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The Lean Toolbox: The Essential Guide to Lean Transformation Paperback – 1 Dec 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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About the Author

John Bicheno is Reader in Operations Management at the University of Buckingham.

Bryan B. R. Elliott is Senior Lecturer in Operations Management at Bolton Business School, Bolton Institute of Higher Education.

Matthias Holweg is Professor of Operations Management at the Said Business School, University of Oxford. He is interested in how process improvement methodologies, such as lean thinking, have evolved and been adapted over time, and what impact they have on the competitiveness of the firm. He is co-author of The Second Century and The Lean Toolbox.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The New Lean Toolbox is a great compilation and summary of all the lean approaches being deployed today. Bicheno ties together all these approaches in a framework that elevates the readers understanding of how lean works as an interlocking system of techniques not as isolated tools. It is a excellent companion and guide to the world of lean and it will lead to rich sources of deeper learning on its vast subject matter. It is a veritable lean in short hand book that is the best possible thesaurus /codex for any lean practitioner or novice alike.
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Format: Paperback
The "New" Lean Toolbox means just that this is not just an updated versionof the previous Lean toolbox but a different way to approach what is ineffect the Best Current Method of production.
Whilst the book does provide the same level of detail as the previous LeanToolbox, ie a good description of individual techiques and conceptsfollowed by references for the reader to further discover. The thoughtbehind the book is much more holistic in approach.
Namely the book postulates the combination of Theory of Constraints, Leanand Six Sigma and urges the reader to consider their production systemssolely with respect to customer wants and needs, using whatever tool orapproach is appropriate, even increasing WIP!
Another excellent book by Bicheno, this one will be well thumbed by manyproduction personnel. At least until his next one is published.
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Format: Paperback
Lean is a management methodology that seeks to maximise customer value by giving the customer the product or service they want in the most efficient (least wasteful) manner. The key in the title is "toolbox"; this book is not a primer but a summary of the latest thinking in the Lean methodology.
The book starts with a brief history of Lean from its roots with Deming and Ford, through the ground-breaking work of Ohno (in developing the Toyota Production System) to its renaissance in the West through the work of Womak and Jones and others.

The word "new" in the title refers to recent refinements in Lean methodology thinking, incorporating ideas from such approaches as Six Sigma, Enterprise Resource Planning and Time-based Completion, amongst others. The book summarises the five principles of Lean:
* Specify what constitutes value from a customer's viewpoint;
* Identify the value stream - which parts of the business add value and which parts do not (i.e. which parts are waste);
* Make the value flow - seek to remove the non-value-added parts of the business;
* Ensure that the demand is pulled - driven by the customer's demand, rather than stockpiling according to supply;
* Seek to perfect the process by iteration.

In addition, there are summaries of the "wastes" that Lean aims remove. These wastes differ according to which sector is being studied; for example, these are the suggested wastes for service industries:
* delay on the part of customers waiting for a delivery;
* duplication;
* un-necessary movement or queuing;
* unclear communication;
* incorrect inventory;
* lost opportunity to retain or win customers;
* errors in the service delivered through products being defective or lost.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
An excellent book. Very concise in explanations yet easy to understand. Well worth buying as a reference book that can help you explain to others what the tools are all about and jog your memory if you need to find a specific tool.
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Format: Paperback
John Bicheno has pulled together all the information on Lean together in this wonderful reference book. He gives all references and sources for further reading.

As of the 2004 edition I noticed some minor typos in the edition, but this should not stop you from buying what is likely to become a definitive Lean reference book for Lean practioners.

Case Study photographs of practical application of some of the techniques would only add to the value of a future edition.
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Format: Paperback
As a newcomer to Lean I found this book to be of little use. For those who already know and understand the topics it may serve as a useful reference but I would advise novices to avoid it. I got as far as page 20 before giving up!

The writing style is labourious and poorly edited. Pages of text are wasted on concepts that could be better explained with a single picture or diagram. Not very Lean!

The author also assumes the reader has a certain amount of prior knowledge as he makes no attempt to explain some of the terminology, buzz words and acronyms used throughout.

I've slapped a big red tag on it and thrown it in the bin!
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Format: Paperback
I was sad to have to give a poor rating for this book. What I was looking for was a book with examples on how to do things, tables of formulas, short and well laid out pages and something easy to read. This book meets none of these criteria.

I was disappointed by the small text, multiple columns per page and lack of visuals. It is difficult to read and I found the title misleading.

I would not recommend this book under any circumstances and am still looking for a real Lean toolbox-type book
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Used this book throughout a project I was working on and am now 6 sigma qualified. Well written, well "streamed", easy to look up relevant information - well worth the purchase and would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone working on a 6 sigma project.
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