Whether you start with JIT/Lean or Quick Response Manufacturing, you need to learn some simple tools helping you with the process improvement after any process analyze. Many books about operations management will teach you the interaction of workstations and the parameters influencing the performance of a workstation, line or even a factory. Furthermore good operations books will give you the insights how to analyze the performance of a system. What often misses (which is Ok), is to provide the knowledge, e.g. if lot size reduction will bring a huge improvement for cycle-time etc., how to do this? Most of the books of this series exactly deal with this questions and present some methods that work and will simplify your life reading more sophisticated literature about this issue later on.
All the books of the productivity press series were a great help to me. The following books of this series provided a good start about:
- SMED: how to reduce change-over time and to make small lot sizes happen
- TPM: how to improve machine availability and breakdown variability
- ZQC: overcoming the problem of other quality methods, that only measure what was done but w/o pre-active prevention for rework/ scrap (Six-Sigma, SPC etc. are more complicated and not pre-active..)
The series includes as well 5s and Pull Production etc. Especially the 3 titles mentionned above are a good introduction to related fiels. As your experiences grows, you might read more specific books about the subject later on. The data collection, e.g. for machine availability and variation etc., is not the objective of this book, but the method itself, how to to do it.
For beginners, 5 stars is fair enough.