Toyota Parts Center Europe in the news

The newspaper reported that Toyota is almost doubling the size of their parts warehouse in Belgium. It will be almost as big as the warehouse Toyota have in Japan. The reporter insinuates (“insiders say that…“) that this is because Japanese headquarters wouldn’t want a Belgian warehouse to be bigger than the one in Japan. Is Toyota now playing the “my warehouse (full of costly unsold goods) is larger than yours!” game?

Well no. As the parts center manager says: “Our parts warehouse is only a third or a quarter of the size of warehouses of other carmakers. We typically hold 15 to 20 days of stock, they hold 2 to 3 months worth of stock.

He attributes this performance to the low degree of automation: “many operations are still manual, which keeps our investment low and enables us to be very flexible. Our whole organisation is changed every two years to increase efficiency, which wouldn’t be possible if we had automated more.

At a recent visit to a parcel sorting center, some people doing the tour wondered why the company employed so many people. Why wasn’t more of the work automated? Tip: people are more inventive and flexible than machines and computers. At least, if you let them, if you use their creativity.

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