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Lean Manufacturing is derived from the Toyota Production System and is an operational strategy oriented towards achieving the shortest possible cycle time through the elimination of waste. The key thrust of lean is to identify those activities that add value to the end customer and those that consume resources and create no value. The elimination of this wasted time and effort can bring about dramatic improvement and substantial benefits to both customer and organisation.

Lean thinking begins with a Value Stream Map and utilises a miscellany of tools including Hoshin Kanri, Five S's, Poka Yoke and Kaizen to drive improvement.

What is Lean Thinking?
An easy introduction to Lean thinking provided by the Cardiff Business School Lean Enterprise Research Centre...

The Step by Step Guide to Lean Business
LEAN! So much talk but just how much understanding of how? There is clearly confusion between Lean, Agile, 6 Sigma, TQM, etc. But what falls under the Lean umbrella and how do you get there? And how do we avoid initiative overload?
Oliver Wight Associate Les Brookes

Lean thinking: smarter ways to better business
Late in 2003 Manufacturing Computer Solutions gathered 25 senior manufacturing business managers (managing directors, operations directors, production managers, IT directors and lean champions from across industry), some software vendors and a heavyweight bunch of lean experts round a table for our eighth MCS forum. We charged all present with the task of coming to some conclusions to help everyone minded to go lean to do so most productively, aware of the implications both in terms of expectations and preconditions at every level. We wanted advice, observations and opinion to be freely shared for the benefit of all. And it was. Brian Tinham reports from the latest MCS Forum on how to do it right...
Brian Tinham Manufacturing Computer Solutions

How to ensure your IT adds value
Techniques that have grown up with the lean manufacturing agenda also have much to offer in terms of prioritising your manufacturing business IT investment. Brian Tinham explains how...
Brian Tinham Manufacturing Computer Solutions

Lean Case Studies and Articles
A variety of lean case studies and articles provided by Simpler Consulting including the interesting: U.S. Army Embraces Lean Manufacturing and Organizing for Lean by George Koenigsaecker...

Further reading

The Machine That Changed the World: The Story of Lean Production

The Machine That Changed the World: The Story of Lean Production
James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones, Daniel Roos

Japanese companies are sweeping the world, and the Japanese auto industry soars above the competition. Drawing on their in-depth study of the practices of ninety auto assembly plants in seventeen countries and their interviews with individual employees, scholars, and union and government officials, the authors of this compelling study uncover the specific manufacturing techniques behind Japan's success and show how Western industry can implement these innovative methods. The Machine That Changed the World tells the fascinating story of "lean production," a manufacturing system that results in a better, more cost-efficient product, higher productivity, and greater customer loyalty. The hallmarks of lean production are teamwork, communication, and efficient use of resources. And the results are remarkable: cars with one-third the defects, built in half the factory space, using half the man-hours. The Machine That Changed the World explains in concrete terms what lean production is, how it really works, and--as it inevitably spreads beyond the auto industry--its significant global impact.

Now ten years old The Machine That Changed the World first coined the phrase "lean production" and was the catalyst of lean thinking outside of Japan.

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The Lean Toolbox
John Bicheno

The Lean Toolbox

The Lean Toolbox is the essential quick reference guide to the concepts and techniques of lean operations and the lean enterprise. This second edition incorporates new and updated sections. Introduced by Dan Jones, co-author of Lean Thinking the book includes sections on lean philosophy and waste, planning, design, mapping, improvement, production, the Goldratt principles, quality, suppliers, people and measurement.
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Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation
James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones

Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation

Following on from their book, The Machine that Changed the World, Womack and Jones have developed their ideas further with Lean Thinking. This book is aimed at any manager interested in sustaining growth within their industry. They define "lean thinking" as the elimination of unnecessary waste in business, and by outlining the principles and applications of this they link their theories to value for the customer.

Womack and Jones demonstrate the effectiveness of their approach through their research in both the U.S. and Europe. Citing examples from both simple and complex manufacturing processes, and from traditional technologies to high-tech companies, they show how their theories have been put into action.

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Learning to See: Value Stream Mapping to Add Value and Eliminate Muda
Mike Rother and John Shook

Learning to See: Value Stream Mapping to Add Value and Eliminate Muda

Senior experts within the Toyota Production System often draw maps when on the shop floor. These maps show the current physical flow of a product family and the information flow for that product family as they wind through a complex facility making many products. Much more important, these simple maps - often drawn on a scrap of paper - show where steps can be eliminated, flows smoothed, and pull systems introduced in order to create a truly lean value stream for each product family.

Learning to see is Value Stream mapping for the uninitiated. Written in plain language and with detailed drawings. It's easy to follow, no nonsense approach provides clear instruction for defining the value stream, a fundamental step on the lean journey.

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Cause and Effect Lean: Lean Operations, Six Sigma and Supply Chain Essentials
by John Bicheno

Cause and Effect Lean: Lean Operations, Six Sigma and Supply Chain Essentials

Cause and Effect Lean is a complete re-write of "Cause and Effect JIT: The Essentials of Lean Manufacturing" (Second Edition). It uses Cause and Effect (Fishbone) diagrams to give a concise overview of three core areas of manufacturing. It is not intended to be a complete reference book on Lean, but rather a quick reference guide.

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Browse more Lean books

Shingo Prize

Masaaki Imai has referred to the Shingo Prize as the only existing award program that is focused on muda (waste) and Lean manufacturing practices. Business Week referred to the program as the “Nobel prize of manufacturing,” establishing a standard for world class excellence for which we strive...

American Shingijutsu
Link to a vast lean manufacturing and Kaizen resource with some excellent graphic examples...

Lean Enterprise Institute
A non-profit training, publishing and research center founded by Jim Womack to give people simple but powerful tools that describe in plain language how to apply lean thinking. Plenty of lean articles in Thinkers Corner. Free registration for access to more...

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence
A not-for-profit organization/Association of 6000 executives, senior and middle managers wishing to improve their personal performance and the competitiveness of their organizations through leading-edge topics...

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence UK
AME-UK is the UK Chapter of the USA-based AME. The site has a lot of free lean resources although annual membership which costs £100 will give you access to events and training as well as a subscription to Target®, the acclaimed quarterly AME journal which publishes in-depth case studies and accounts from members who put lessons into practice...

Cardiff Business School Lean Enterprise Research Centre (LERC)
LERC helps organisations achieve world class performance through the application of lean thinking principles and techniques through a broad range of education programmes and management courses, and through communicating to the broader management population...

The Institute of Operations Management
The Institute is the professional body for persons involved in Production and Operations Management in manufacturing and service industries - Masses of free lean articles in the Control Magazine section...





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