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A Day In the Life of A Toyota Tundra Factory Employee | Tundra Headquarters Blog

A Day In the Life of A Toyota Tundra Factory Employee, One Square Pitch Videos

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There is a series of videos out there focusing on the day in the life of a Toyota Tundra San Antonio factory employee. They are honest and insightful looks into who builds the trucks.


There is a series of these videos under the Youtube channel “One Square Pitch” and there promises to be many more of them released. We asked Rick Bourgoise, Toyota’s Midwest public relations specialist about these why these videos were made and what there purpose is. In response, we got back a lot of information. The information below comes straight from Stephanie Mota at the TMMTX facility in San Antonio (home of the Tundra/Tacoma productions.

Background:

  • Joe DaRosa took the reins as the newest TMMTX president in January 2014. His challenge to the communications department: 1) Build employee morale, 2) Give a feeling or sense of family, pride, unity and teamwork, and 3) create an excitement or buzz about working at our company. Together, we created a theme, tagline and logo for messaging throughout the year. One Team, One Purpose: Build Better Trucks.
  • The immediate focus was on “team.”  We believe that a strong team must know each and every team mate, their interests, struggles and passion.
  • A survey was done prior to the series creation, and we uncovered the fact that many team members really only knew their process and build but weren’t aware of what other departments and pitches throughout the plant contributed. Many times they only knew the names of their pitch neighbors, but nothing else. More than 98% marked that they were very interested in finding out what other team members did in other areas.
  • This series is an internal communications push, but is shared with the public through YouTube and Twitter

Action:

  • Inspired by the PBS series, One Square Mile, we created a series that would focus in on stories from around our plant. In the PBS series, a pin is dropped randomly on a Texas map, and then a story would develop from this location in a one square mile radius. The lives of 3-4 people are told.
  • In our series, we would choose a particular location, or a pitch (which is what we call the area that team members work within to build a portion of our trucks) and focus on team members that work that pitch (usually 2-3 team members per shift, we work 2 shifts).
  • In promoting the series to the team members, we ask, “How well do you know your pitch neighbor?”  Sure they may know their name or see them on occasion, but do they really know them? This brings the human element to a very heavy equipment/mechanical process.
  • Zooming out, team members from the Plastics department now learn processes that assembly team members work through, and team members in Body Weld can understand the process that a pitch in Paint works through. And apart from all that, they hear their team mates stories, their struggles, their passions and they make a connection. A connection that until now was missing.

Format:

  • The episodes are generally 4-5 minutes in length. We play these episodes on our café screens for a week, and many of our TM’s watch the episodes from their phones during break or at lunch (thus we keep these fairly short). They also share with their family when they get home.
  • We’ve created a YouTube channel that stores all episodes, however the most recent episode is what pops up on the home screen.
  • Our season runs from August – May, with an episode released approximately every 6-8 weeks.

Plans:

  • So far we’ve had 5 episodes and plan for 2 more before wrapping season 1. At the end of the season, we will ask TM’s to vote for their favorite episode, which we will then run on our café screens for a week. It has really built excitement throughout the plant, with TM’s asking when the next episode will air. Each time we walk down the aisle with our camera equipment, it never fails that TM’s ask if they’ll be in the next episode.
  • We plan on approximately eight episodes next season.

These videos, in our opinion, are just brilliant. While they are an internal communications tool, they are also a great way to get team members fired up while putting out positive PR for consumers who come across them. It creates a connection between a worker and the consumer.

What do you think? Which one is your favorite?

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  1. Randy says:

    Tundra is the clear QDR leader in both the mid-size and half-ton market. The string of videos above explains how Toyota Team members are able to perform this type of magic in today’s marketplace.

    Workers at other plants may go have a booze break for lunch or care so little they may routinely install keypads upside down, or roof rail seams that will intentionally leak and rust. Is that the type of truck you want to spend our money on?

    Other companies let their customers test the product before it is ready for “real truck use”. One company’s continuing falling sales rate demonstrates the difficulties they are having. Who really wants to pay $50,000 plus or even $30,000 plus for plastic filler panels to fall off or requiring new doors be ordered (do not fit) because of exceptionally poor quality controls. Compare that type of quality to the video above on Body Fit.

    I have owned the other three brands, lots of them; I can say without question I will not own them again.

  2. Rick says:

    Randy,

    I owned 2 Chevys and one Ford and drove Rams at work. All of them broke down in one way or another. Quality was marginal, transmissions usually went down.

    My Duramax was most reliable but had a host of electrical demons that were unresolved. A known Bosch injector failure flooded my engine with diesel fuel while I was in the mountains on a sunday afternoon. GM fixed the engine under a defect warranty, but I knew running a vehicle without oil meant my bearings were only a short time away from failure.

    When GM refused to give me a new engine, I sold the truck and bought my first Tundra in ’07. I’m now in my 3rd Tundra and have never looked back. Even though the new GM twins are making a solid effort with a good drivetrain, i’m staying here.

    After 45k miles 35k+ on my supercharger, I have no issues at all. I’ve never owned a reliable vehicle like this. My ECU is not only clever, it has stayed reliable providing parameters that maintain the truck’s overall performance in all kinds of weather.

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