Toyota has known the secret to quality since the 1930’s. It all lies in the customer.
Over its 75-year history, Toyota has strived to listen to the voice of the customer in all areas of its production system. Here’s how.
Quality Assurance Activities
For Toyota Motors, Quality Assurance Activities are based on the core principles of “Customer First “ and “Quality First”. These principles have remained at the foundation of the company’s vision since it first established the Audit and Improvement Division in 1937 and its first Audit and Improvement Committee in 1943.
With continuous activity in quality assurance along the way, in 2005 Toyota established the Customer Quality Engineering Division which consists of a global problem registration system from the customer’s point of view.
In the same year, they also established the Customer First (CF) Committee, to ensure the integration of the CF principle into the entire company. What’s more, in 2010, the company established the Special Committee for Global Quality to review all company-wide operations and strengthen the CF principle even further .
All in all, one can see that continuous improvement in Quality Assurance is at the forefront of the company’s organization worldwide, and as they say, “from the shop floor to the executive management.”
Customer Relations Activities
The CF principle is at the foundation of Toyota’s history of Customer Relations Activities as well. The Toyota Motor Corporations we know today owes its Customer Relations Division to the unification of Toyota Motor CO., Ltd. and Toyota Motor Sales Co., ltd. in 1982. The entire company has its focus set on the “Voice of the customer” in an aim to continually enhance customer satisfaction and the quality of its products.
For example, the Customer Service Telephone line was made toll-free in 1990. They have “Customer Month” in which the company holds even more customer satisfaction events, seminars and reviews. They even publish Customer Satisfaction news available to the public.
In short, the company has an impressive customer satisfaction and improvement plan that targets several areas and is incorporated into their production system.