Principle 11 of Toyota Way

“Respect your extended network of partners and suppliers by challenging them and helping them improve.”

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We keep on studying and analysing the 14 Principles of Toyota Way. The more we go deeper on the subject, the more we realize that Toyota focus its efforts in four important values:

  1. Long term philosophy.
  2. The correct process design will deliver the correct products and services.
  3. Adding value to the organization through personnel development and its associates.
  4. The continuous problem solving boosts the organizational learning.

And so, we arrive to the Principle #11 which states


“Respect your extended network of partners and suppliers by challenging them and helping them improve.”

The most important fact about this Principle is that if a company is not able to adapt its processes and operations to the Toyota Way (Toyota Production System) in terms of flexibility, customer obsession, quality at the first time, long term philosophy and related values, this company will struggle to be a long term supplier for Toyota, in this case.

If your team is able to train, improve and suggest its collaborators, supplier and clients to work within a Lean environment, do it, this will result in a vertical integration of the whole supply chain which will work as one.

Toyota’s teams are even helping their suppliers to improve their cost-reduction issues and net benefit gained from the operations as a win-to-win strategy. Thus, a creation of an automotive cluster which works and is standardized similarly, delivers great quality and reliable products.

The guiding principle for Toyota is to find stakeholders to grow together and achieve a mutual benefit on a long term basis. On the contrary, there will not be any success following a policy of harassing suppliers to achieve results, as the outcome will be reasonable on the short term but not on the long term.

There are several strategies to acquire this strategic model such as accreditation of suppliers through internal standards, frequent external audits to suppliers or continuous training to them.

You must go beyond your internal processes and identify the inputs and outputs to further optimize your processes. This will further satisfy your customers and also reduce stress on your suppliers.


Hope this post has been interesting for you and looking forward to your comments and recommendations!