Hi again! It’s Jamie Bonini, general manager of the Toyota Production System Support Center (TSSC). With the holidays upon us, we all have a lot to be thankful for. That’s why I’m happy to share that TSSC is once again supporting the Society of St. Vincent DePaul (SVDP) during its annual Thanksgiving drive using Toyota Production System (TPS) thinking to maximize the overall efficiency of their food package assembly for families in need. I’m proud to tell you this year marks our third Thanksgiving collaborating with SVDP!
Every year, a few days prior to Thanksgiving, SVDP distributes over one thousand “Thanksgiving Family Food Bags” to those who may have otherwise not been able to afford a Thanksgiving dinner with their families. Here’s where Toyota comes in. Because of TSSC, Toyota is able to further support local nonprofits transform their operations and maximize their impact. Specifically, TSSC helps optimize the way SVDP runs its Thanksgiving distribution event by implementing TPS tools or ideas like “just in time” and creating a production line. This is the same process used at our manufacturing facilities throughout the United States—including Georgetown, Kentucky—home of the Camry. The before and after impact means less wait for SVDP customers and also helps maximize volunteers’ time and efforts. Based on 1,000 customers, the idea is to fill a bag every fifteen seconds to keep the production line flowing.
We first got involved with SVDP when one of our own team members first recognized the need for streamlined distribution process at SVDP’s Thanksgiving drive after volunteering with his family in 2009. He reached out to SVDP to find out if they would be interested in Toyota’s support, a partnership they welcomed. Scott Porter, one of my team’s managers assigned to SVDP, shared that he will continue to work with SVDP beyond his role with Toyota and even involve his daughter in the activity. It’s this kind of impact – relationship building beyond the task at hand – that inspires us to continue to serve the communities and organizations we partner with.
Last year, TSSC focused primarily on streamlining the bag-build process because of the ergonomic burdens associated with the sheer weight of canned goods. This led to a change in the way food was packaged. Whereas previously SVDP distributed food in cardboard boxes, Toyota donated and recommended the use of 1,000 reusable and durable bags. This year, we are shifting our focus to the front side of the process. TSSC wants to minimize the time between unloading food goods from the truck and the start of food assembly. In doing so, we also hope to minimize the ergonomic impact on volunteers and reduce hazards.
It’s not too late to give back to those in need. If you are interested in volunteering with SVDP or donating to their cause, I encourage you to visit their website. We have really enjoyed working with SVDP and look forward to continuing our partnership.
At Toyota, we are thankful for our team members, our community partners and of course for you, our loyal costumers. What are you thankful for this holiday season?
From all of us at Toyota, we hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!