I share with you an interview with which we can make pleasant and important notes, including Lean production and Kaizen (Continuous Improvement). I give thanks to Mr.Turhan for his support.

Can we recognize you briefly?

I m Halim Turhan I graduated from Istanbul Technical University, Mechanical Engineering in 1989. Takanichi, a Toyota group company in Japan as one of the 4 engineers selected for my graduation year, took part in business life in the technical design section. I returned to Turkey after 3 years of experience in Japan. I worked in Sabancı group for 1 year in Toyotasa Purchasing department and 1.5 years in Pilsa which produces Toyota’s seat and interior parts. I was in the Toyota factory in the Pilsa production line establishment and I joined Toyota in the process of commissioning the first Corolla in September 1994.

I left Pilsa in early 1995 with the intention of working in Japan to improve my Japanese reading and writing skills. After 6 months of Japanese language school in Nagoya, Japan, in Nagoya International Center, 1 year Goodwill Ambassador (friendship ambassador) I worked as I introduce Turkey.

I started Takanichi firmasia, where I started business career in Japan, and started to work as an engineer responsible for overseas projects in Overseas Operations Division. I worked as an engineer in charge of GM projects in Ford in Vietnam and in China.

Pilsen in Turkey, he decided to quit his job and Automotive Takanich a sudden decision, the company took over the business set up from PILSA Turkey. I was responsible for the projects in Turkey and have worked intensively this process Takanich in Turkey’s institutions.

In the meantime, in 2004, Takanichi merged with Toyoda Boshoku and Araco from the Toyota group. The name of the company changed to Toyota Boshoku. 2004 – Between 2009 bought Toyota Boshoku work in Turkey. Finance, Accounting, Human Resources & Administrative Affairs and Engineering departments. In 2009 I went to Toyota Boshoku Europe Belgium. I under took the responsibility of Corporate Planning in Belgium. I returned to Japan in 2011 and worked at the Toyota Boshoku Sanage Plant for 1.5 years as a manager in the production of seat carcass.

I was assigned back to Turkey in 2012 and currently in charge of the operations in Turkey as President and CEO of Toyota Boshoku in Turkey.

What kind of student were you in your education life and did you have a career goal that you set during this time? What have you done to achieve these goals?

I can not say that I am a hardworking student, but I was a responsible student and helped me to get through the lessons. I especially remember that I closed the house during the week of the visa and worked until the morning when necessary.

During the days I was in 1989 at Istanbul Technical University Department of Mechanical Engineering, I saw an announcement as I was passing in front of student affairs. Iceland wrote, “Do you want to work in Japan?”

In those days I wanted to graduate in Germany or in the United States. I thought, “Why Japan?” That year I was one of the four engineers selected from among the graduates applying. At that time I was not aware of this decision, but it was one of the important turning points of my life, both in private and in career sense.

How do you have a working system? How is your day going in business?                          

The automotive industry is a sector that requires you to truly demonstrate your full potential with very rapidly changing conditions and the need for continuous improvement. You have to use your time extraordinarily efficiently and in this context you need to take the right decision without delay.

As a Japanese firm, in order to understand the situation correctly and therefore to make the right decisions, one of the Japanese management principles, genchi genbutsu

 (to check the real situation on site) is very important to us. As the President of the Company, I can easily say that at least 2 hours of my work is going on a daily basis.

What do you do for yourself the rest of the time?

I am trying to do as much sport as possible. I absolutely play basketball and tennis 1-2 times a week. I play basketball again with my 3 boys on weekends. I also go fishing in the Bosphorus when I get a chance from the children.

Can we get information about Toyota Boshoku Turkey?

We are active in the sector with over 20 years of experience. Our main customer is producing automotive parts for Toyota such as seats, door panels and air filters. We are one of the major manufacturing bases in Europe of the Toyota Boshoku Group, which operates in 25 countries and has over 40,000 employees.

We have 3 production facilities in Sakarya and 2 in Düzce and we have close to 1900 employees.

We have our own AR & GE headquarters and we provide technical support to the Toyota Boshoku companies in Europe as well as to meet our own technical requirements.

We have production capacity of 280 thousand per year and we are producing for our main customer besides Toyota. We export about 10% of our production to Europe-Africa.

Innovation is now the industry branch and the awards we have received in productivity branches throughout Turkey I think we were one of the key actors.

How do you look at lean production and continuous improvement cultures? How do you integrate the business processes as Toyota Boshoku Turkey? Could you explain a bit to us?

The simplest and clearest definition of “Lean production JIT (Just In Time)” is “to produce the required product at the right time and when necessary”.

As is known, the basic reason for a company’s existence is to satisfy its customers, reduce its costs and increase its profit. Every stage of the process from raw material supply to final product consumption is a cost factor. The amount you are paying for the area and packing for the stockpile, the intense financial loss involved, the transportation made by the supplier, the transfer of the goods between the production lines and all the shipping costs made to the customer are cost elements. In summary JIT; all of the cost items should be used efficiently and unnecessary ones should be discovered and eliminated.

Toyota Boshoku factory shipments to and from customers in Turkey is carried out according to the JIT. Even if we work on 3 shifts, we do not need any intermediate sto. But we directly feed our customer’s vehicle production according to the desired spec.

The “kaizen (continuous improvement)”, which has entered my Turkic language in the first place in Japanese, is our most basic DNA. We apply “not satisfied” in all aspects such as quality, efficiency, cost.

A worker finds himself in an environment of continuous improvement that surrounds him from the day his company is involved.

Even when a very good result is achieved, our point of view is not to be satisfied with it but to look for “How can we do better?”

For example, even if there are a few mistakes in the acceptable level in our own world, the thought that is prevalent in all of us is “Why is it still not zero, how do we provide it?”

Should we be ambitious? How do you look at the concept of greed?

Greed accepts as long as it is not destructive and weary. But I prefer to be “Passionate” or “Desireful” rather than “Ambitious”. I believe that our most important impulse to reach our ideals is our passion.

The most widespread business word in the last 10 years is entrepreneurship. What should a young person do to become an entrepreneur?

It is necessary to follow the changes and expectations in the market well and take risks at the right time. I would suggest that you draw your dynamism in the direction of your ideals and passions in the early stages of your life as much as possible, as you can have in youthful years.

What kind of features are you looking for in young people who will start work?

First of all, we attach importance to dynamic and self-improvement approach. Parallel to the continuous development approach, it is the simplest when necessary; if necessary we are looking for people who are going to be perfect in the most complex project. Besides, we are looking for a condition for team work and a good knowledge of English in our global companies.

Could you give us advice on your way out of your life?

It is very important to find out what your ideals and passions are in life. It is very important to sincerely seek and find the answer to the question “What do I want to do in this life?” After I have found the answer to your question, I believe that if your actions become “sincere” and leave “good intentions”, your ideals will happen by itself.

As soon as I graduated from college, I went to work in Japan. After 3 years of experience in Japan in Turkey he continued to work in my life vey Toyota project. Although though I attach a particular order and careers in terms of working conditions in Turkey so I took the road even though Japan’s expense to start from scratch everything disrupting Japan working resign from going job to follow my passion in Turkey installed flat resistance. I can say that I follow my ideals and the voice of my heart.

One of the important experiences I have had in life is to establish “strong human relationships”. Good and unshakable relationships open new doors to you at every moment of your life, allowing you to come from above your material and spiritual difficulties.


Alper Aziret
If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves. -Thomas Edison

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