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Story of a Lean Journey [Hardcover]

James K. Lewis

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Book Description

March 2008 0872638553 978-0872638556
Readers of "Story of a Lean Journey" will empathize with the plight of Allison Manufacturing Services (AMS), a small manufacturer struggling to survive global competition and specialization to the point where it is trying to be everything to everyone. Its board of directors is disheartened with the downward spiral of profits, continuing loss of market share, and lackluster performance of 'flavor of the month' initiatives.Looking for a way to save the company, the board hires Bill Watts, a lean consultant, as its new executive vice president. But the story just begins here. Knowing that a successful lean journey requires a culture shift that must begin at the top, Bill must rally the support of the board members who are, of course, skeptical as to what lean will bring to the bottom line. But the change in thinking required to make lean implementation successful is only the beginning. "Story of a Lean Journey" will take you through the first three-years of lean application at AMS. But read the story for yourself - it doesn't end there either.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, understandable presentations to launch with Jan. 9 2009
By Steven B. Lloyd - Published on Amazon.com
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than Lean "Tools" Aug. 27 2008
By Tavan Hendrick - Published on Amazon.com
"Story of a Lean Journey" is exactly what the title says - it is the story of a fictional (but realistic) company that recognizes the needs to embark upon a lean journey to save itself.

What makes this book unique is the novel format. The reader can easily place him or herself in the situations experienced by the characters in the book. All the emotions and the personalities you encounter on your own lean journey are present in the story.

While the book does introduce many common lean tools, I don't believe it is intended to be a comprehensive guide to the lean tools. Instead, it shows how different tools may be applied in the context of the overall journey. And it tackles the elements of using these tools with other human beings.

The author clearly understands what a lean journey feels like, and is able to share this experience through the story. I would recommend this book to senior executives and middle managers who are considering a lean initiative, or are just starting on their own lean journey. It's also a great book to give to a senior executive or owner if you are trying to initiate a grass roots lean effort.
5.0 out of 5 stars wish my company had invested in lean before I retired. Aug. 26 2008
By James K. Lewis - Published on Amazon.com
I have been retired for a number of years, but still try to stay in touch with what's happening at my old plant and in manufacturing in general. Mr. Lewis has delivered a wonderful message in an easy to read and understand format. I wish my company had invested in lean while I was still working there, I'm sure my work would have been far more enjoyable and rewarding.

Shirley Pittman
5.0 out of 5 stars The journey never ends Aug. 25 2008
By A. Delarosa - Published on Amazon.com
Mr. Lewis writes a compelling story of how industry can change. The true gift behind this work is showing the reality of what our manufacturing facilities hold as their best effort. What can be and should be done within any organization is the development of lean practices. We have seen the erosion of businesses for to long and we must change not for changes sake but rather that we would truly meet and exceed our customer's expectations. Expectation that come both internally and externally. Lean means, we put aside our lust and greed and instill a new way of earning capital for all of our stakeholders.

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