In order to achieve the highest level of manufacturing success across every measurable metric, Toyota has pursued one philosophy above all others: a relentless commitment to quality. In addition to excelling in multiple areas of business management and market savvy, Toyota has forged a reputation for encouraging the continued education and personal development of all its employees, as well as for championing sustainability standards and efficient manufacturing practices.
But the key pillar of the company’s success comes down to a single word: quality. Toyota forklift manufacturing facilities rely on the same philosophy at the heart of the Toyota Production System: a philosophy of continuous improvement that’s encompassed into the Japanese term “Kaizen.” Both employees and managers are encouraged to stay constantly on the lookout for improvement opportunities, and every product on the assembly line is subjected to careful scrutiny.
This practice known as Toyota’s Quality Circles was implemented at the Toyota Industrial Equipment manufacturing facility in Columbus, Indiana from the very start. The program empowers any employee to act on the company’s commitment to product excellence. At any time, an employee can close down the production line in order to track and resolve an issue. No matter what the problem may be, or where it occurs in the manufacturing process, this teamwork approach to quality control exposes weak points that can then be solved with the help of specialists. If a seam is out of alignment or a weld appears incomplete, the problem will be tracked to the source and corrected before the process continues.
Because the Toyota philosophy places quality first, the goal is always to prevent a problem within the manufacturing process rather than wait to fix the flawed product after it comes off the line. The Quality Circles keep multiple pairs of eyes on every stage of production and train everyone to be efficient problem solvers. This process aims to reduce wasted time spent on imperfect products and leverage every opportunity to lower costs by increasing overall productivity.