyota.

However, the English term functional management is a literal translation of the Japanese term Kinohbetsu Kanri used at Toyota. Although Kinoh implies function, Toyota uses this word to mean any company-wide role, as opposed to its usual association with the function of each department, such as development, manufacturing, sales, and so on, in the company.


240  •  Toyota Production System

The term cross-functional management is often used in the business world, covering various functional departments such as development, manufacturing, sales, and the like. Thus what is called functional management at Toyota signifies cross-functional management in ordinary terminology.

In other words, Toyota’s functional management may be paraphrased as cross-departmental management.

In this chapter, we will examine the structural relationships between the functional meetings and the more formally developed organizations at Toyota, how business policy is made and administered through functional management, and some of the advantages to be gained from the functional management concept. Although the Toyota Production System in a narrow sense does not include the product planning and design steps, the author includes functional management in the broad overview of the system. The reader should realize that the most important aspects for increasing productivity or decreasing costs and improving quality are the QC and cost reduction activities in the product development and design steps.

Historically, functional management is the outgrowth of a long process of trial and error. The QC Promoting Office at Toyota took the first steps toward CWQC in 1961 by defining various important functions to be performed by the company. Each department, in turn, collaborated to determine and arrange the contents of the functions. By the addition, integration, and abolition of these inputs, the defined functions were classified and selected into the two most necessary rules for the entire company: quality assurance and cost management. Rules were then established to define what kinds of activities each department must undertake to properly perform these two functions.


Quality assurance, as defined in this rule


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