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The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer

The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer
Author: Jeffrey Liker
ISBN 13: 9780071392310
ISBN 10: 71392319
Edition: 1
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education
Publication Date: 2004-01-07
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 330
List Price: $32.00

"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.

Dr. Jeffrey K. Liker is a professor of industrial and operations engineering at the University of Michigan and cofounder and director of the Japan Technology Management Program at the University of Michigan.

Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Toyota is the world's most profitable automaker. Its "secret weapon" is lean production - the revolutionary approach to business processes that it invented in the 1950s and has spent decades perfecting. Today, businesses around the world are trying to emulate Toyota's remarkable success by working to implement the company's radical system for speeding up business and service processes, reducing waste, and improving quality. It is a system that is derived from balancing the role of people in an organizational culture that expects and values their continuous improvements, with a technical system that is focused on high-value-added "flow."

To help other companies learn to continually improve on what they do, Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan Dr. Jeffrey K. Liker describes the results of his year-long research into Toyota and its managers, executives, suppliers and training centers.

While detailing the company's culture, processes and people, Liker provides readers with a management model that can be used to transform business across industries, and the key principles that drive the techniques and tools of the Toyota Production System and the management of Toyota in general. These principles embody the long-term philosophy, processes, results, people, partners and problem solving that drive the organizational learning at Toyota, and can make the Toyota Way work for any organization.

Using Operational Excellence as a Strategic Weapon
Toyota first caught the world's attention in the 1980s, when it became clear that there was something special about Japanese quality and efficiency. Japanese cars were lasting longer than American cars and required much less repair. By the 1990s, it was apparent that there was something even more special about Toyota compared to other automakers in Japan. It was the way Toyota engineered and manufactured the autos that led to unbelievable consistency in the process and product.

Toyota designed autos faster, with more reliability, yet at a competitive cost, even when paying the relatively high wages of Japanese workers. Equally impressive was that every time Toyota showed an apparent weakness and seemed vulnerable to the competition, Toyota fixed the problem and came back even stronger.

Today, Toyota is the third-largest auto manufacturer in the world, behind General Motors and Ford, with global vehicle sales of over 6 million per year in 170 countries. Auto industry analysts estimate that Toyota will pass Ford in global vehicles sold in 2005, and if current trends continue, it will eventually pass GM to become the largest automaker in the world.

Quality Reputation
Much of Toyota's success comes from its astounding quality reputation. In 2003, Toyota recalled 79 percent fewer vehicles in the United States than Ford and 92 percent fewer than Chrysler. According to a 2003 study in Consumer Reports, 15 of the top 38 most reliable models from any manufacturer over the last seven years were made by Toyota/Lexus.

The Toyota Production System is Toyota's unique approach to manufacturing. It is the basis for much of the "lean production" movement that has dominated manufacturing trends for the last 10 years. Lean manufacturing is a five-part process that includes defining customer value, defining the value stream, making it "flow," "pulling" from the customer back, and striving for excellence. To be a lean manufacturer requires a way of thinking that focuses on making the product flow through value-adding processes without interruption (one-piece flow), a "pull" system that cascades back from customer demand by replenishing only what the next operation takes away at short intervals, and a culture in which everyone is striving continuously to improve.