Lean Thinking Book Summary: Improve Company Efficiencies

by Accessory To Success June 10, 2022

Lean Thinking Book Summary: Improve Company Efficiencies

Improve Company Efficiencies & Operations

In a world of limited resources and high expectations, how can corporations increase value? There's no better time to consider how your company can become more innovative, profitable, and sustainable. Perhaps the most innovative companies are not those with the most cutting-edge technology but those that think holistically. Lean Thinking is the holistic, long-term underpinning of Lean corporations.

This book will explore the four quadrants of a poor corporation, how they can help your company thrive, and the pitfalls to avoid. If you're ready to take your company to the next level, read on and get ready to rediscover your company's purpose, value proposition, stakeholder engagement, and efficiency in operations.

This book is a cross between E-Myth & Innovator's Dilemma.

Lean Thinking

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Lean Thinking


Learn to think outside the box to streamline production and distribution in ways you never thought possible. The book is filled with examples of how other companies did it.


Lean Thinking Book Summary

It all started with a book The Machine That Changed the World.  A story about how a small group of individuals—a handful of engineers, an army of industrialists, and a few others—changed the world for the better by developing a manufacturing system called Lean Production. In their quest to improve production efficiency, they discovered that eliminating waste from their factory operations would increase profits even if it meant lower wages for workers. Their work was not just about making more money but also about improving quality and reducing costs. And it was not just about making money but also about improving the quality of life. Another book like this for the ecommerce world is Lean Startup.

Lean Thinking Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation by James P. Womack quote 4.png

This book tells how this group of individuals, who didn't have complete freedom to operate their factories as they wanted, nevertheless managed to create a manufacturing system that improved quality, reduced costs, and increased profits. The result has been a manufacturing system that has changed the world. Listening to team members that are actually doing the work and trying to figure out how to make the company better is what Jack Welch of GE calls Six Sigma. His biography Straight from the Gut talks all about it.

A small example is the idea of manufacturing somewhere like China, but assembling in America. Packing and shipping unassembled products can created massive efficiencies and cost savings at scale.

In the revised and updated edition of Lean Thinking, James and Daniel have added a new chapter on the four quadrants of a lean organization.

Lean Thinking Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation by James P. Womack quote 1
In addition to providing an introduction to the four quadrants, this portion of the book explores how each quadrant can be used to create a lean company and provides examples showing how each quadrant can build a profitable, sustainable, and customer-focused company. The authors explain why each quadrant is essential for creating a lean company and how its importance varies with different stages in the life cycle of a business venture. A book about the challenges of growing a company is The Messy Middle.

Eliminate Muda waste Through Flow. Batch & Q

This revised edition will find many new examples—including one from Walmart—that illustrate how different companies have used Lean Principles in their operations to create sustainable competitive advantages while reducing waste and improving quality and service. For more on Walmart consider reading Sam Walton’s biography Made In America.

Another example is about the efficiency in the production process for soda. Traditionally it takes 319 days from start to finish vs 3 hours to make. Picking up and putting down 15-30 times from start to finish. This could also be called smooth flow vs jammed flow. A topic discussed in great detail with other wonderful examples in the unbelievable book Loonshots.

Lean Thinking Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation by James P. Womack quote 2

The grocery company Tesco is another wonderful example. They operate under the daily inventory ordering system which creates massive improvements to efficiencies. They also created a "Value System" by having a membership and analyzing what shoppers buy most frequently and tailoring line extensions to give buyers what they want. Comparable to frequent flyer miles mentioned in Loonshots as well.

You will also find updates on new tools available to help you manage your company's performance using these principles and a new chapter on the Four-Box Society.

Lean Thinking will show you how to run your business to become thin and profitable. It will show you how to save money, improve quality, and reduce waste in your company. A good example is the case made for removing Batch and Queue from production to increase efficiencies by 90%. Most people tend to think there are efficiencies in B&Q, but the case is made quite well that it is a myth.

Lean Thinking Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation by James P. Womack quote 3

The book offers solutions for managing and improving service and dealing with employees who don't buy into lean principles. It shows step by step how to create a culture of continuous improvement that will allow you to learn new things about how to be more efficient and improve your business performance. For you to improve Operations Management and to manage the company. To this end, you might also consider reading the books Creating Magic or Traction.

About The Author James P. Womack

Management expert James P. Womack, Ph.D., is the founder and senior advisor of the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI). He is the author of The Lean Enterprise: How Today's Leading Companies Are Using lean principles to Create Radically Improved Value and a former partner at McKinsey & Company. He is also the co-author of several international best-sellers, including The Machine That Changed the World: The Story of Lean Production and his latest book, The Machine that Changed the World: Reengineering Work in America's Manufacturing Communities.

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