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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Conceptual Overview of Eliminating Waste in Producing
Unlike most cost-reduction books, Lean Thinking has a strong conceptual underpinning for thinking about improving your operations. The authors move beyond the narrowest application of the lean manufacturing model (the original Toyota system) to explore key concepts like value (what do the customers want? as opposed to what do they choose from the limited options we give...
Published on 28 May 2004 by Donald Mitchell

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor examples
Helps to create an overall idea. Examples could be better. more frameworks, show how to apply it. I am sure there may be better books in the market.
Published 7 months ago by Bellaco


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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Conceptual Overview of Eliminating Waste in Producing, 28 May 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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Unlike most cost-reduction books, Lean Thinking has a strong conceptual underpinning for thinking about improving your operations. The authors move beyond the narrowest application of the lean manufacturing model (the original Toyota system) to explore key concepts like value (what do the customers want? as opposed to what do they choose from the limited options we give them?), flow (continuous production is faster and more efficient than batch processing), pull (letting immediate demand determine what is produced rather than sales projections), and perfection (thinking through the ideal way to do things, rather than just improving from where you are today somewhat). Providing this conceptual framework makes it easier to understand the benefits of operating a lean enterprise. People who did not understand the message in Direct from Dell would find Lean Thinking to be a useful framework.
One of the strengths of this book is that it is deliberately full of examples of companies which took traditional methods in existing plants and converted them into lean operations. I know of no other set of case histories half as useful on this subject.
The key limitation of this book is that most people new to lean manufacturing would not be able to implement solely using the book as a guide. The conceptual perspective, while being uniquely valuable, leaves the inexperienced person with few guideposts. Some of the key requirements are simply described as "get the knowledge" and so forth. As a follow-up, I suggest that the authors team with those who have done this work and write a hands-on guide. Much more benefit will follow.
If you are interested in understanding how a new business model of how to provide your products and/or services might work and what the benefits might be, Lean Thinking is a good place to start. Most executives and operations managers have never seriously considered going from batch to cell-based production. This will open your eyes to the potential.
Based on my many years of experience with improving business processes, you will actually need to go visit some of the companies cited to fully understand the issues and what must be done. I know that visits to Pratt & Whitney can be arranged and are very insightful. You might try to start with that one.
One area may turn you off. The cited examples moved forward pretty ruthlessly. That may not be your cup of tea. You may be reminded of some of the early reengineering. My own experience is that such changes can be done in a more positive and constructive way. Stay open to that possibility as you read the cases. They basically all use command and control to create more flexibility. You can also use other methods like those encouraged in The Soul at Work and The Living Company to create these kinds of results. Keep that in mind.
I recommend that everyone who uses batch and sequential operation methods read this book. It will open your eyes to great potential to grow faster and more profitably.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiration for Lean, 1 Oct 2002
It is now nearly three years since I first read this book and it's message is as valid today as it was then.
In an easy to read style it sets out the steps taken by different people as they first faced a looming crisis and then journeyed down the road to Lean and reaped the success that was achieved by their hard work.

For any manager or improvement agent it is an excellent introduction as it tells the stories of several companies from different industries and dispells some of the myths of Lean.
For me it has been an inspiration as I now work educating and helping companies implement Lean as described in this book.
One thing is certainly true, survival is optional, and as this book shows with Porsche, a big name and fantastic quality are no defence if you can't keep your costs down. Lean methods saved them and it can do the same for your company, you need to be convinced? Read Lean Thinking, I still dip into it on a regular basis!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, a must for managers who wish to suceed., 5 Feb 2000
By A Customer
An excellent book to follow on The Machine That Changed The World, this concentrated on the stories of some very different businesses and how they used the 'Lean' manufacturing principles to improve the way they do business. The stories of these companies served to illlustrate how Mass production is not the answer to the modern customer driven business. The way forward for the manager of the future is to embrace the concepts of lean, reduction of waste, produce what the customer wants, when he wants it and at a reasonable cost whilst making a profit. This book illustrates how to achieve these things and more, but for the manager a change in mindset is shown as the major stumblng block to success. If there is one message from this book for the Western industrial world it is the dire warning that those who do not change will be left behind. I was inspired by this book, you will be too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to lean manufacturing principles, 1 Mar 2000
An extremely interesting and thought provoking introduction to the principles underlying lean manufacturing (and the Toyota Production System). The authors build on the concepts outlined in The Machine That Changed The World, but this is not simply a rehashing of previous ideas. The authors move away from Machine's heavy focus on benchmarking and the motor industry and illustrate the successful use of lean thinking in a variety of manufacturing situations. Although the book focuses far more on the practical implementation of lean thinking than Machine, it does so at quite a high level, using case study illustrations rather than providing a 'how to' guide. Lean Thinking's value lies in challenging accepted mass production thinking and introducing the reader to new, thought provoking principles and approaches. On this basis, it is a superior work to Machine and one that I'd recommend to anyone interested in manufacturing, production or operations management.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget The Plethora Of Management Books - Read This, 11 Jun 2000
By A Customer
Do you want to improve business performance? Whatever industry or business you come from, this book is where you should start.
Lean Thinking is not another book of the latest management theory and concepts. Nor is it the latest "flavour of the month" management fad. It will show you simply how to achieve dramatic improvements in productivity and growth, while reducing costs. It provides real case studies of business performance improvement from real people in real businesses.
If you aren't from a manufacturing background, do not put this book down at the first reference to the automotive industry. What is contained in this book can be applied to any business and indeed has.
Lean Thinking pursues perfection by eliminating any activities that do not add value to the products or services your customer wants.
Take your blinkers off, open your mind and be inspired.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lean as a philosophy., 26 May 2008
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I have bought half a dozen `Lean' books from Amazon in addition to several from other book shops, and this book stands head and shoulders above the rest. The difference is this book provides the `Why' behind Lean with the primary five steps (define value, map value, create flow, create pull, strive for perfection) and solid examples from internationally recognised companies. You get the feel for the `philosophy' and key principles which allow you to see the bigger picture. You will need other books to give you the tools that you require and there are several excellent ones available. The best analogy I can give is that if Lean was cooking, the `Lean Thinking' teaches you to cook, most of the rest are a series of superb recipes. And if you can learn to cook properly, you can try your own recipes.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An insight into world class performance using lean thinking, 2 Jan 2001
This book presents a clear message to all businesses, of any persuasion, whether it be a mass producer, job shop or service provider, of how to get ahead and stay there. There are clear examples of applying lean thinking techniques to brownfield sites around the world, in different cultures. It also gives a glimpse into the sturggle of the current experts of lean thinking, namely Toyota,past and present. This helps those embarking down the difficult path of implementing lean thinking to know even in these island of muda reducing environments things are never easy, however the prize of sustained performance is worth the struggle. At the back is an excellent Notes section explainng the reasonign behind certain comments and a good bibliography if further reading is required
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4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and well named book, 27 Jun 2009
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in business improvement. It is well thought out and easy to read.

I would have liked to see more visuals and summaries that could easily be referred to but this is just minor comments. This book does what it says on the cover and achieves its aim of getting people interested in the topic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Follow Ohno With This, 20 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Lean Thinking: Banish Waste And Create Wealth In Your Corporation (Kindle Edition)
I read this right after Taiichi Ohno's "Toyota Production System" and it contributed hugely to my understanding of the subject. It also brings things up to date with more case studies (and a follow up on those case studies if you get the anniversary edition). Very well written.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good but expected more, 2 Jun 2014
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After reading the machine that changed the world my expectations were very high. This is not quite that but it is a good book.
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