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The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer [Hardcover]

Jeffrey Liker
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Jan 2004
How to speed up business processes, improve quality, and cut costs in any industry

In factories around the world, Toyota consistently makes the highest-quality cars with the fewest defects of any competing manufacturer, while using fewer man-hours, less on-hand inventory, and half the floor space of its competitors. The Toyota Way is the first book for a general audience that explains the management principles and business philosophy behind Toyota's worldwide reputation for quality and reliability.

Complete with profiles of organizations that have successfully adopted Toyota's principles, this book shows managers in every industry how to improve business processes by:

  • Eliminating wasted time and resources
  • Building quality into workplace systems
  • Finding low-cost but reliable alternatives to expensive new technology
  • Producing in small quantities
  • Turning every employee into a quality control inspector

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The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer + Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation + The Machine That Changed the World
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 350 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional; Reissue edition (1 Jan 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071392319
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071392310
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 16.1 x 3.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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From the Back Cover

"This book will give you an understanding of what has made Toyota successful and some practical ideas that you can use to develop your own approach to business."--Gary Convis, Managing Office of Toyota

Fewer man-hours. Less inventory. The highest quality cars with the fewest defects of any competing manufacturer. In factories around the globe, Toyota consistently raises the bar for manufacturing, product development, and process excellence. The result is an amazing business success story: steadily taking market share from price-cutting competitors, earning far more profit than any other automaker, and winning the praise of business leaders worldwide.

The Toyota Way reveals the management principles behind Toyota's worldwide reputation for quality and reliability. Dr. Jeffrey Liker, a renowned authority on Toyota's Lean methods, explains how you can adopt these principles--known as the "Toyota Production System" or "Lean Production"--to improve the speed of your business processes, improve product and service quality, and cut costs, no matter what your industry.

Drawing on his extensive research on Toyota, Dr. Liker shares his insights into the foundational principles at work in the Toyota culture. He explains how the Toyota Production System evolved as a new paradigm of manufacturing excellence, transforming businesses across industries. You'll learn how Toyota fosters employee involvement at all levels, discover the difference between traditional process improvement and Toyota's Lean improvement, and learn why companies often think they are Lean--but aren't.

The fourteen management principles of the Toyota Way create the ideal environment for implementing Lean techniques and tools. Dr. Liker explains each key principle with detailed, examples from Toyota and other Lean companies on how to:

  • Foster an atmosphere of continuous improvement and learning
  • Create continuous process "flow" to unearth problems
  • Satisfy customers (and eliminate waste at the same time)
  • Grow your leaders rather than purchase them
  • Get quality right the first time
  • Grow together with your suppliers and partners for mutual benefit

Dr. Liker shows the Toyota Way in action, then outlines how to apply the Toyota Way in your organization, with examples of how other companies have rebuilt their culture to create a Lean, learning enterprise. The Toyota Way is an inspiring guide to taking the steps necessary to emulate Toyota's remarkable success.

What can your business learn from Toyota?

  • How to double or triple the speed of any business process
  • How to build quality into workplace systems
  • How to eliminate the huge costs of hidden waste
  • How to turn every employee into a quality control inspector
  • How to dramatically improve your products and services!

With a market capitalization greater than the value of General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler combined, Toyota is also, (by far), the world's most profitable automaker. Toyota's secret weapon is Lean production--the revolutionary approach to business processes that it invented in the 1950's and has spent decades perfecting. Today businesses around the world are implementing Toyota's radical system for speeding up processes, reducing waste, and improving quality.

The Toyota Way, explain's Toyota's unique approach to Lean--the 14 management principles and philosophy that drive Toyota's quality and efficiency-obsessed culture. You'll gain valuable insights that can be applied to any organization and any business process, whether in services or manufacturing. Professor Jeffrey Liker has been studying Toyota for twenty years, and was given unprecedented access to Toyota executives, employees and factories, both in Japan and the United States, for this landmark work. The book is full of examples of the 14 fundamental principles at work in the Toyota culture, and how these principles create a culture of continuous learning and improvement. You'll discover how the right combination of long-term philosophy, process, people, and problem solving can transform your organization into a Lean, learning enterprise--the Toyota Way.

About the Author

Dr. Jeffrey K. Liker is a professor of industrial and operations engineering at the University of Michigan and cofounder and director of the Japan Technology Management Program at the University of Michigan.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Toyota first caught the world's attention in the 1980s, when it became clear that there was something special about Japanese quality and efficiency. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended! 4 Aug 2004
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
This book is like a Toyota vehicle: not necessarily fancy, but extraordinarily capable of getting you from point "A" to point "B." Author Jeffrey K. Liker's thorough insight into the continual improvement method known as "The Toyota Way" reflects his experience with the Toyota Production System (TPS) and his knowledge of its guiding philosophies and its technical applications. He explains why Toyota has become a global symbol of passionate commitment to continual improvement and efficiency. Toyota's success as the world's most profitable automaker is no accident and now, thanks to this book, it's no mystery, either. Liker drills down to the underlying principles and behaviors that will set your company on the Toyota Way. The book reflects years of studying Toyota's philosophy: it is well mapped out, straightforward and exceedingly although not daringly innovative. We highly recommend it to anyone striving to improve their organization's operational efficiency.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
I read this book when it was first published in 2004 and recently re-read it, curious to know how well Jeffrey Liker's explanation of Toyota's management principles and lean production values have held up. My conclusion? Very well.

No good purpose would be served by merely listing the 14 management principles, out of context. Liker devotes a separate chapter to each, carefully explaining not only what it is but also how it guides and informs everyone at all levels and in all areas of the Toyota organization. What Liker also accomplishes, and what cannot be adequately summarized in a review such as this, is to explain how all 12 principles are interdependent. Together, they serve as the company's DNA. In the Preface, he recalls asking Fujio Cho (President of Toyota Motor Company) what was unique about his company's remarkable success. His answer was quite simple: "The key to the Toyota Way and what makes Toyota stand out is not any of the individual elements...But what is important is having all the elements together as a system. It must be practiced every day in a very consistent manner." To understand Toyota's success, therefore, it is important to understand that lean production is not a methodology, it is literally a way of life.

The 14 principles are divided into four sections:

Having a long-term philosophy that drives a long-term approach to building a learning organization

Absolute faith that the right process will produce the right results

Adding value to the organization by developing its people and partners

Continuously solving root problems to drive organizational learning

As Liker points out, it is important to understand that the Toyota Production System is not the Toyota Way.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and well written! 11 Jan 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Jefferey Liker's well reasoned book explains the management principles that enable TOYOTA to outperform its piers - and explains why western managers pre-occupied with `management techniques' can't `go lean', without changing the culture of their organisation
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something to continuously reflect on 3 July 2007
By Peter Wade VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
The Company That Invented Lean The 14 Management Principles

Being totally uninterested in cars I did not realise that Toyota is one of the worlds greatest manufacturers.

I was listening to In Business on Radio4. It was all about how Toyota has revolutionised management to create what they call lean production.

It is a fascinating read by Jeffrey K Liker. MC Graw-Hill (2004) pp 330 The Japanese have learnt in the last forty years how to make top quality cars. The 14 principles can be applied to any business and are not exclusive to manufacturing.

It is a whole way of life and a way of thinking.

Principles 1: Base your management decision on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term financial goals

Principle 2 Create continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface

Principle 3 Use" pull" systems to avoid overproduction

Principle 4 Level out the workload( heijunka)

Principle 5 Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time.

Principle 6 Standards task are the foundation for continuous improvement and employee empowerment

Principle 7 Use visual control so problems are hidden

Principle 8Use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and processes

Principle 9 Grow leaders who thoroughly understand the work,live the philosophy and teach it to others.

Principle 10 Develop exceptional people and teams who follow your company's philosophy

Principle 11 Respect your extended network of partners and suppliers y challenging them and helping them improve.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener 14 April 2014
By ABS
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I came across this book almost by accident, looking for a few snippets for a paper on employee motivation I was writing and was hooked.

I rarely read 'populist' business books getting bored with most after 25% because normally the rest is a rehash of what you have read, however this was different.

The real shame I would say about this book is that the people who should read it are the very people who wont, HR people. Everybody has this vision of worker ants being driven constantly and forced to take part in improvement sessions in their own time. However Toyota are as passionate about the well-being of their people as they about the quality of their cars, if not more so, and an average 3% staff turnover suns that up well.

Yes this book is a good book for any manager to read to understand how to run a better business however I hope they also realise the real strength of Toyota is not in their lean manufacturing processes
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An education in lean
Can Toyota be as good as this?
Published 1 month ago by stephen harker
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Item was like new as described
Published 1 month ago by Otunowigho Philomena
5.0 out of 5 stars good book!
I read it, good book!
Published 1 month ago by Paavo Brauer
5.0 out of 5 stars The book for anybody seeking concrete guidance in improving any...
As consultant in companies that want to significantly improve their performance I give this book (plus Colins: Good to great) as required reading for the whole leadership team. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Peter Metlikovic
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to LEAN
In preparation for an internal LEAN training in one of my companies business groups, I read (or actually listened) this book to be a bit prepared. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Hugo
5.0 out of 5 stars Really useful
This book will help you to realize how TPS, Lean Manufacturing... can improve a manufacturing system (production line, supply chain, office,...)
Published 8 months ago by Benjamin Alabau Zabal
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for starting
I bought this book because I'm studying Industrial Engineering and I wanted to know more about the subject. This book is excellent for a start in 'lean' and the 'toyota methods'.
Published 11 months ago by Joćo Amaral
5.0 out of 5 stars Still relevant
Despite its age this is still very relevant to businesses today. Very thought provoking and recommended to senior managers of any discipline.
Published 11 months ago by Raquel J.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This was a very interesting read. I would highly recommend this if you are interested in Business and Project Management.
Published 13 months ago by Mr P Kuhn
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than described
Book was mentioned as 'good', but till now i didn't found any defects.
Happy Customer I am!
Book ofcourse is a must read ;)
Published 17 months ago by Thomas
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