Quality management best practices: The Toyota way

Multiple pharma companies have now realised their quality systems are both ineffective and unaffordable. Toyota believes the answers lie outside the pharmaceutical industry

For companies searching for answers why not look outside the pharmaceutical industry? In fact if looking for Quality Systems with the best industry practice look no further than Toyota.

What can Toyota teach the Pharmaceutical industry?

Toyota’s philosophy and approach to quality management is generally regarded as world class, sustainable and proven to work.

Crucially, its success is not down to a set of lean tools or techniques, but an underpinning philosophy focussing solely on activities that add value to internal and external customers.

However, is it fair to draw comparisons between a manufacturer of cars and an industry making medicines?

Although differences clearly exist, there are some striking similarities:

  • Both industry sectors are heavily regulated. Although automobiles have no FDA or EMA equivalent, Toyota would argue its activities are regulated by the most important and influential stakeholder of all, its customers
  • The consumers of both demand high quality, affordable products
  • Both need to eliminate waste and non-value adding activities to stay in business
  • Both have complex processes and products
  • Both face the challenges of very complex supply chains

What is different is Toyota’s approach to Quality Management:

For decades it has made cars more efficiently and with a lower defect rate than any other manufacturer. So how have they achieved this success?

The Toyota Production System

Although the key principles of Toyota’s Production System can be conveniently summarised it is vital to remember it represents a way of thinking, not just a set of tools and techniques.

So, what is the Toyota Way? To find out how download the full white paper.

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