WomackJones - A Book Review: Lean Thinking by Womack and...

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A Book Review: Lean Thinking by Womack and Jones Assignment for ESD.83: Research Seminar in Engineering Systems Prepared by Annalisa L. Weigel November 2000
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Annalisa L. Weigel Book Review ESD.83, Fall 2000 Page 2 “We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming.” – Werner von Braun Summary of Lean Thinking Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones was published in 1996 by Simon & Schuster, New York. This book follows a previous highly successful book by Womack, Jones and Roos entitled The Machine That Changed the World . Both books address the revolution in manufacturing represented by the Toyota Production System of the Toyota Corporation of Japan. This type of manufacturing system is called a “lean system” and is contrasted throughout the book with the traditional “mass production” system of manufacturing epitomized by batch-and-queue methods. The authors argue that a lean way of thinking allows companies to “specify value, line up value- creating actions in the best sequence, conduct these activities without interruption whenever someone requests them, and perform them more and more effectively. 1 This statement leads to the five principles of lean thinking: Value, Value Stream, Flow, Pull and Perfection. Value is defined by the authors as a “capability provided to customer at the right time at an appropriate price, as defined in each case by the customer. 2 Value is the critical starting point for lean thinking, and can only be defined by the ultimate end customer. The ultimate end customer, or the user of the product, is contrasted with interim customers, such sales, marketing, distribution, suppliers, etc. Value also is product-specific, and the authors argue it is only meaningful when expressed in terms of a specific product. The value stream is defined in Lean Thinking as the set of all the “specific activities required to design, order, and provide a specific product, from concept to launch, order to delivery, and raw materials into the hands of the customer. 3 To create a value stream, describe what happens to a product at each step in its production, from design to order to raw material to delivery. There are three types of activities in the value stream – one kind adds value, and the other two are “muda” (the Japanese word for waste) 4 : Value-Added : Those activties that unambiguously create value. Type One Muda
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WomackJones - A Book Review: Lean Thinking by Womack and...

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