Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation, Revised and Updated
James P. Womack
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 times
- Allow 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's an indispensable companion for every manager making the lean journey.
the long term with a German firm like Porsche, which has extremely strong technical functions. This suggests that a new form of career must be devised, an “alternating career” in which employees go back and forth between applying what they know in a team context and taking time out to learn new skills in a functional setting. The basic idea would be to assign employees to product teams for the life of a development exercise or during a product’s production life, but to send them back to their
with the Pratt JT9D as an option. GE then countered by getting its CF6 certified as an option for the Boeing 747 (initially planned by Boeing to have only the Pratt engine) and Rolls certified the RB211-535 for the 747 as well. Airbus, just preparing its initial offering with the A300, adopted a “multiple engine choices per wing” policy from the beginning, and a new dynamic was in place in the engine industry, which steadily ratcheted new engine prices down. As two-engine designs replaced the
The in-plant MRP system that had been sending orders to every machine—but which never quite worked right so that expediting was always necessary to keep production going—was no longer needed. The new, simple system of pull and visual control always worked once the inevitable start-up problems were resolved. Bumper Works’s new operating doctrine could be summarized simply as “Don’t make anything until it is needed; then make it very quickly.” But there was a problem right in the heart of the new
result that Toyota dealers in Japan now carry only a three-day supply of forty commodity parts like windshield wiper blades. It then encouraged dealers to work intensively with every customer to preschedule maintenance so that parts needs could be precisely predicted in advance. Because the Local Distribution Centers are only a short drive from each dealer, a “milk run” parts delivery vehicle can circulate from the LDC to every dealer every two hours, very much the way parts are sent from
percent of the costs involved in making a Tele-Power[H23008] pole, for example, come from product-specific cost analysis. Only a small fraction of cost is an allocation outside the control of the team, specifically occupancy costs for whatever space the team is using in a plant. And even in this case, the team is charged only for the space it actually uses, so costs can be reduced by using less. Some elements of the old standard cost accounting system are retained in the computer because the