FIRE AT TOYOTA'S SUPPLIER STOPSPRODUCTION
A1sin Seiki provides 99 percent of the brake valves that Toyota uses in the assembly of its automobiles. BecauseToyota uses a just-in-time (JIT) system with its vendor , it maintains only a four-hour supply of brake valves at each of its assembly plants. Consequently, when a fire destroyed Aisin Sekei's manufacturing facility on February 1, 1997 Toyota was forced to shut down its 20 automobile plants, which were producing 14,000 cars a day. Although many experts predicted that it would' take weeks before Aisin could begin producing valves, Toyota' plants were again turning out cars five days after the fire. This was accomplished through a concerted effort of all ofToyota's suppliers who worked together around the clock to provide an interim solution.
Cases inbound shipments of parts from nearly 1.000 suppliers worldwide. and outbound -shipments of finished goods that total 40,000 pieces of equipment to some 150 countries around the world. I The most recent innovation in supply chain management is the incorporation of and their workers within the same manufacturing facility. Volkswagen'< new e assembly plant in Brazil, discussed later in this chapter. provide a good example of the- innovation. which IS illustrated in Exhibit 13.10.