How Toyota Used TPS to Help Sandy Victims (and How You Can Help Too)

Six months after the damage from the storm Sandy, there are still people in need. Take a moment to watch this short video to learn how partnering with the Food Bank for New York City, Toyota sent a team of individuals to apply the Toyota Production System (TPS) approach to Metro World Child’s operations – and the results are amazing!

And you will donate a meal to a family in need, just by watching the video.

Watch this video to learn how Toyota Used TPS to Help Sandy Victims, and how you can help in the process.

The Organizational Development practitioner side of me LOVES this video

In this story components of Organization Development and Quality Management come together through improving a complicated process.

The main objectives of the TPS are to design reduce overburden (muri), inconsistency (mura), and eliminate waste (muda). The system is also concerned with always improving, the Japanese concept of kaizen.

The Results of this intervention speak for themselves:

Improvement #1 – Dramatic Reduction of Waste

Metro World Child was using boxes were 12 inches square and as a result, the care packages they provided had empty (wasted) space. By choosing boxes of a different size and shape (8”x8”x16), the organization could change the truckload size from 864 boxes to 1,260 boxes!

That is an increase of almost 400 boxes per truckload!!!

On top of that, the boxes were easier for the volunteers to carry and load.

Improvement #2 – Create Continuous Flow

The original method used to describe the process for packing boxes could best be described as: a “Free for all.” Volunteers pretty much just grabbed a box and started loading up item from all over the warehouse.

The TPS team created a production line that allowed all the volunteers to be on one side and have access to the just the items they needed, just when they needed them.

And the outcome?

The amount of time it took to pack 1 box before TPS: 3:00

The amount of time it took to pack 1 box after TPS: 11 seconds!

That is a saving of 169 seconds – almost 1,500%!

I think this project was a great example of how the ideas found in industrial engineering and Organizational Development can be used to make meaningful differences in almost any type of situation.

For more information on this project visit:
You can learn more about Toyota and TPS in
 The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles