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Market flexible customizing system (MFCS) of Japanese vehicle manufacturers: An analysis of Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi

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Listed:
  • Tomino, Takahiro
  • Park, Youngwon
  • Hong, Paul
  • Roh, James Jungbae

Abstract

Many studies on Japanese manufacturing practices have rarely compared how different Japanese vehicle manufacturers implement market flexible customizing system (MFCS). The aim of this study is to compare collaborative practices of Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi in terms of how they integrate changing market demand information into their production plans. From 2001 to 2008 a research team has engaged in-depth interviews of eleven executives from Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi and five executives from their suppliers. Such longitudinal approach was to examine the evolving sets of management philosophies and manufacturing practices. The results of this study suggest a few interesting findings. First, as an improvement of flexible manufacturing systems (FMS) in 1980s, Japanese vehicle manufacturers have been adopting MFCS which integrates long-term market-driven production planning with short-term customer-specified order demands. Second, Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi combine make-to-plan (MTP) with make-to-order (MTO) and implement incentive practices for their suppliers and manage inventory risks. Third, Toyota implements a few days shorter market responsive production practices than Nissan and Mitsubishi. This difference in "a few days" characterizes Toyota's organizational capabilities in the form of highly flexible customizing system. This study suggests that three Japanese vehicle manufacturers (Toyota, Nissan, and Mitsubishi) continue to implement MFCS as a way of securing their competitive advantages around the world.

Suggested Citation

  • Tomino, Takahiro & Park, Youngwon & Hong, Paul & Roh, James Jungbae, 2009. "Market flexible customizing system (MFCS) of Japanese vehicle manufacturers: An analysis of Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 375-386, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:proeco:v:118:y:2009:i:2:p:375-386
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pierdzioch, Christian & Rülke, Jan-Christoph & Stadtmann, Georg, 2011. "Forecasting U.S. car sales and car registrations in Japan: Rationality, accuracy and herding," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, pages 253-258.
    2. Aoki, Katsuki & Staeblein, Thomas & Tomino, Takahiro, 2014. "Monozukuri capability to address product variety: A comparison between Japanese and German automotive makers," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, pages 373-384.
    3. Roh, James & Hong, Paul & Min, Hokey, 2014. "Implementation of a responsive supply chain strategy in global complexity: The case of manufacturing firms," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, pages 198-210.
    4. MacCarthy, Bart L. & Ovutmen, Tamer, 2015. "Using a central Vehicle Holding Compound (VHC) in an open pipeline automotive order fulfilment system: A simulation study," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, pages 590-601.
    5. Laurent Lim, Lâm & Alpan, Gülgün & Penz, Bernard, 2014. "Reconciling sales and operations management with distant suppliers in the automotive industry: A simulation approach," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, pages 20-36.
    6. Nepal, Bimal & Monplaisir, Leslie & Famuyiwa, Oluwafemi, 2012. "Matching product architecture with supply chain design," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 216(2), pages 312-325.
    7. Staeblein, Thomas & Aoki, Katsuki, 2015. "Planning and scheduling in the automotive industry: A comparison of industrial practice at German and Japanese makers," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, pages 258-272.
    8. Thomé, Antonio Márcio T. & Scavarda, Luiz Felipe & Pires, Sílvio R.I. & Ceryno, Paula & Klingebiel, Katja, 2014. "A multi-tier study on supply chain flexibility in the automotive industry," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, pages 91-105.

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