Toyota’s production and processes are still feeling the aftershocks of the earthquake that struck Japan in March.
Now the automotive giant is working toward supply chain improvements that would allow it to be running at full capacity in as little as two weeks after a major disruption.
Toyota says it’s about 80% done with supply chain improvements, according to a report from Reuters. The changes will take about five years to implement.
The three main components of the supply chain improvements:
- Increase standardization among parts. Toyota will use more common components in its processes. That way, when one factory is affected by a supply chain interruption, other facilities will be able to step up and continue to meet the demand.
- Ask suppliers to hold on to more inventory. In contrast to just-in-time manufacturing practices, the company is asking downstream suppliers to hold onto up to two months worth of inventory — specifically less common components that can’t be manufactured at other facilities.
- Bolster regional independence. Toyota’s global operations were significantly affected by the earthquake in Japan. The goal of this improvement is to make individual regions more resilient so that a regional disaster doesn’t wipe out operations across the globe.