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.
EVSC Chief Operating Officer Rick Cameron said the school system is now looking for other opportunities to make process changes and save money. “We have already started to look at “Just-In-Time” inventory for our bus-garage service. We are taking TPS (Toyota Production System) and trying to make it our way.”
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“In a nutshell, that is why we do this,” said Scott Dickson, TSSC manager. “While business and industry sectors are familiar with lean processes such as TPS, it is encouraging to see a school district thinking in such a way and willing to devote time and effort to becoming more efficient. To see that light come on and for Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. to carry this to other parts of its operation is fantastic. That is forward thinking.”
Among other initiatives, Toyota also provides free classroom training and comprehensive online resources to promote safe driving among teenagers; offers college scholarships in science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines; and cosponsors Toyota Family Learning in partnership with the National Center for Family Literacy to engage families in learning together—online and offline.
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