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.
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.
THE C-LEVEL GUIDE TO SUCCEEDING WITH LEAN

"With 30 years of accumulated experience, Art Byrne is one of the rare few people who can speak with authority about the pitfalls of fi nancial measurement systems, the importance of respect for people, the power of Lean in the marketplace, and the leverage from organizing people around value streams. When he writes 'Go to the Gemba and Run Your Kaizen,' we must take heed." -- MASAAKI IMAI, bestselling author of Kaizen and Gemba Kaizen

"In this wonderful and important book, Byrne shows us that Lean management, understood and practiced correctly, consistently delivers spectacular results." -- BOB EMILIANI, author, Better Thinking, Better Results, and Professor, Connecticut State University

"A compelling picture of how Lean techniques and attitudes enable CEOs and senior executives to create a culture for transforming a company and putting it on a highperformance path." -- JERRY J. JASINOWSKI, former President of the National Association of Manufacturers

"Art Byrne provides real-world examples of how he exhibited the wisdom and courage to do the right thing, improving work practices at all levels of the organization to deliver the right results for all stakeholders. Which comes first, the wisdom or the courage? Read The Lean Turnaround to find out." -- JOHN SHOOK, Chairman and CEO, Lean Enterprise Institute

"Lean is the closest thing to magic I have experienced in my 40 years in business. I recommend Lean and this book to everyone responsible for the performance of a business, particularly those in private equity like me, where leverage magnifies the importance of cash." -- JOHN CHILDS, founder and CEO, of J. W. Childs Associates L.P.

"A must-read for any leader interested in understanding the strategic advantages from focusing on activities that add value to the customer experience." -- GARY S. KAPLAN, MD, Chairman and CEO of the Virginia Mason Health System

Lean isn't just for manufacturing anymore . . .

Few business leaders in the world have applied Lean strategy as successfully as Art Byrne has--and none has the ability to explain how to do it with such succinctness and clarity.

Famous for turning around the wire management company Wiremold, where he rethought every aspect of operations from the customer's standpoint--and got everyone else in the company to do likewise--Byrne has successfully implemented Lean strategies in more than 30 companies in 14 different countries.

In The Lean Turnaround, this legendary business leader shares everything he has learned during his remarkable career and shows how anyone can achieve similar results. His primary message is this: Lean strategy isn't just for manufacturing. In fact, Byrne is using this very approach in his present position at a private equity firm.

Whatever type of company you run, Lean can be used to improve virtually every aspect of operations, from training and leading employees to accounting and payroll issues. The Lean Turnaround explains all the ins and outs of applying Lean strategy to:

Eliminate waste in every value-added operation Deliver consistent value to customers Stimulate growth and add jobs Increase wealth for all your stakeholders Build a company culture of continuous improvement (kaizen)

Instead of attempting to get customers to conform to your way of doing things--which is, sadly, what most managers are taught to do--you need to configure your company to be responsive to the customers. This is at the core of Byrne's method--and it always works.

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