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The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer Hardcover – Jan 7 2004

4.1 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (Jan. 7 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071392319
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071392310
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.8 x 23.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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From the Back Cover

"This book will give you an understanding of what has made Toyota successful and some practical ideas that you can use to develop your own approach to business."--Gary Convis, Managing Office of Toyota

Fewer man-hours. Less inventory. The highest quality cars with the fewest defects of any competing manufacturer. In factories around the globe, Toyota consistently raises the bar for manufacturing, product development, and process excellence. The result is an amazing business success story: steadily taking market share from price-cutting competitors, earning far more profit than any other automaker, and winning the praise of business leaders worldwide.

"The Toyota Way" reveals the management principles behind Toyota's worldwide reputation for quality and reliability. Dr. Jeffrey Liker, a renowned authority on Toyota's Lean methods, explains how you can adopt these principles--known as the "Toyota Production System" or "Lean Production"--to improve the speed of your business processes, improve product and service quality, and cut costs, no matter what your industry.

Drawing on his extensive research on Toyota, Dr. Liker shares his insights into the foundational principles at work in the Toyota culture. He explains how the Toyota Production System evolved as a new paradigm of manufacturing excellence, transforming businesses across industries. You'll learn how Toyota fosters employee involvement at all levels, discover the difference between traditional process improvement and Toyota's Lean improvement, and learn why companies often "think" they are Lean--but aren't.

The fourteen management principles of the Toyota Way create the ideal environment for implementing Lean techniques and tools. Dr. Liker explains each key principle with detailed, examples from Toyota and other Lean companies on how to: Foster an atmosphere of continuous improvement and learning Create continuous process "flow" to unearth problems Satisfy customers (and eliminate waste at the same time) Grow your leaders rather than purchase them Get quality right the "first" time Grow together with your suppliers and partners for mutual benefit

Dr. Liker shows the Toyota Way in action, then outlines how to apply the Toyota Way in your organization, with examples of how other companies have rebuilt their culture to create a Lean, learning enterprise. "The Toyota Way "is an inspiring guide to taking the steps necessary to emulate Toyota's remarkable success.

What can your business learn from Toyota? How to double or triple the speed of any business process How to build quality into workplace systems How to eliminate the huge costs of hidden waste How to turn every employee into a quality control inspector How to dramatically improve your products and services!

With a market capitalization greater than the value of General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler "combined, " Toyota is also, (by far), the world's most profitable automaker. Toyota's secret weapon is Lean production--the revolutionary approach to business processes that it invented in the 1950's and has spent decades perfecting. Today businesses around the world are implementing Toyota's radical system for speeding up processes, reducing waste, and improving quality.

"The Toyota Way, " explain's Toyota's unique approach to Lean--the 14 management principles and philosophy that drive Toyota's quality and efficiency-obsessed culture. You'll gain valuable insights that can be applied to any organization and any business process, whether in services or manufacturing. Professor Jeffrey Liker has been studying Toyota for twenty years, and was given unprecedented access to Toyota executives, employees and factories, both in Japan and the United States, for this landmark work. The book is full of examples of the 14 fundamental principles at work in the Toyota culture, and how these principles create a culture of continuous learning and improvement. You'll discover how the right combination of long-term philosophy, process, people, and problem solving can transform your organization into a Lean, learning enterprise--the Toyota Way.

About the Author

Jeffrey K. Liker, Ph.D., author of the bestselling The Toyota Way, is Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan and coowner of lean consulting firm Optiprise, Inc. His Shingo-Prize winning work has appeared in The Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, and other leading publications.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"Toyota is as much a state of mind as it is a car company" So reads the quote from USA Today on the front cover of this book. And this quote is more true than is evident at first sight. The "state of mind" is the Toyota myth.

Myth is the ability to organize and structure our world according to various patterns and ideals. Often these patterns are hypothetical and the historical allusions used to buttress them fabricated or exaggerated. Such is the case of Toyota.

The book reads like a religious text. Liker is selling not a car company but a brand and a brand image. He has "converted" to the Toyota Way and is now seeking to win converts to the cause. Fortunately, the cause as he paints it, is a worthy one, even if only Platonically so.

The emphasis on values and people is heart warming. There is also a propensity to focus on successes and to gloss over the less successful. Everything at Toyota begins with the entrepreneurial grandfather Toyota trying to create a better loom to lesson his mother's workload. How idyllic and surreal. The story begins with romantic mythmaking.

The uniqueness of Toyota can be understood by understanding its unique geo-political and historical origins. Liker likes to compare Toyota with slow and arrogant American manufactures, and to be sure there is much truth to be seen here. But what is missing is the recognition that early Toyota was not a major economic and social institution, globally or locally when it began to fashion itself in what is now called the Toyota Way.

The American automobile enterprise grew up in the height of the industrial revolution. In many respects it led the revolution. Toyota got on the bandwagon much later and as a follower.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book when it was first published in 2004 and recently re-read it, curious to know how well Jeffrey Liker's explanation of Toyota's management principles and lean production values have held up. My conclusion? Very well.

No good purpose would be served by merely listing the 14 management principles, out of context. Liker devotes a separate chapter to each, carefully explaining not only what it is but also how it guides and informs everyone at all levels and in all areas of the Toyota organization. What Liker also accomplishes, and what cannot be adequately summarized in a review such as this, is to explain how all 12 principles are interdependent. Together, they serve as the company's DNA. In the Preface, he recalls asking Fujio Cho (President of Toyota Motor Company) what was unique about his company's remarkable success. His answer was quite simple: "The key to the Toyota Way and what makes Toyota stand out is not any of the individual elements...But what is important is having all the elements together as a system. It must be practiced every day in a very consistent manner." To understand Toyota's success, therefore, it is important to understand that lean production is not a methodology, it is literally a way of life.

The 14 principles are divided into four sections:

Having a long-term philosophy that drives a long-term approach to building a learning organization

Absolute faith that the right process will produce the right results

Adding value to the organization by developing its people and partners

Continuously solving root problems to drive organizational learning

As Liker points out, it is important to understand that the Toyota Production System is not the Toyota Way.
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Format: Hardcover
A few months after I bought this book, my boss asked me to take his place in the week-long Toyota Production System training in Kentucky, U.S.A., conducted for Bluegrass Automotive Manufacturers Association (BAMA) member companies and suppliers.
Based on that training and from the pages of this book, I believe much can indeed be achieved, if we walked the walk and not talked the talk. As one of the earlier reviewers of the book implied to say, we cannot play good golf by just reading what Tiger Woods wrote.
When I was at Kentucky, a number of engineers from another company (my plant's customer but a tier-1 supplier to OEMs) were there as well; I understood that company had been sending trainees to learn The Toyota Way for years. Now, possibly the best piece of knowledge a manufacturer can learn from Toyota Way is levelled production or levelled scheduling. My plant is a tier-2 supplier to this company I am referring to (the one which sent many trainees to Kentucky--and I asked why they couldn't level their orders so that my plant could level our production schedule. I was told their OEM customer do not level their orders too, so they couldn't level their orders to us lower level (tier-1 + n) suppliers.
Dr. Liker's book, among other things, dealt with levelled scheduling. I showed it to my boss, and he would have liked us to proceed if we got level orders. (Note that our big customers need to send us back empty product containers, everytime they sent a truck to pick up our goods. This doesn't happen all the time, so some times we couldn't produce what they needed from us, while we waited for the empty containers rather than produce-store in temporary packaging-then repack to the right containers when they arrived.
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