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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Auto Parts Manufacturing Mississippi, Inc.




Auto Parts Manufacturing Mississippi (APMM) produces stamped auto parts, body weld parts and plastic parts for the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Plant in Blue Springs, MS. Toyota uses APMM parts to produce the Toyota Corolla; the company is owned by Toyota Motor Company. Its parent company is Toyota Auto Body (TAB), based in Kariva-City Japan. APMM is TAB's first operation in the U.S. and serves as the American headquarters for the company's operational growth. The company has built a $200 million, 500,000 square foot facility and is currently beginning production training to expand its product offerings. It is located in Guntown, MS, and employs approximately 380 workers.

The Challenge

As a Tier 1 supplier to the Toyota Blue Springs plant, APMM has a critical responsibility to meet its production start-up deadlines in sync with the plant and within quality and lead time constraints. Its success depends on proper standardization, waste reduction, process flow, quality built in, and on time shipments. When newly hired production and maintenance personnel needed standardized training, APMM contacted the Mississippi Manufacturers Association – Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Mississippi (MMA-MEP), part of the MEP National Network™, for assistance.

MEP Center's Role

The MMA-MEP Centers at Itawamba Community College and the Mississippi Manufacturing Solutions Center worked together to provide standardized training for all newly hired production and maintenance personnel. First, MMA-MEP trainers conducted a three and a half day intensive company orientation that included a class on Japanese Business Culture. After the orientation, participants received customized training in either Manufacturing Basic Skills or Multi-Skilled Industrial Maintenance. Production personnel spent six and a half days with MMA-MEP Center at Itawamba Community College Belden Center, attending courses in Math and Metrics, Precision Measurement, Blueprint Reading, Quality Tools with SPC, Team Building, Communication Skills, and a Capstone course. Each participant took a pre-test and a post-test to help APMM measure “ability to learn” and establish a base-line for future remedial and continued training.

APMM succeeded in meeting its official start up deadline with no delays to the Toyota Blue Springs plant. The Japanese Business training was instrumental in helping the two business cultures function as a cohesive team.


• 350 jobs created; 20 retained
• $282M investment in equipment
• $2M investment in information systems
• $129,792 investment in workforce practices and employee skills
• $374,400 savings in unnecessary investments due to safety training

“The workforce training is an integral part of our everyday processes. We value both of these MMA-MEP Centers and their resources and consider them a partner in our success.”

Perry Walker, Human Resources Manager