Lean Solutions: How Companies and Customers Can Create Value and Wealth Together

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Womack and Jones deconstruct the broken producer-consumer model and show businesses how to repair it, by providing the full value consumers desire from products without wasting time or effort.

Why is it that, when our computers or our cell phones fail to satisfy our needs, virtually every interaction with help lines, support centers, or any organization providing service is marked with wasted time and extra hassle? In their bestselling business classic Lean Thinking, James Womack and Daniel Jones introduced the world to the principles of lean production—principles for eliminating waste during production. Now, in Lean Solutions, the authors establish the groundbreaking principles of lean consumption, showing companies how to eliminate inefficiency during consumption.

Lean Solutions is full of surprising success stories: 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. 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. Lean Solutions will inspire managers to take the first steps toward perfecting their company's process of giving consumers what they really want.
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About the author

James P. Womack is the president and founder of the Lean Enterprise Institute (www.lean.org), a nonprofit education and research organization based in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Daniel T. Jones is the chairman and founder of the Lean Enterprise Academy (www.leanuk.org), a nonprofit education and research organization based in the UK.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Dec 1, 2009
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9780743291170
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Customer Relations
Business & Economics / Development / General
Business & Economics / New Business Enterprises
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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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.

In contrast with the crash-and-burn performance of companies trumpeted by business gurus in the 1990s, the firms profiled in Lean Thinking -- from tiny Lantech to midsized Wiremold to niche producer Porsche to gigantic Pratt & 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.

Instead of constantly reinventing business models, lean thinkers go back to basics by asking what the customer really perceives as value. (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 value stream while eliminating activities (usually the majority) that don't add value. Then the lean thinker creates a flow condition in which the design and the product advance smoothly and rapidly at the pull 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 perfection. The first part of this book describes each of these concepts and makes them come alive with striking examples.

Lean Thinking 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.

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.

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 Lean Thinking.

Lean Thinking 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.
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