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


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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Winner of the Institute for Industrial Engineer’s Book-of-the-Year award and the Shingo Prize for Manufacturing Excellence

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.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 330 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (January 7, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071392319
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071392310
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeffrey Liker is Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan and president of Liker Lean Advisors, LLC--a collection of top-notch lean advisors. He is author of the international best-seller, The Toyota Way and the related books Toyota Way Fieldbook, Toyota Talent, The Toyota Product Development System, Toyota Culture, The Toyota Way to Continuous Improvement, and Toyota Under Fire. His newest book, with Gary Convis, is The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership. His articles and books have won eleven Shingo Prizes. He plays golf, watches football and basketball, and is relearning classical guitar which he stopped playing over 30 years ago. His wife Deb and daughter Emma, support his writing and his son Jesse is his toughest critic and best editor.

Customer Reviews

Anyone interested in management should read this book.
John S. Dowd
The Toyota Way provides an excellent introduction of the Toyota Production System and insights into the company culture.
Andrew Everett
If you think the heading is a misinterpretation, read the book.
OyvindW

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 70 people found the following review helpful By M and K on November 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read this book a few times, and got our factory excited by it as well. We read it 2 chapters a week as a group, with a volunteer facilitator reviewing the content of the chapters in a weekly session. Suggest you start with this one and then read "Creating a Lean Culture" by David Mann and then "The Toyota Way Fieldbook" by Jeffrey Liker. A good read for those interested in excelling in Lean Manufacturing or Self-Directed Workteams.

Pro:
+ Shows Toyota's commitment, i.e. the willingness to pursue perfection everyday forever (which is why I think so many fail... satisfied with good)
+ Provides building blocks upon which to build lean systems and apply lean tools
+ Philosophy is quite detailed while avoiding "tools" (they are a distraction from successful business transformation)

Con:
- Not a recipe for you to copy... no shortcuts or cutting corners here
- Does not directly describe principles and concept behind hoshin kanri (strategic planning) - I really would have liked this
- Does not include any "kata" - now viewed as a key element for cultural transformation
- A bit lengthy

Bottom line: Recommended for serious lean zealots only. I think that this book is true to the philosophies of Toyota as I've directly observed from the 4 or 5 different senseis (former Toyota executives turned consultants) I have had the chance to work with. Revised July, 19, 2012 due to recent advancements in the study of Toyota.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Michel Baudin on December 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book puts Toyota back where it belongs: front and center in the world of the lean enterprise. The idea that Toyota just originated lean and that others have since taken it further is a fallacy that has lately been creeping into publications and conference presentations. The reality is that Toyota is still far ahead and that the vast majority of companies that claim to be lean are only "kinda, sorta" lean, with managements that simply have not understood the approach.

The book has a visible structure that the reader can use to zoom in on topics of interest. Fourteen principles are stated upfront, and then a chapter is devoted to each of these principles. The writing is clear, and many outside sources are acknowledged with a thoroughness that is uncommon in business books. In particular, 28 Toyota executives are acknowledged or quoted, which gives the book the flavor of an authorized rendition of the company's philosophy.

The book's greatest strength, the closeness of the author to the company's management, is also its main limitation. As an academic, the author could have assumed a less worshipful stance. For example, rather than taking management statements about wanting to do right for society as a whole at face value, he might have pointed out that they sound like obligatory recitations of Confucian values, and that it is arguable that flooding the world with cars is in the best interest of the human race. Also, without attacking the company, he could have made its portrayal more nuanced and vivid by including more points of view, such as those of line workers and former employees who may have a different perspective than current top managers.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Kanishka Sinha on April 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This one fact will sink into your psyche after you read this insightful book - Quality is all about culture

The fourteen principles that you could use as the cornerstone for your organisation according to this book (and this particular reviewer) are:

1. Base your management decisions on long term philosophy, even at the expense of short term financial goals

2. Create continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface

3. Use pull systems to avoid over production

4. Level out the workload (Hiejunka)

5. Build a culture of stopping to fix problems to get quality right the first time

6. Standardised tasks are the foundation for continuous improvement and employer empowerment

7. Use visual controls so that no problems are hidden

8. Only use reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and processes

9. Grow leaders who thoroughly understand the work and live the philosophy

10. Develop exceptional people and teams that follow your company's philosophy

11. Respect your extended network of partners and suppliers by challenging them and helping them improve

12. Go and see for yourself and thoroughly understand the situation (Genchi Genbutsu)

13. Make decisions slowly by consensus thoroughly considering all options. Implement decisions rapidly

14. Become a learning organisation through relentless reflection (Hansei) and continuous improvement (Kaizen)

Just an outstanding book
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAME on August 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is like a Toyota vehicle: not necessarily fancy, but extraordinarily capable of getting you from point "A" to point "B." Author Jeffrey K. Liker's thorough insight into the continual improvement method known as "The Toyota Way" reflects his experience with the Toyota Production System (TPS) and his knowledge of its guiding philosophies and its technical applications. He explains why Toyota has become a global symbol of passionate commitment to continual improvement and efficiency. Toyota's success as the world's most profitable automaker is no accident and now, thanks to this book, it's no mystery, either. Liker drills down to the underlying principles and behaviors that will set your company on the Toyota Way. The book reflects years of studying Toyota's philosophy: it is well mapped out, straightforward and exceedingly although not daringly innovative. We highly recommend it to anyone striving to improve their organization's operational efficiency.
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