Hub Group, Inc. (Downers Grove, Ill.) won the Kaizen Challenge Award from Toyota’s North American Parts Operations (NAPO) 2006 . Commonly translated as “continuous improvement,” kaizen is a critical component of the Toyota Production System (TPS) management strategy. Hub Group is an “asset-light” freight management company providing intermodal and truckload brokerage, and logistics services. The award recognized Hub Group for its ability to work in partnership with Toyota management and for performance and efficiency improvements achieved in product deliveries to Toyota’s U.S. Parts Delivery Centers (PDCs).
The kaizen team, comprised of both Hub Group and Toyota representatives, was able to significantly reduce “bunching” (the tendency for inbound container volumes arriving at the parts delivery centers to fluctuate unevenly throughout the week), improve on-time performance (from “not late” to “not late and not early”), and to reduce costs by eliminating rail detention and storage for the Toyota PDCs.
"We are very proud of the relationship that we have developed with Hub Group over the past 10 years,” said Tony Minyon, National Logistics Manager, Toyota Motor Sales. “They have embraced kaizen, and have excelled with it.”
“Over the past four years, we have expanded the Kaizen Challenge program to where, last year,” he continued. “We had 102 logistics partners trained, from 17 companies. Altogether, there were 20 outstanding kaizens submitted”
"Toyota has been more than generous with its investment in time and resources in sharing TPS management principles and its culture of kaizen with Hub Group,” said David Porter, v.p. sales for Hub Group. “As a result, Hub has developed skills that have fostered growth opportunities outside of NAPO. More importantly, this process has empowered Hub to deliver a much improved service, not only to Toyota, but to all of our customers.”
Headquartered in Torrance, Calif., NAPO manages a parts distribution network that supplies all North American Toyota distributors, as well as U.S. Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealers.