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Toyota Kirloskar Motors (TKM) recently invited us over to their manufacturing plant in Bidadi, situated on the outskirts of Bangalore. It gave us an opportunity to see what goes on 'Behind The Scenes' at the factory floor of the Japanese brand in India.
The visit also gave us a chance for us to understand the level of attention given to every aspect and process followed by the brand. We also got a chance to see first-hand the processes being followed, making us understand the reason as to why the brand is considered among the most reliable in the world.
The visit also explained the 'Customer-first' philosophy of the company, and how every process put in place benefits their customers.
The first part of the plant visit, Toyota took us to their Technical Training Institute (TTTI), set up to train young individuals for the future. The aim behind TTTI is to provide a chance for underprivileged students to showcase their true potential.
The Institute selects 65 applicants from over 3000 entries every year and trains them on different aspects, in terms of both, educational and personal growth. The students at the end of the course are provided with an ITI certificate, allowing them to be qualified to work on the factory floor.
Moving from TTTI, we next headed to the National Manpower Excellence Centre (NMEC). This training institute offers training to all mechanics to work at Toyota's sales/service centres across the country. At NMEC, Toyota also explained to us the different initiatives started which helps improve customer satisfaction. These initiatives are available among three broad categories: Sales, Service and Re-purchase.
The first category of Sales offers customers the freedom of choice to choose any package they want, depending on the vehicle and its usage. Customers can also opt for a specific time period for the services as well, while also being able to change after the time period. These services are part of the Toyota Edge Program, which include offers such as extended warranty, annual maintenance package, additional accessories, finance and insurance.
The second category - Service, deals with maintenance and smooth running of customer vehicles. Toyota has introduced many additional offers, most popular being the ‘Express Maintenance' or EM. These are offered in either EM60, EM90 and EM120 schemes, with the number indicating the time taken to service the car in minutes.
All regular maintenance, scheduled services can be opted for in the EM60 plan. However, depending on the amount of any additional work required EM90 and EM120 can also be opted for by the customers.
Toyota also recently introduced the ‘Service Express', which handles any mobile services required, especially if the car is situated in remote locations. Toyota have a fully-equipped van with all the tools required to carry out any kind of service required. This type of service is however currently in its pilot scheme, with Toyota set to expand it across the country very soon.
The company also has a large warehouse facility in their Bangalore plant, which stocks all the parts of all products sold in the Indian market. Toyota also has a extended service and touch points spread across the country, all of which have specifically trained mechanics for the job.
Apart from the training and the host of service facilities available by Toyota, the company is also doing its part for the environment. In a bid to reduce emissions and its carbon footprint, the 850 acres of the Toyota plant will soon be getting its own ‘Eco Zone'.
This zone will include a solar power plant, rain-water harvesting system, as well as a number of iological parks within its compounds. Apart from the Eco Zone, Toyota also showcased their recycling centre, where all old and damaged vehicles are stripped down for parts and other reusable materials.
Finally, to end our factory visit, Toyota took us to one of their dealerships in the city to see what we had learnt being put into practice. We got to witness the actual servicing area and the processes being followed; all of which, shown to us through presentations and re-enacted scenarios.
Thoughts On The Toyota ‘Behind The Scenes' Plant Visit
The Toyota plant visit, was definitely an eye-opener into understanding what goes on behind offering quality service to customers. Starting from the initial training period, to expert mechanics servicing customer cars in under 60 mins. We also got an understanding of the attention to detail Toyota has, in order to ensure each of their customers receive the best service in the business.