Toyota Ban Pho Plant Field Trip

Written By: Ms. Lee Forest (IB Business Management Teacher)

On Monday, March 18th, 2024, we departed from Wells early in the morning for our second annual visit to Toyota Ban Pho Plant. This trip was designed for Grade 12 students who are studying operations management in their 2nd year of Business Management (BM) studies, and aimed to give insight into one of the top car-making companies in the world production line.

Toyota Ban Pho Plant

During this time, BM senior students have been learning about the various aspects of lean manufacturing, inspired by Toyota.  This trip exposed students to the complexities of operating a business in an era of groundbreaking innovations and changes in human resource management in a globalized environment; students were able to make connections between what they study and the real world.

Toyota Ban Pho Plant

Toyota Ban Pho Plant

Student Reflections

The following excerpts from students’ reflections post trip, as well as the photos, show how important these trips are for students in experiencing the real-world application of the theories and concepts discussed in class:

“Overall, this trip was quite beneficial as I got to make many connections with the things that we have learned in BM class. Not only that, but it was quite fun to see the idea of lean manufacturing and quality control methods in real life after hearing about them. The most important thing that I learned was that as the world is developing more and more things are going to be automated, even the simpler things like moving one part from one area to another or flipping the frame of the car upside down.”


Toyota Ban Pho Plant

“I also saw how sustainability was implemented into the factory work. Toyota has grass fields around their factory to improve the environment and they also reuse the water that was used to check the car windows. We all were also able to identify defects which was really cool as it connects to what we are learning in class.”


“This trip indeed helped my learning. As I watched the production line, I was reminded of various concepts about lean production we learned in class. When I saw some colorful posters to inform workers about Toyota’s mission, or when I saw the wall of hall of fame, I was reminded of a lot about what I researched for my university entrance exam interview, about what companies like Toyota do to motivate Thai workers. From now on, whenever I learn about operation management in business management, I feel like I will right away think of the scenery I saw in the factory today, which would also be helpful for my learning in the university as well.”


Toyota Ban Pho Plant

“I would say that observing the factory and being able to discuss and explain things with and to my friends while we were walking through it helped enhance my own understanding of what was going on and the BM connections.” 


Toyota Ban Pho Plant

“I felt that this field trip was a good experience because we got to learn about Toyota’s operations while connecting it with the BM tools and theories that we have been learning for the past two years. The most memorable experience during the field trip was seeing the long conveyor belt/tunnel of cars being tested on. This was the most memorable experience to me because seeing the large amount of cars being worked on looked cool.”


“It was interesting to see that I was able to spot some similarities between the video we watched in class about Kaizen and during the tour. For example, the tools needed for production were placed in specific areas or kept in specific compartments which makes it easier for the employees to navigate the tools and minimizes the time wasted on finding the tools…This experience has made me realize that the concepts that we have learnt in class are important and correlate to the real world.”


“As the tour guide continued to talk about their methods of production, I had these moments where I knew exactly what they were talking about which helped me to brush up on a few terms. This trip also allowed me to see an actual real life business operate like it does daily and I think that I was also a little thankful as working such long shifts must be very tiring for the workers, as well as working during the hot summers must be even worse”.


“This was probably one of the most insightful field trips ever. It was super cool to see Toyota and how they operate. I never would have thought it takes like 90 seconds for some processes and that Toyota Thailand exports back to Japan despite Toyota being a Japanese company…Witnessing the efficiency and precision of Toyota’s operations firsthand was eye-opening, and it showed the importance of continuous improvement and lean principles in maximizing productivity.”


“Walking through the factory, I was amazed by the size and efficiency of the operation. Watching the workers and machines working together so seamlessly was very impressive. Despite learning a lot during the trip, it also left me with many questions. I found myself wondering about topics like supply chain management and the role of technology in the manufacturing process. I realized there’s still so much more to learn about how companies like Toyota operate.”


Toyota Ban Pho Plant

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