Instead of constantly reinventing business models, lean thinkers go back to basics by asking what the customer really perceives as value. 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 the book.
©1996, 2003 James Womack and Daniel Jones; (P)2003 Simon & Schuster Inc. All Rights Reserved. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.
There is some good content here. I suppose. There's got to be, because Womack's work has been so influential with very smart people.
BUT, this is the best example I know of why you want a professional reader. Womack's narration is like a lethargic robotic toad reading aloud a tax return form. And I think this abridgement misses some of the good stuff. I was very motivated to learn about Lean Thinking, but still I could hardly listen to it. Avoid.
Womacks voice is possibly the worst narration I have come across. The information is exceptional, but is almost impossible to assimilate because of his voice. If ever there was an argument for authors hiring professional readers, it is this book.
I have been part of supply chain management software support of a long time now and have gone through the various phases mentioned in the book. I've developed software to "optimize" the islands of production described and worked with others who would seek to "optimize" safety stocks. All because the process is broken -- we don't look at the entire value chain.
This is a must listen (probably to be followed up with a must-read book) for those seeking to transform their business or establish a new business.
My favorite passage is thoughts on low cost geographies and where to position fabrication facilities. The only time (according to the author) it makes sense to location production in low cost geographies? The product is overwhelmingly ruled by cost *AND* there is sufficient stability to create very accurate forecasts. Even then, you must consider exhange rate variances and political (here and abroad) variances.
Overall, this is an excellent listen. Additional literature is available, but I haven't found any follow-up listens on audible.com.
I don't like audio books that don't cover the entire book. This is one of those audio books that you can't follow with the book
Probably one of the top audiobooks. The production value is good enough for what its worth. The tone of the author's voice actually keeps you interested. Its not very dry or droning.
Its not a story, so I would say I liked the examples and the description of how it applies to other industries not just manufacturing.
Nothing really. The stories are straight forward both in the book and the audio.
I had to take it in doses. Not because of the content but because of the amount of information. I really had to listen, stop, process and realize how these tools applied to me and my business.
Applicability to a small service oriented business is difficult, but like any good education--sometimes you have to think out of the box. Worthwhile read/listen.
Different Characters, NON-Monotone reading, Anything!
No, because I have listened to "The Goal" by Eliyahu Goldratt, Thank God!
This book is high level. If you want to understand lean read The Goal. I really didn't gain anything from this book. I also found Womack's voice hard to listen to. Between not gaining any value added information and that fact this was hard for me to listen to I scored this one star.
I think it was a mistake to have the author read his book. He has the inflexion of a seasoned businessman who is talking to you at a bar. He is believable but still not a professional voice reader. The content itself is interesting but I think it changes focus and style enough to be distracting. It may go from explaining Japanese-inspired business principles to extremely detailed descriptions of the smelting of bauxite. It made me wonder if the book was aimed to general readership or only to executives that own manufacturing plants. But some interesting information can be extracted.
This book would certainly benefit from some lean management, it takes four hours to say what could be said in about an hour and a half! If you have any interest in producing an aluminium cola can then you are very fortunate as the author takes about twenty minutes describing the full process...it's painful!
Having said that, I am probably being a little over critical because I was hoping for a strategic overview of the main principles and not a detailed operational step by step description.
"Buy it, Read it, Live it"
Fantastic introduction to Lean systems - would recomend it to anyone.
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