I have been studying Lean since the mid 1980's where my first contact began on the suggestion of a co-worker to read "The Goal" by Goldratt. I've been hooked ever since. I have read dozens of books on the topic since that first experience.
This book, "Story of a Lean Journey" reminds me of that first experience, and the excitement I felt when I first realized that what I thought I understood about manufacturing barely scratched the surface of this iceberg we now refer to as Lean Manufacturing.
Now, 25 years later, I am a small business owner operating the woodworking establishment my father started back in 1970. Many things in the business world have changed since then. The introductory chapter in this book talks about one of the most poignant of those changes affecting American manufacturing entities today, The threat of foreign competition.
Mr. Lewis shares, in novel form, the manner and methods in which our American companies today must embrace change and ongoing improvement if we are going to not only survive, but more importantly to be able to thrive in these challenging times.
The flow of the story makes this an easy read, and yet very carefully lays out the steps required to implement a lean initiative in any company whether 10 employees or 1000 employees, or more. The characters portrayed make it easy to compare the events and processes to your own work experiences and coworkers.
I heartily recommend this book to any employee or executive desiring to understand what to expect, and the process one may follow, including navigating the challenges that lay ahead, in order to successfully begin his or her own Lean Journey. I have purchased two more copies of the book to encourage my department leaders to read so they may better understand what lies ahead for them in our lean journey.