Toyota Production System Helps Speed Local Vaccination in Aichi

Toyota Motor Corp.’s famed just-in-time production system is being used to speed up coronavirus vaccinations at its home town, according to public broadcaster NHK.

Toyota city, in Aichi prefecture where the carmaker is based, applied some of the manufacturing knowhow to vaccination of the elderly that began on Sunday, NHK said in the report. One location on a Toyota factory site used signs, routes and color-coding to maximize the throughput of patients, it said.

The city late last month announced plans to team up with the carmaker and delivery company Yamato Holdings Co. on the vaccination drive, in what they hoped could become a model for private-public partnerships in a country that has fallen behind in rolling out the vaccine. Toyota agreed to provide locations and operational support, while Yamato handled logistics.

Toyota applied the techniques that reduce time-waste on production lines, such as measuring down to a second how long it takes a person to pass reception and roll up their sleeve for the jab, NHK said. The information was used to allocate staff and make sure the patients take the shortest possible route through the facility, it said.

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