Toyota Gives Back Through Innovative Ideas  


ACE Metal Works Employees

When I began Social Good Moms over three years ago, one of my primary goals for the community was to continually find unique and innovative ways for online moms to engage with nonprofits and NGOs about big global and domestic issues. Social Good Moms has changed a lot over the years. It’s grown considerably and I am constantly working on finding new ways for members to connect with nonprofits. Now, we have click campaigns via social media to educate people about issues like maternal health and nutrition. We collectively blog as a community about global and domestic issues and we work as a community to bring awareness to some of the best nonprofits and NGOs out there. With a community of over three thousand mothers I am perpetually seeking ways to more efficiently work with Social Good Moms. It’s a continual process.

I am definitely not the only one who constantly seeks improved ways to do things. Toyota has been helping nonprofits, small businesses, manufacturers and the health care industry discover new ways to be more efficient in order for them to better help and serve people. They do this through their Toyota Production Support Center, a not-for-profit that has been around for over twenty years. Toyota believes that business is about more than making money.  And Toyota also believes that they have a responsibility to have a positive impact on people, society and the environment.

Recently Toyota partnered with prominent filmmakers to capture in short films how making small tweaks here and there can result in immense improvements in efficiency. Called The Toyota Effect, these three short films explore better efficiency for a New Orleans-based nonprofit that builds housing post Katrina, a small business increased profits by improved efficiency, and new innovative ways to help those losing their sight. The films show some of the most impactful projects that Toyota has worked on. The Toyota Effect is inspired by its Toyota Production System (TPS) – an integrated social-technical system that creates improvements through high quality work.

Everyone can take a cue from Toyota to make small changes that create a big impact not only in our lives, but in the lives of others as well. For example, we can all take a moment to offer a kind word to others or make micro-donations to organizations that resonate with your core values. Some ways to give back include tweeting about small nonprofits or featuring a new organization on your blog. You can volunteer your time to local nonprofits and help them with their social media. These are small examples about how you can incorporate giving every day without breaking the bank.

Coming Home

Toyota worked with St. Bernard’s Project, an organization that helps in disaster relief, to teach them how to make efficiency improvements like simply naming ladders to better keep up with them and using a whiteboard system to eliminate problems and fix little things. The impact was noticeable over time. In Coming Home the film shows how small tips and ideas helped St. Bernard’s Project ultimately help more people after Katrina.

ACE Metal Works

Toyota also worked with ACE Metal Crafts to share with them how they can be competitive in the manufacturing industry. Through team training, highlighted in the short film, 116 Innovators, ACE Metal Crafts employees learned new processes to improve their shipping and turnaround time. Through simple ideas like creating lanes for shipped products, the production line decreased from eight weeks to five weeks. As a result, ACE Metal Crafts was even able to employ twenty more people.

Harbor UCLA Medical Center

For those who are diabetics, losing their sight is a health complication from the disease. At Harbor-UCLA hospital’s eye clinic, many of the doctors complained that they were working in chaos because of an outdated system. By implementing the Toyota Production System, the hospital was able to create a simple color-coded system to better serve their patients and provide eye surgeries quicker. Previously, patients had to wait for months before getting surgery and in the process they would go blind. Just by being trained by Toyota, the film Saving Sight, showed how doctors were able to treat more people faster.

Toyota gives back by using the production skills they have learned since the 1940s through its Toyota Production System to help other companies become more efficient. The impactful mini films in The Toyota Effect series show the power of small changes making robust impact and helping companies in the process.

This content was created in partnership with Toyota. All opinions contained in this post are my own, and do not reflect the views or opinions of Toyota.

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