June 29, 2011 – Chicago, Ill. – Toyota today announced the launch of a national program to donate its Toyota Production System (TPS) expertise to help schools, hospitals and nonprofits improve their operations, extend their reach and increase their impact. The company will be working with up to 20 community organizations across the United States in the first year to help improve performance, beginning with the St. Bernard Project, a New Orleans recovery organization that employs returning war veterans, AmeriCorps members and volunteers to rebuild homes devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
Toyota’s announcement was made at the opening of the inaugural CGI America meeting in Chicago, a Clinton Global Initiative undertaking that is focused on creating U.S. jobs and driving economic growth.
Yoshimi Inaba, President and COO of Toyota Motor North America, Inc., said: “At Toyota, we judge our success not just on the cars we make, but also on how many people we help and communities we support. In today’s challenging economy, non-profits across the U.S. are under increasing pressure to provide more services for more people – with fewer resources. By sharing the techniques of the Toyota Production System, we hope to help these vital organizations increase productivity and efficiency, while decreasing costs and retaining jobs. We are pleased to extend this support – which has been a long-standing resource for successful for-profit companies across North America – to organizations that help people most in need.”
The St. Bernard Project (SBP) has rebuilt more than 380 homes in the New Orleans area and created innovative job training and employment opportunities for returning war veterans. The organization expects that what it learns from Toyota regarding efficiency and productivity improvements will enable it to accelerate its rebuilding efforts by 20 percent, train and employ three times as many war veterans and make more effective use of the more than 60 AmeriCorps members and 200 civilian volunteers dedicated each day to building and rebuilding housing for Katrina survivors.
SBP CEO and Co-Founder Zack Rosenburg said: “In disaster recovery, time matters. We are confident that Toyota’s expertise will help us not only expedite recovery efforts in New Orleans, but also allow us to replicate our vertically integrated rebuilding model in Joplin, Mo., Tuscaloosa, Ala., and other areas of the country devastated by recent natural disasters.”
Toyota’s initiative to support community organizations is being led by the Toyota Production System Support Center (TSSC), which was originally established in 1992 to give back to North America by sharing the techniques of the Toyota Production System with Toyota-related suppliers and other companies nationwide. TSSC’s work is focused on helping to make
substantial improvements by increasing productivity, safety and quality and decreasing costs, always with a unique focus on ensuring job retention. A sought after resource for some of America’s most successful for-profit companies, TSSC’s expertise is now being made available more broadly to nonprofits and other community organizations.
Toyota also announced today that TSSC will now operate as a not-for-profit entity.
Techniques Pioneered on Toyota’s Auto Assembly Lines Having a Substantial Impact at Community Organizations
TSSC pilot projects have already demonstrated the many ways in which concepts pioneered on Toyota’s automobile assembly lines can benefit a wide array of nonprofit and community organizations. For example:
- Long wait times at the Community Kitchen & Food Pantry in Harlem (part of the Food Bank for New York City) were reduced from more than an hour to just 18 minutes by improving processes in meal services; and
- At Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, applying Toyota’s renowned “just in time” supply process to the delivery of pharmacy supplies dramatically cut down on waste and is projected to save the hospital $391,000 per year.
Daryl Foriest, Director of Meal Services at the Kitchen & Food Pantry of West Harlem, noted: “The financial assistance we receive from our generous donors allows us to continue to serve our customers, but Toyota’s process training allows us to serve them better. Working with Toyota, we were able to reduce the wait time for a meal, customize meals for customers to eliminate unwanted food options, and with an accelerated service time, we no longer need to devote resources managing long lines. This is a system we can use at soup kitchens across New York City.”
Diane Frndak, Corporate Vice President of Safety and Quality at Allegheny General Hospital, said: "Not only did the new system Toyota helped us develop eliminate waste and improve quality, it also streamlined the workload for the pharmacy and nursing staff. With the new system in place, our nurses are now able to spend more time with patients."
St. Bernard Project’s Zack Rosenburg added: “Toyota is uniquely qualified to offer these types of services, which can be ‘game changers’ for pioneering nonprofits like the St. Bernard Project. Rarely do you see a company give away this type of expertise.”
Toyota’s commitment also builds on its long-standing focus on supporting local communities. Over the past 20 years, the company has donated more than half a billion dollars to nonprofit organizations across the U.S.