Tim Fenton – Director of Operational Improvement
By any measure, Tim enjoyed an exceptional international career within Toyota, working to improve suppliers across Europe. He was chosen to work alongside Toyota’s best practitioners, and was trained in Japan in the most advanced aspects of TPS. He became the youngest General Manager to be appointed within Toyota in Europe.
Since 2008, Tim has enjoyed adapting his experience across many service and caring sectors. He has achieved impressive results in many projects across a range of Local Authority, Leisure & Hospitality, Financial, Hospital and Not-for-Profit sectors. Tim’s operational skills are matched by his openness to ideas and ability to engage at all levels. Realising that people engagement is vital to sustained improvement, but this being frequently not recognised, Tim has worked alongside Stuart and Jill to develop EQLeanTM and put human development at the heart of a Transformation programme.
In 1993 Tim graduated with an M.Eng, (1st Class Hons.) from Bristol University and joined the GKN Graduate Development Scheme, which included a year based in GKN plants in Germany working on projects such as improving equipment performance by introducing OEE.
In 1995 he joined Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK as an Engineer within Technical Support, He carried out production preparation and supplier development, and worked in many supplier plants (including Pierburg and TRW) to successfully improve productivity. He underwent intensive shopfloor-based training in Japan at Toyota’s key supplier Aisin. On promotion to Senior Engineer, he became responsible for a team of Engineers supporting improvement within power train, chassis and electrical suppliers, managing critical supply issues as Toyota production increased. He led a facelift project, developed a novel system to assess supplier capacity to deal with increasing demand, and supported the start up of Toyota’s French plant. He trained further in Japan and was promoted to Manager, transferring to Toyota Europe’s central operation in Brussels. He now led a team that held responsibility for supplier management throughout Europe, supporting Toyota’s five plants in UK, France, Poland and Turkey.
On further promotion to Senior Manager in 2006, he spent a year within Toyota’s Operations Management Development Division. This powerful Department ensures Toyota develops and works to the TPS system, including the incorporation of new technologies. He led high-intensity shopfloor Kaizen events within Toyota’s own plants under the watchful eyes of some of Toyota’s best but most demanding and unforgiving TPS leaders. He also developed systems for vehicle accessory logistics and warranty.
His efforts were further rewarded in 2007 when he became the youngest ever General Manager in Toyota Europe, in charge of Supplier Improvement across Europe. Whilst at Toyota he had led a multitude of improvement activities in suppliers across virtually every European country, working with many outstanding Japanese experts such as Dr. Shuhei Toyoda (later President of Toyota Europe).