Toyota, the just-in-time spirit is alive and well

IE Focus | By Daisy Escobar, Professor at IE Business School

Toyota has been shaken to its very foundations by the mechanical faults detected in some of its models, but it has managed to react fast, with improvements that are reminiscent of its just-in-time breakthrough.A company with faulty products is nothing new. Situations in which the fault affects its products en masse are not quite so common, but the business annals now contain several notorious cases, some of which have been solved more successfully than others.

The problem is therefore not a new one. The difference lies in that it is happening to Toyota, the company renowned for manufacturing fault-free products, that demonstrated the cost of ´no quality´ and that continuously works to eliminate any kind of wastefulness. Indeed, the concept of faulty product is what the company focuses on most in order to eliminate it from its plants. Toyota invented the famous poka-yokes, the alarms and controls that warn of errors so that they can be corrected before they become faults, in other words, before they are found by customers.

The mechanical problem affecting the accelerator pedals on some of its models and the brake pedals on others has struck the very heart of Toyota´s ideology: its commitment to quality. The company has not had long to wait to feel the effects of the problem: more than ten million cars recalled for a service; around two million dollars in costs (estimated figure); and a somewhat tarnished image as far as its customers are concerned

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The IE “Marketing Gurus”

Original published at Bangkok Post on May 4, 2010 Earlier this year, Patr Bhalakula, a talented young Thai pursuing a Master in Marketing Management degree at IE  Business School, and his team won the second prize in the Novartis Masterminds Challenge in Spain.  The challenge is a competition involving the London Business School, IESE (Instituto…

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Upcoming IE Days in Jakarta, May 17-18

Join the upcoming IE presentations and meeting possibilities with one of Europe’s leading business schools next Monday and Tuesday in Jakarta. On Monday, you can learn more about IE and our programs. On Tuesday you can join an Admissions Workshop as well as have individual profile assessments and clarify any doubts you might have related…

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Mobiles and children

IE Focus | By Enrique Dans, Professor at IE Business School

If you still think the main purpose of your mobile phone is voice transmission, and you can’t understand why younger users seem permanently obsessed with their mobile screens, then you are missing out on something.For those of us who are at a certain age, it is a challenge for the memory to put some perspective on the technological advances we see as completely normal and as an intrinsic part of our everyday life today. One of the best examples is the mobile telephone, a device that has found its way into thousands of millions of pockets of people all over the world who never leave home without it. 

One recent study in the United States shows that the average age at which children get their first mobile telephone has now fallen to 12 years. Depending on the purchasing power of these children´s families, the penetration levels in the upper-middle-class segment are higher than 87%. If we look back in time, many of us would find it hard to remember that when we were 12 years old, not only did we not have a mobile telephone, but there was also no possibility of us having one. Not only that, the vision of anyone speaking apparently on their own in a car or while walking down the street would have made us immediately think that they had some kind of mental problem. The telephone was a device connected to the wall by a cable, with two different parts joined together by a coiled cable. It had a dial (show one to today´s children… they take knowing what to do with “that” as some kind of challenge) the use of which was also strictly limited as far as we were concerned. 

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IE at the Shanghai World Expo

IE is set to take part in the Shanghai World Expo, which is expected to receive 70 million visitors between May 1 and October 31. IE will be present at the beginning and close of the Expo in Spain´s Pavilion and the Madrid Pavilion, with activities that include the presentation of the Caso España case study.…

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