Suggested Reading

The Machine That Changed the World: The Story of Lean Production
James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones and Daniel Roos, (1990)
Rawson and Associates, ISBN: 0-89256-350-8
In this landmark study of the automobile industry, Jim Womack, Dan Jones, and Daniel Roos explain lean production to the world for the first time, and discuss its profound implications for society. It is based on the largest and most thorough study ever undertaken in any industry: the MIT five-million-dollar, five-year, fourteen-country International Motor Vehicle Program’s study of the worldwide auto industry.

Good to Great
Jim Collins, (2001)
HarperCollins Publishers Inc., ISBN: 0-06-662099-6.
An explanation of how companies transition from being average companies to great companies and how companies can fail to make the transition. "Greatness" is defined as financial performance several multiples better than the market average over a sustained period of time. Collins finds the main factor for achieving the transition to be a narrow focusing of the company’s resources on their field of competence.

The Goal
Eliyahu M. Goldratt, Jeff Cox (1986)
Gower Publishing Limited, ISBN 0-88427-061-0
'The Goal' is written as a piece of fiction, to which the Financial Times reviewer quoted on the cover of the second edition attributes much of its direct commercial success. The main character is Alex Rogo, who manages a metalworking plant where everything is always behind schedule. His distant acquaintance, Jonah, who represents Goldratt himself, helps him solve the company's problems through a series of telephone calls and short meetings. A second story line, which only occasionally intersects with the main topic of the book, describes Alex's marital life. The book goes on to point out the role of bottlenecks (constraints) in a manufacturing process, and how identifying them not only allows for removing them, but also yields a useful tool for measuring and controlling the flow of materials. Alex and his team identify the bottlenecks in the book and immediately begin to implement change to speed up capacity. While many questioned the logic of using outdated technology, Alex's team brought in an old machine they received for free in order to increase the capacity of the N/C machine, one of the two bottlenecks. They also were careful to make sure the bottlenecks were not starved and sitting idle. At the second bottleneck, the heat-treat, they simply moved quality control to before the heat-treat instead of after the process. This eliminated to-be-rejected inventory from utilizing valuable time on the bottleneck. By careful observation and manipulation of constraints, Alex and his crew manage to make their plant successful, and in the end Alex is rewarded with a major promotion.

Speed to Market
Vincent Bozzone (2001)
AMACOM, ISBN: 0-8144-0694-7
Speed to Market delivers a proven approach for smaller suppliers who want to successfully cut their lead time and trigger profitable growth. Completely updated and expanded, the book explains how to:

  • Apply the principles of pull, flow, and the elimination of waste to every area of the company, at every stage from "quotes to cash"
  • Implement a continuous improvement process—while sidestepping the typical implementation pitfalls
  • Ease scheduling problems
  • Improve performance and profitability using the book’s practical concepts, process analysis tools, and perspective-enhancing techniques—and much more.

Lean Thinking
James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones, Daniel Jones (1996)
Simon & Schuster, ISBN: 0-7432-4927-5
Written in a straightforward style, the book describes the main concepts of lean and gives specific manufacturing examples. The authors interview key people and examine the lean conversions in a step-by-step manner. In the process, they explore the obstacles each organization overcame to reap the benefits of lean production. Case studies from a wide range of industries demonstrate out the essential principles of lean and explain how to apply them in a variety of environments. They illustrate that lean is not just another buzzword or a quick fix. Lean Thinking definitively shows that it is a new way of thinking and a new way for running companies with benefits for everyone from the line worker to the CEO. The ultimate goal of Lean is the reduction of waste. To achieve this, a company must look at what creates value and eliminate all other activities.

Lean Solutions (2005)
James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones
Simon & Schuster, ISBN: 0-7432-7778-3
Lean Solutions provides compelling examples ranging from a variety of companies. Fujitsu, a leading service company for technology, has transformed the way call centers solve problems - learning how to eliminate the underlying cause of current problems rather than fixing them again and again. Tesco's lean provision systems have enabled the company to emerge as the leanest, highest-quality, and best-managed retailer in Europe. An extremely successful car dealership has adopted lean principles to streamline its business, making for dramatically reduced wait time, fewer return trips, and greater satisfaction for customers— and a far more lucrative enterprise. Managers at every stage of their journey will benefit from Lean Solutions by learning to see.