on 1 December 2003
Perfect description and analysis of the auto industry and lean production.
I am studying the Operations Management in the university, and this book is in the reading list of the module of Manufacturing Strategy. I spent 4 days to finish it, because I found it was better than the textbook I used----more profound, more in detail, and more interesting for me to read through it. I learn a lot from it that can't be learned from the testbooks.
Maybe the only regret is this book was writen in 1990, so the author can not say something later than that year, which changed a lot since 1990. I hope that I can read the new book concerning the change since 1990, which I think should be published in the year 2005.
on 12 December 1998
In "The Machine That Changed the World", Womack, along with several other individuals, give an analysis of the Automobile Industry within global boundaries. This book was the summarization of a five year, five million dollar study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Analysis was provided for both foreign and domestic automobile manufacturers with an eye toward the future. This book spoke "globally" far earlier than it was hip to speak in such terms, analyzing such foreign automotive powers such as Toyota, with their Toyota Production System, perhaps the greatest example of Lean Manufacturing in the world. For anyone who would like to learn anything about the automobile industry in general, or even further, would like to learn about successful business practices, I highly recommend this text.
on 26 April 2005
A very readable and well researched book that explains how the automotive industry has developed from a 'craft industry', through 'mass production', into the 'lean enterprises' that will dominate the industry of the future.
The authors explain the different management philosophies at each stage of development, and explore how these have transformed the lifes and expecations of the workforce and consumers in this global industry. They conclude with a prophetic vision of the future, highlighting the need for the major players to be transformed into 'lean enterprises' as a pre-condition for surival.
Essential reading for anybody in the automotive sector or with an interest in the social impact different management techniques and philosophies.
on 21 July 2010
Written to appeal to more than just engineers, it offers great insight into the differences between US, Euro and Japanese car manufacturing (although the findings probably hold true for many more industries).
I recognise many of the mass production and lean production systems from modern factories, where a mixture of the two is the most common these days. Certainly reading this helped me to better understand the origins of many of these systems/techniques, and how far they can be taken.