Are You Training Employees to Be Leaders in the Community?

Primary objectives for training employees are always to help them perform their jobs in the most efficient and productive way possible. But once those goals are well in hand, additional objectives can be beneficial to both your organization’s bottom line and its corporate reputation.

Well-known for training its own employees on lean principles, Toyota partnered with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC) in Indiana to teach the school district how to make its process of collecting and distributing 14,000 netbooks to students in grades 6 through 12 more efficient.

Since October 2012, members from the Toyota Production System Support Center (TSSC) have provided free, on-site support to the school district in an effort to ensure that the process “runs as smoothly as the production lines at the automaker’s plant in Princeton,” Toyota explained in a statement.

“It’s been an amazing turnaround,” said David Smith, EVSC’s superintendent. “We knew that training a team of individuals in operational excellence would be beneficial, but this work with TSSC has helped us to see very practically how efficiencies can free up people and money, allowing us to direct resources to our core work in each classroom.”

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“In the past, there was no uniformity to collections, and students were out of class too long,” said Janit Market, an English teacher at EVSC’s Central High School. “Now, we have a team of people who are solely focused on collections.”

Immediate improvements reported during the spring collection of netbooks include a 79 percent drop in the amount of class time missed by students during collection, a significant drop in labor needed to facilitate the process, standardized procedures, and accurate inventory, said EVSC Chief Operating Officer Rick Cameron.

“In the Toyota Production System, it all comes down to eliminating waste through solving problems,” said Craig Kelle, Toyota Production System (TPS) manager at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana. “Before TPS, there was wasted time and duplication of work [in EVSC’s netbook collection and distribution procedure]. For instance, while the correct number of netbooks was shown by the system to be available, they were not available at the correct locations.”

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In tomorrow’s Advisor, we learn more about Toyota’s impact in the community, plus we’ll take a look at a dynamic online leadership training resource available now.