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Lean Thinkingby James P. Womack
Synopses & Reviews
Expanded, updated, and more relevant than ever, this bestselling business classic by two internationally renowned management analysts describes a business system for the twenty-first century.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Expanded, updated, and more relevant than ever, this bestselling business classic by two internationally renowned management analysts describes a business system for the twenty-first century that supersedes the mass production system of Ford, the financial control system of Sloan, and the strategic system of Welch and GE. It is based on the Toyota (lean) model, which combines operational excellence with value-based strategies to produce steady growth through a wide range of economic conditions.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;In contrast with the crash-and-burn performance of companies trumpeted by business gurus in the 1990s, the firms profiled in andlt;Iandgt;Lean Thinkingandlt;/Iandgt; — from tiny Lantech to midsized Wiremold to niche producer Porsche to gigantic Pratt and Whitney — have kept on keeping on, largely unnoticed, along a steady upward path through the market turbulence and crushed dreams of the early twenty-first century. Meanwhile, the leader in lean thinking — Toyota — has set its sights on leadership of the global motor vehicle industry in this decade.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;Instead of constantly reinventing business models, lean thinkers go back to basics by asking what the customer really perceives as andlt;Iandgt;value.andlt;/Iandgt; (It's often not at all what existing organizations and assets would suggest.) The next step is to line up value-creating activities for a specific product along a andlt;Iandgt;value streamandlt;/Iandgt; while eliminating activities (usually the majority) that don't add value. Then the lean thinker creates a andlt;Iandgt;flowandlt;/Iandgt; condition in which the design and the product advance smoothly and rapidly at the andlt;Iandgt;pullandlt;/Iandgt; of the customer (rather than the push of the producer). Finally, as flow and pull are implemented, the lean thinker speeds up the cycle of improvement in pursuit of andlt;Iandgt;perfection.andlt;/Iandgt; The first part of this book describes each of these concepts and makes them come alive with striking examples.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;andlt;Iandgt;Lean Thinkingandlt;/Iandgt; clearly demonstrates that these simple ideas can breathe new life into any company in any industry in any country. But most managers need guidance on how to make the lean leap in their firm. Part II provides a step-by-step action plan, based on in-depth studies of more than fifty lean companies in a wide range of industries across the world.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;Even those readers who believe they have embraced lean thinking will discover in Part III that another dramatic leap is possible by creating an extended lean enterprise for each of their product families that tightly links value-creating activities from raw materials to customer.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;In Part IV, an epilogue to the original edition, the story of lean thinking is brought up-to-date with an enhanced action plan based on the experiences of a range of lean firms since the original publication of andlt;Iandgt;Lean Thinking.andlt;/Iandgt;andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;andlt;Iandgt;Lean Thinkingandlt;/Iandgt; does not provide a new management "program" for the one-minute manager. Instead, it offers a new method of thinking, of being, and, above all, of doing for the serious long-term manager — a method that is changing the world.
The authors begin by summarizing the five inherent principles in any lean system: Correctly specify value so you are providing what the customer actually wants Identify the value stream for each product family and remove the wasted steps that don't create value but do create muda (waste) Make the remaining value-creating steps flow continuously to drastically shorten throughput timesAllow the customer to pull value from your rapid-response value streams as needed (rather than pushing products toward the customer on the basis of forecasts) Never relax until you reach perfection, which is the delivery of pure value instantaneously with zero muda. (The first part of Lean Thinking devotes a chapter to each of these principles.)
In the second part, the authors describe in detail how managers in a wide range of companies and industries - small, medium and large, North American, European, and Japanese - transformed their business by applying the principlesof lean thinking. Chapters are devoted to Pratt & Whitney, Wiremold and Lantech in North America, Porsche in Germany, and Showa Manufacturing in Japan.
Based on these cases and many others as well, the authors summarize in the last part of Lean Thinking the necessary steps in the necessary sequence to apply lean thinking successfully in your business. They pay special attention to the need to map product-family value streams at the outset in order to identify the most important areas for improvement and to avoid wasted effort on activities that may be technically challenging but which are of little importance to your business.
Lean Thinking has sold more than 300,000 copies in the English language hardcover version alone because it'san indispensable companion for every manager making the lean journey.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -378) and index.
About the Author
James Womack and Daniel Jones have collaborated on analyses of global industrial trends for more than twenty years. They are coauthors of The Machine That Changed the World, Seeing the Whole, and The Future of the Automobile.
Womack is founder and president of the Lean Enterprise Institute (www.lean.org), a nonprofit education and research organization based in Brookline, Massachusetts, dedicated to the spread of lean thinking.
Jones is founder and chairman of the Lean Enterprise Academy in the U.K. (www.leanuk.org), a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Lean Enterprise Institute and pursuing the same objectives in English-speaking Europe.
Table of Contents
Preface to the 2003 Edition
Preface to the First Edition: From Lean Production to Lean Enterprise
PART I: LEAN PRINCIPLES
Introduction: Lean Thinking versus Muda
2. The Value Stream
PART II: FROM THINKING TO ACTION: THE LEAN LEAP
6. The Simple Case
7. A Harder Case
8. The Acid Test
9. Lean Thinking versus German Technik
10. Mighty Toyota; Tiny Showa
11. An Action Plan
PART III: LEAN ENTERPRISE
12. A Channel for the Stream; a Valley for the Channel
13. Dreaming About Perfection
PART IV: EPILOGUE
14. The Steady Advance of Lean Thinking
15. Institutionalizing the Revolution
Afterword: The Lean Network
Appendix: Individuals and Organizations Who Helped
What Our Readers Are Saying
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