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Toyota Goes Leaner with Mobile Apps

A Toyota Employee Made an App from a Spreadsheet and Optimized the Assemly Line
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A perfect solution for lean processes

It's not surprising that the Japanese automobile manufacturer constantly looks for ways to perfect its vehicle assembly process.

The company realized that a mobile application would enable it to gather data from their assembly lines and unlock valuable insights. They turned to AppSheet, a lean app-building platform that dovetails with Toyota’s own lean philosophy. The platform allows them to deploy mobile apps quickly and easily, without professional developers.

With the help of AppSheet, Toyota is able to gather assembly line data on the fly and see patterns that pave the way for quality and productivity improvements.

Why Toyota choose AppSheet

In the past, Toyota’s seven North American manufacturing plants collected information on each part, but it was all connected to spreadsheets. There was no sharing data across plants or upstream. “It was very hard. There was no real communication on this data list,” recalls Toyota ergonomist Ben Atikson. 

Atkinson, based at Toyota’s Lexington, Kentucky engineering headquarters for North America, is in charge of taking that data and making sure that the production process optimizes productivity and worker comfort.

“What AppSheet did was allow me to really quickly create a tool to collect data. We’re really excited to be able to collect this information on the assembly line. Anyone in final assembly, anyone in design has constantly up-to-date information down to the part level,” says Atikson.

About Toyota

  • Japanese automotive manufacturer and 13th largest company in the world by revenue.
  • Companies management philosophy hinges on "lean manufacturing," also known as the Toyota Way.
  • Industry leader in manufacturing and production.

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